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Horse Problem Questions & Answers

Spooking: Spooky For Life?

" ...since I have had a few good falls, I am becoming more anxious."


I found your web site and am interested in your despooking program. My horse is a 10 year old QH w/a lot of spook and will bolt when frightened. Having owned him for 7 years, I was lucky not to have fallen off until last year, now it seems like since I have had a few good falls I am becoming more anxious and he is very receptive to me and is getting worse. I found out his history and discovered he had 6 homes from 2-3. He is " hotsy totsey" and after awhile, this is not enjoyable for most. Sometimes I feel like giving up and riding is the most import thing in the world to me. When I ride him I must pay 110% attention and be prepared if he spooks and then bolts. On the ground he is a nice horse, very hard to catch though. I travel 1 1/2 hours away for an occasional lesson w/my old instructor who says this is the way this horse will always be and I need to ride w/my full attention. Riding him is scary for me and my anxiety has increased since the falls. Do you think " I" could help him? If I never get the spook out of him, the two of us suffer. I am even now afraid to canter.

PS I am 40 and have ridden since I was  11.....I feel as if I have decompensated as a rider.

Please help, Thanx,

Renee Wojtowic

Dear Renee:

Seriously spooky horses seldom become 100% despooked, but you can help them dramatically. I agree with your instructor that you'll always have to ride at 110% and you have to ask the question: Is this what riding is about for me? Sometime it's best to just get another horse and have the fun that you originally intended to have. Remember, this is about recreation - not proving something. You are not a professional trainer.

But if you do want to help your horse, let me give you a few ideas. I've inserted my " Despooking" article for starters. More importantly there are a plethora of things you can do on the ground to help your horse and this is what my  7-Step Safety System is all about. Develop a relationship, address problems, use energy constructively on the ground then in the saddle. Read the Western Horseman articles. If you like my approach, order my " Getting Started Package."   This will  give you the information and proper tools to succeed. Additionally, order my  " Spooking and Shying" video. You'll watch a  hyped Arab off the track transform and become a more calm and confident horse. This is actual footage of exactly what I did to help this  sketched out guy feel a whole lot better about life.

To succeed with your horse you'll have to be able to change his mind the moment  he becomes one tiny bit concerned about anything. You can either pull his energy away from the problem or take him back to the safe loving place you'll learn about when you  employ my 7-Step  Safety System.  This logical set of exercises is helping thousands of horses and their owners worldwide.

Also take a hard look at his feed program. Sometimes a  diet lower in protein helps spooky horses quiet down. As well, be certain he's able to be a horse and run free in  a big pasture with other horses on a regular basis.

Good Luck and please let me  hear of your success.

Safe Riding,

Frank Bell 


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