16. SHYING, SPOOKINESS & NERVOUSNESS
Bottom line here is, horses, a herd animal, are shoved into our environment full of some downright scary stuff if you're looking through a horses eyes, but there is a key.
The number one key element to eliminate spookiness in every and any horse is this:
Show your horse you are overly gentle and kind.
A good way to do this is:
Endear yourself quietly and gently to the horse in it's own paddock. Spend time only patting, cuddling, gently soothing, and I mean downright overly gentle like a fairy with rose petals for fingers gentle!!
Then venture out of it's paddock leading, and do the same while walking. A gentle hand on the neck works magic.
Then take your horse to a scary area where it's nervous on the lead, ask it gently to stand and just stand there.
It will shuffle and act nervously moving from where you stood it, but you quietly and calmly back it up to the spot you had it and just stand quietly soothing and patting. After a while your horse will realise it's ok and you are it's point of confidence.
You'll be fine after that.
Some things that will set you back and will create spookiness in any horse are:
Jumping at things around your horse
Saying woah woah or anything in a nervous packing yourself voice.
Being a bully with all discipline no balancing encouragement and kindness, i.e. telling the horse when it's good not just when its bad.
Screaming...yes there are many screamers.
Panicking in view of the horse.
Let's face it, big animals, us handling them, who isn't scared? But around horses you must act overly calm, relaxed, steady, confident and unflappable even when inside you are screaming and hitting the roof.
NEVER reprimand a horse for being spooky, unless you want a doubly spooky horse.