Rachael01

Spooky Horse

Recommended Posts

Hello-

I am new to the forum, but have heard how helpful it can be

I have a 14 year old QH gelding. I have suffered from some confidence issues in the past and am a newer rider. I have been riding for about a year now and take fairly regular lessons. I feel like I have over come most of it. It seems the more confident I become, the spookier my horse is getting.

I moved him to a new facility on Jan. 1st. This facility is only .5 miles from where we were boarding. It is so close, that on moving day we just rode over. He has stayed with my husband's horse, so he isn't lonely. We are still riding on the same trails he has been riding since August. My routine has stayed the same and the ground work has become more advanced. I see and ride my horse about 4 times a week. The spooks are getting worse on trail and at the ranch. I actually came off the other day for the first time. He spooked at the end of the ride, then slipped in a gully with his back rear hoof. He is not confident on loose ground. He then spun and reared, which landed me on my tush!

Max is a great trail horse with lots of miles. I feel like we have made great strides in our relationship, but this spooking has got to end. He was less spooky when I rode him scared the day after I got him.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First I would get his vision checked and then maybe his hearing. If those are ok then try to determine if there is something particular setting him off. Something you might not notice. My gelding started doing that I I finally determined that he has a problem with dragon flies. It may not be something that you would notice at all. Keep him in the moment. Don't let his attention wander around zip zag him back and forth and turn him in circles. I find with my younger one that if I get comfortable he starts to drop his head and relax then something happens and he jumps out of his skin because we weren't paying attention. If these are the same trails over and over maybe he needs a change of scenery. Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. I hever really thought that this could be medical.

I am having his teeth floated on Friday so I will have the vet check his sight and hearing before we start.

I took him out on trail for the first time since the fall last week. I just rode behind my husband's horse like I used to. I didn't ask much of him and he was pretty well behaved. I think he is so lazy that he he is hoping if he spooks I will stop trying to work him.

I also took him off of the small amount of alfalfa he was getting.

I moved him so he only has one direct neighbor so if he felt threatened over food that would be lessened.

In a lask ditch effort I am having an animal communicator read him. I wonder if he is upset that the new ranch is busier than the old one.

Falling off and spooking or not, this silly horses isn't getting out of work that easy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have that issue with my Morgan. He is the same way. Then again he has always been a little more nervous and such until he settles in. Things that I found startle my horse is if we are trotting or loping and the ground color changes, but only from going light to dark. His vision is just fine, but for some reason that just bothers him and he doesn't want to chance "falling into that dark abyss." [ROTFL]

But then again you said it's progressively getting worse and you have only had him for a year... perhaps like faransgirl suggested, you should get his eyes checked. Definitely wouldn't hurt. Definitely let us know how it goes! Hope all is well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should cross post this onto the training board as well. There are alot of really knowledgeable people that check there regularly who could probably help alot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't read the other posts so if someone else mentioned it I'm sorry for the repeat.

How do you react (sp) when he spooks? Do you rub his neck and coo to him telling him he's ok?

My horse was very spooky when I first started riding him. At one point I fell off and hurt my tail bone pretty good and decided I was sick of it so I started reading up on spookiness. It seemed that the more I babied him and coddled him and loved on him when he spooked the worse he was getting about it. In short I was letting him know it was okay to react to scary things in that manner.

When I started reading up on it, I had read somewhere that if we know they are going to spook at something that we are not to look at the object but look beyond it and keep them going forward. I'm not saying that you'll know every time he's going to spook but there are a lot of times that you'll know he's shying at something. The head goes up, ears forward and body tenses... My Max will still spook now and then but nothing like he did when I first bought him. I think a lot of horses spook when a bird darts out of the bushes on the trail. I just learned to try and read him better and not baby him when he spooks. He's become one heck of a trail horse for me and generally will do everything I ask of him.

Good luck with your riding. You'll get there, you just have to be persistent and patient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband's appendix gelding used to do the same thing when we went trail riding. After watching him closely a few times, we discovered that he would get really relaxed and not pay attention to his surroundings. Any time that he happened to suddenly catch any kind of movement coming from either side of him, whether it was a strange horse running up to a fence or a rabbit running out from under a shrub, he would spook.

It's possible that this is what Max is doing, if there is nothing wrong with his hearing or eye sight.

Here's a video that you may want to take a look at and see if it helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for share'n that video!! I think there was a TON of good info! cause I agree, you can never sack them out to ALL things cause somethings you will have never seen before like a jackrabbit darting out of a hole of a bird jumping out of a bush. I Do agree that have "body control" before you even go out so things don't progress in a down-ward spiral.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now