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Ironic Spooking

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  • #21
    Not spooky: bulldozing/land-grading RIGHT at the entrance of the indoor, bolting horses, tarp laying over him, air brakes, loud children, cats running underfoot, ... Etc.

    Spooky: a chair he has passed a million times, except one time it was (gasp) upside-down; a car with snow falling off it, a pile of his own poop in the arena.

    Sigh. I love my OTTB.


    • #22
      My mare...

      Is absolutely certain geese eat horses alive in the most slow, painful way. She will NEVER be ridden near geese again. By my trainer or me.

      Used to be petrified of mini donks but now WUVS them and would follow them anywhere.

      And she feels that coolers of any variety are UBER SCARY - but only if the rider is on her back. Otherwise they're fine.

      But she has no issue with foxes. Or cats or dogs as long as they are not out of place.
      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


      • #23
        Bomb proof with Pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, air hoses, skeet shooting, and heavy equipment.

        Gaited horses on trail rides scare the beejeezus out of all three of my horses.


        • #24
          My QH Appendix was the paragon of non-spookiness. The following didn't even twitch an ear when we rode outside:

          -- A flock of birds taking flight right in front of him
          -- A flatbed truck hauling in a bunch of swaying trees for planting
          -- A young coyote hunting in the field (I rode toward it thinking it was a barn cat, LOL)
          -- Four screaming dogs doing agility in a course that had waving flags and wild- colored obstacles

          What did set him off?
          The barn girls cleaning while he was in x-ties. He got upset at the long brooms for cleaning spider-webs and, especially, the sound/smell of Murphy's Oil Soap rubbed against a barn door.


          • #25
            My mare has jumped around many a big jumper ring without so much as a blinked eye. She's bombproof on the trail and has no issue with screaming kids, umbrellas, cars flying by on dirt roads, and a myriad of other things that most of my other horses at least care a bit about.

            Buuuuutttt she spooks at the water trough up next to the arena fence every. single. day. And has done that every day for 8 years.

            Oh, did I mention that it's *her* water trough in the pasture she lives in?
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW


            • #26
              I have a horse that has always been a little reactive, but gun shots do not bother him. Shot guns next door never bother him, but he once spooked at his own poop.


              • #27
                The OTTB i rode while in high school-
                barely batted an eye at strollers popping open next to the ring, the big pigs/sheep/geese at the county fair in the barn next to the ring, balloons and flags, loud kids, etc.
                he levitated (what feels like) forty feet sideways and almost into a lake during a hunter pace. but thankfully the 1 foot pile of cut grass wasn't in a killing mood that day, after all.

                The current TB i ride is similar with things on the ground, or the ground itself. children screaming their heads off while racing around on four wheelers with the dog barking after them got some mild interest. The scuff marks on the ring footing- made by himself while rolling that very morning- are terrifying. He performs excellent lateral work when faced with them. Better than i even know how to ask.


                • #28
                  A welsh/arab pony I used to ride would spook at all the typical spooks (such as cats jumping out of nowhere and snow falling off the roof) and a few specials...

                  1. The jump standard we've been standing in front of for the past 5 minutes.
                  2. The person standing along the fence.
                  3. The gap where the person USED to be standing along the fence.
                  4. The cows... that we saw EVERY DAY across the road.

                  The only thing he didn't spook at? The ring dragger... as long as it was running.

                  I'm still getting used to the quirks of the TB mare I help to exercise for a friend who seems to be the opposite...

                  Cows, Guns, Fireworks, Dogs, Cars/Trucks, Tractors... you name it she might look for a moment... then its old news.

                  But heaven forbid the trees across the field move the wrong way in the wind
                  Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by rosijet View Post
                    I board near an Air Force base. He saw a military person in head to toe camouflage and about lost his marbles.

                    This is the same horse who hung out with a camel:

                    That is hilarious! Especially because my Spookmatic 2000 (AKA my arabian), pretty much shat his pants the first time he saw a camel at the neighboring farm. The best part was the he was frozen with fear directly on my foot and was completely impervious to my attempts to remove him.

                    Anyhoo, he is afraid of everything EXCEPT strange barking dogs rushing the fence, very large noisy equipment moving dirt, and things like flapping bags. Pretty much everything he should be afraid of. However, that jump standard that has not moved in 6 months is actually a horse eating zombie in disguise and requires a hard look and a snort every time we pass it.


                    • #30
                      We have had a lot of rain so the river is high. A great blue heron has been stalking around in the field by the river, I guess looking for things to eat.
                      Well, my guy shakes like a leaf and snorts and blows when the bird is WALKING. But when it spread those huge wings and leaps into the air, he sighes and relaxes.
                      I suppose he thinks, "Oh, it's a bird not a midget in a blue suit."

                      His mother one day got me. We rode around the corner of the barn and there on our left was a pile of plastic panels just taken off the outside stall windows for spring. I think, "She's going to spook away from those" so I put my weight in the right stirrup. Nope, she spooks toward the plastic and away from the shavings pile that has been there for years and I wind up with no horse under me.


                      • #31
                        The mare I ride walked up to the mirror in the arena and sniffed it all over in an interested and non-spooky manner, looked at the pretty pony in the mirror, etc.... and then walked off calmly.

                        Until the next lap where she coudlnt get within 50 feet of the mirror because of the fog she herself put on it.....


                        • #32
                          Yeah, this is why many horsepeople are really skeptical of "bombproof" horses!

                          My guy was great about most things. Then he would spook at something he had seen before or that didnt seem bothersome to any other horses.

                          I took him on a trail ride alone. I had to walk about a block down the street. As I started out, the neighbors dog came running out barking - fine. Skateboarders zipping down the street, loud trailer clattering up from behind - fine. Even the storm drain only got a careful look. Just as I am feeling good about how sensible he is, he freezes in terror. The problem? The empty trashcan that is always at the entrance to the trail! Other days, that is okay but there are killer rocks! Perhaps most confusing are the spooks in the ring at the pasture he just came out of - and he would spook on the longe, get over it, and then have to re-learn under saddle. Repeatedly!

                          You wonder what goes on in their little walnut brains!


                          • #33
                            The schoolie I part lease doesn't mind kids running around waving crops,big dogs appearing out of nowhere, the tractor driving by, but God help him if the pony that was just in the indoor with him leaves...AND COMES BACK! Or if the mounting block that was right side up is now on its side - terrifying.


                            • #34
                              Coth rule: can't post a pic of horse grazing with a camel without 'splaining. It's against forum rules.


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by FatDinah View Post
                                We have had a lot of rain so the river is high. A great blue heron has been stalking around in the field by the river, I guess looking for things to eat.
                                Well, my guy shakes like a leaf and snorts and blows when the bird is WALKING. But when it spread those huge wings and leaps into the air, he sighes and relaxes.
                                I suppose he thinks, "Oh, it's a bird not a midget in a blue suit."
                                My horse was the opposite - we were riding in FL and a flock of blue herons circled the pond next door to the ring. They have a weird honking call. Some primitive part of his brain got activated by the big birds overhead - he totally freaked out. Had to quit for the day. Once they landed - eh, no big deal!

                                The wind blew some neighbor's brown Rubbermaid tote up against the outdoor ring fence. He was bug eyed about that - so I went and got it and put it on the other side of the ring. Still a little problem, but he got over it. Took it into the barn to contribute to the common good, it's been sitting in the barn aisle for the last 2 or 3 days, and he gives it the stink eye every time he passes it!

                                This horse is pretty darn good on the trails but we always have to have a nature re-education session about logs and vegetation that waves in the wind. And signs, sometimes. Deer, barking dogs on the attack, walk over or through anything, no problem.

                                You really do have to wonder about them sometimes!


                                • #36
                                  My 4yo baby TB mare is a sane, level-headed girl. One day a bunch of standards appeared in the corner of the indoor...everyone else, from the 4th level schoolmasters to the bombproof ponies, were spooking at them. She waltzed right by them without a second look. Snow falling off the roof is no biggie. Other horses acting up...meh.

                                  The tiny, 12hh POA who was in the ring with us yesterday with his equally tiny rider? She LOST. HER. SHIT. I literally had to get off, go put a halter and chain on, and bring her back in the ring just to stare and huff and puff at the pony.

                                  Oh, he also lives in the stall right to her and they frequently snuffle at each other through the bars... :eyeroll:

                                  My gelding is your perfect bombproof trail horse. I haven't found a single thing he's afraid of...gunshots, turkeys, puddles, cows, children, children on bikes, mailboxes, etc, etc, etc.....EXCEPT yellow dashed lines on the road. Single or double solid, he's fine. The dashed lines? There's something eerily suspicious about them, and he'll give them the stink line the whole time...heaven forbid if I ask him to step over one!


                                  • #37
                                    my mare just recently was spooking at chickens under a tree 50 ft away from us while riding at home.

                                    This weekend she Rocked it at the fair grounds with tractors, small kids and dogs running around etc,

                                    Guess I will have to de-spook her to chickens lol
                                    The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Chall View Post
                                      Coth rule: can't post a pic of horse grazing with a camel without 'splaining. It's against forum rules.
                                      Ha! I just bought this horse in November but his previous owner is married to a trainer from Australia. I guess he had a few camels in for training and so Gunner got desensitized to camels at a young age. Sadly his desensitization didn't include people wearing camouflage.
                                      "Crazy is just another point of view" Sonia Dada


                                      • #39
                                        My calm, older QH is petrified of donkeys...and my OTTB loves donkeys and anything mini (horses or donkeys)...I find THAT quite ironic!


                                        • #40
                                          My OTTB mare Does. Not. Spook. Guns, dogs, ATVs, trucks, kids, bikes, umbrellas, seriously....

                                          Except... at leaves rustling in the trees.... or jump standards/poles that have magically moved since the last time we were in the arena. W. T. F.
                                          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.