Originally Posted by ThatFishThough
I personally never spookproof him (does chasing turkeys count? lol), but I believe he's had some 'desensitizing' from his owner.
He'd be a terrible ranch horse; we went on a trail ride once and my friend & I decided to chase a group of turkeys that was on the path; Duncan did fine until he realized what we were chasing... Spooked, did a 180*, and took off galloping in the other direction, all in one motion. Luckily I stayed on (and I admit that it was fun) but my dreams of bringing him to my uncle's ranch and working cows pretty much died, lol.
I like the way Temari sounds; Duncan reacts first, looks at it later. I'd love it if he could chill the heck out. We went to a show at a new place at the end of the summer and he was *terrified* of the announcer's stand. I worked him near it for nearly 2 hours before the show started, and he just. couldn't. go near the darn thing. He ended up spooking at it in our first W/T/C WP class and took off bucking around the arena... Judge didn't see it and we got second! O.O
The think first is a trained behavior. When I first got Temari she spooked at GRASS moving in a gentle breeze All the Time. Anything that wasn't her hay or grain had the ability to be scary. Especially anything outside the stableyard, I had to pull, turn and backup for about twenty minutes to get to go outside the stable, she was so barn sour and buddy sour it was outrageous. There was no such thing as 'alone' for her. But I worked for four years to get her rock solid like she is now. That's why I love spookproofing(and training), it takes a spooky, shy horse and turns it into a safe horse for even beginners.
Duncan is just young, with work he would probably make a good ranch horse. Young horses don't have the training to stand their ground, so they only know the two things all horses know: Fight or Flight.
When Temari finds an object scary beyond all reason we don't go straight at it, we circle it. Like a shark, we start out farther away and keep an eye on it, circling closer until we are right next to it and then I give her the command 'sniff'. Its another command I taught her to help her gain confidence in scary things. Sniffing and touching a scary object helps them realize it isn't going to hurt them, even if they jerk away. I keep treats on me most of the time, so I give her treats when needed, like when she listens to a command and confronts something scary. Treats given at the right moment are a powerful motivator.