Spooking Ep. 2

Maybe its the cold weather.

Scarlet is getting more and more liable to spin away from something that scares him and try to take off. Its mostly this one corner of the arena. Its honestly getting very frustrating. We’ve been at this barn for a couple of months now and all the stuff that is in that corner of the arena has been there. Nothing has changed.

I’ve tried pushing him slowly into the corner with each lap we take. Somewhat like slowly inching into cold water. I’ve tried bringing him into that corner while I’m on the ground. I give him treats while we are standing there, hoping to associate good things with the corner.

No luck with either of those. I did that for the first few months that we have been at this barn. At first I was trying to be patient, let him get several rides with the stuff and me pushing him into the corner. It takes a while for his brain to connect the dots sometimes. Then I blamed it on the fact that my riding has gotten less consistent. I’m not out there very often with enough light/time to ride. I usually give him a grooming and some grain but that’s the most I can manage some days.

Now its getting annoying. He is getting worse each time. I know that its not him getting more scared. I know this horse very well. He gets spooked easily by simple things but stationary things he tends to get over. I’m convinced that he is bored and wants things to be entertaining.

I’ve even told him that I’m tired of it and he is acting like a three year old. Doesn’t seem to have gotten through to him. Too bad he has never learned to speak English.

My current plan is ride him in that corner until he gives up. He is ignoring all my aids whenever we go through the corner and for the side leading to and heading away from. That’s not acceptable. I really need to be able to rely on him moving when I ask him to. So I’ve ridden circle after circle in that corner. Its really boring but it seems to be working better. After the last ride, he was focusing and moving away from my legs when I asked him to. He was still trying to look at the stuff but was no longer tried to dance sideways or move into my leg instead of away from it. I’m planning on heading to that corner first thing when I hop and and doing most of my warm up there. I’ll do this for rides until we can get on and walk by there with only looking. Looking is fine. Ignoring me is not.

We are moving to a new house this weekend so I’m hoping that I will be able to squeeze some riding in between moving boxes.

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