I agree with Textan
I also ride where anything can happen/ appear, besides the arena and showing aspect
That is why I also agree that one has to differentiate between just looking, and freezing up, ready to go into flight mode
I have been on horses that both whirled around and ran backwards, and believe me, in the mountains those horses are no fun to ride.
The horse that spun, reared and shied a lot was the Appaloosa mare that I bought off the track . She was running App bred /TB cross. When I bought her, she was a serious halter puller, and also would rear and go over backwards
I did get her over those things, but she really never got over spinning around, an dif you rode through a bog, forget trying to guide her, as she would plunge blindly ahead.
That was many, many years ago, and I now realize that I perhaps never truly got her trust of people back.
The horse that ran backwards, was stud I had started, and who was going really well, I then got pregnant, thus decided to send him out for some reining training. AGAIN, this was many years ago, and I would never send that trianer a horse now, but unfortunately one usually learns this info through the school of experience, becoming part of the horse community
Anyway, found out afterwards that this so called 'trainer', had blown the minds of many horses, and crippled some
Thus, Classy, if he saw something scary, would run backwards,and of course, such a horse does not care where he is backing. Luckily, I did fix it with time, and the only time he suceeded in running backwards with me, he just ran into a road ditch and went down, instead of over a cliff!
Nope, my horses now maybe look, stop for a sec, then proceed forward, spooking in place at times. I've had three muley bucks jump out right in front of me, with Smilie just stopping, doing a little spook in place, then continuing on
Was riding down at the little Elbow in K country, where there are both equestrian trails and general use. Mounatin bikes often com eup suddenly, ahead , o na crest of a steep hill, or up behind you, and you better be on a horse that trusts you!
Once, came across several mountain bikers with bright objects over their handle bars, in the middle of July. Even I was wondering 'what the heck' Seems they had snow boards, and were going to hike up to a basin and snow board!
Naturally, horses are going to look at stuff, unless you ride with blinders, but that is way different from freezing up and staring. You are also not going to ride up to an elk, or a bear, or every other object along the way, so your horse can have a smell