I bought U, a 9 year old Oldenburg mare, in August, 2010 and she arrived at the crowded busy barn on August 31.  She came from a 135 acre farm where the only other horses were her siblings.  There were some mistakes made when she arrived in that she was ridden too soon, shoed, diet changed etc. In hindsight, it would have been much better to have taken more time in doing all these things.

Currently, the problem is that when I ride in the indoor, she spooks at the other horses when they come anywhere near.  She prefers to be ridden outside and although she will spook, the spooks are not as serious.  Her previous owner is adamant that this horse was never spooky and was the perfect horse for a novice rider.  She was ridden in shows and on trails and by children with absolutely no problem.

I have sacked her out and am doing some natural horsemanship exercises with her on the ground.  That seemed to be helping but today, she was spookier than ever.  Of course, everyone says that this is how horses act in the winter.  However, I am wondering if there are any other things I could be doing to minimize her spook.

I am a novice rider and have worked hard at staying relaxed when riding and when she spooks.  I would appreciate any suggestions people might have.


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Thank you for your positive response.  It was good to hear the positive side given that some days it seems like we are making no progress and yet I know we are.  Her previous owner, who I have kept in regular contact with, also said U was overwhelmed and had lost her confidence. 

I am hanging out with her - sometimes just grooming and walking her around the grounds and sometimes just doing the simple natural horsemanship exercises.  Obviously, I need to ride in order to keep improving my skills but I ride her outside alone in the ring and she is good and a lovely ride.

I will keep doing what I am doing and just accept that she arrived in my life to teach me patience!  Thank you!


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