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What to do when a horse spooks


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Your horse spooks in the corner of the arena or kick out on the lunge.....what do you do?


Should you react or just let bygones be bygones?


Or maybe the question should be, why do we react to our horse's behavior?

Most of the time, I feel people react to a horse out of fear, anger, and frustration....all bad reactions that only compound the reaction of the horse.


What if we didn’t react to a horse spooking or bucking and just carried on like normal? I pretended like it didn’t happen...I think horses would get quieter, and there would be less anxiety in both horse and handler.


We anthropomorphize horse reactions. “He’s trying to kick at me because he is mad at me.” “He’s spooking because he missed his breakfast.”.....We need to consider the reasons for our own reactions before we ever react to theirs, as many times, our reactions are backed by fear or anger. Both of which can get us into trouble in a hurry.


Our horses are sensitive to our emotions and our feeling because they can smell the chemical hormones coming from us or they can hear/feel our hearts beating, or they can feel the tension in our movements. Our horses are in tune with us....more than we ever realize.

I know people say horses need a leader but I personally don’t like that term. I think horses really need a safe place while being with their human. They need help to self-regulate their emotions, but if we can’t even self-regulate our own, how are we a safe and reliable place when our reactions fluctuate all over?


We as humans need to work on our own emotional control around our horses and to not take things personally. We need to be aware and be safe in our activities with our horses but to not react to our horse’s behavior with negative emotions.


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