A spooky horse can be described as nervous and jumpy. They can be difficult to ride! This horse always seems to be looking for something to spook at. You can hardly get through a ride without them jumping to the side, bolting, or dancing in place. Fortunately, you can boost their confidence and put a stop to their shenanigans.

Tips for Spooky Horses

  1. Make sure to stay calm. They’ll feed off your nervous energy. A few deep breaths can really help!
  2. Start off by riding in a smaller and secure space like a round pen. They won’t be able to bolt or get away from you.
  3. Ask a barn buddy to join you with their horse while you ride. This can give your horse some extra confidence.
  4. Don’t hold your horse back. It might sound crazy, but think forward energy. You want to move their feet and get them thinking about something else.
  5. Change things up with lots of transition and shapes.
  6. Don’t focus on your horse spooking or the object, instead visualize a positive ride and continue onward.
  7. Consider bombproofing your horse to a variety of “scary” objects. The approach and retreat method can work wonders!
  8. Avoid punishing your horse. If they’re already afraid, then you might only make the situation worse!
  9. Be patient and ride frequently. Sometimes, it just takes time to build their trust in you and their surroundings.
  10. Evaluate your horse’s lifestyle. Are they getting enough turnout? How’s their diet?

If your horse is really spooky, then it might be time to enlist the help of a professional trainer.