Things that spook horses


Black puddle
Who knows what lurks in the depth of that water! It obviously houses the Lincoln equivalent of the Loch Ness monster!

Recently Freedom experienced two near-death bird attacks. The first was when we crossed the bridge out to the trails and a huge Blue Heron took off right next to us. Freedom jumped straight up in the air and landed nostrils flaring.

But that was nothing compared to the attack of the ducklings the next day. As we stepped onto the bridge, six squawking, flapping ducklings scattered over the water. They must have been hiding under the bridge. After that, it took me several minutes to coax Freedom over the bridge.

It got me thinking about the things that scare horses, because it’s not always obvious to human eyes what is terrifying in theirs.

Here’s my partial list of seemingly safe objects that have sent my horses, or my friends horses, into brain shutting off panic. Please add your own experiences.

  • Birds
  • Rustling in the woods
  • Wet rocks (that are usually dry)
  • Fallen trees
  • People carrying fishing rods
  • People standing behind trees
  • People doing hand stands (this is a biggie)
  • Puddles/streams that are new
  • Model airplanes
  • Llamas
  • Sheep (they move!)
  • Miniature horses
  • Man hole covers
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5 thoughts on “Things that spook horses

  1. Beverly Hubbard

    Too funny! And with people hitting the trails, too timely. Bikes and in-line skaters can be scary. What surprised me yesterday morning was when I rode up on a fawn. I saw her and started talking to her to get her up and going, my horse had to zig to keep from stepping on her, and she leapt up literally right under Stacy’s nose. Stace just swung her head to the side and walked on.

    1. Shannon

      Funny. My OTTB was never afraid of natural things, like birds and rabbits. Except for black and white cows. The brown ones were OK, but the black and whites were horse eaters! Man-made things, plastic, glass, paint on the ground, scared him. Oh, and parked vehicles. The moving ones were OK, the parked ones were scary.

  2. There must be something about bridges & Blue Herons! My mare had just stepped onto a narrow one when the bird flew up from Under the Bridge! His dangling legs literally missed my mare’s ears by about an inch!
    To add to the list:
    People with umbrella’s!
    Water puddles!
    Heavy Equipment – especially when it’s logging equip on the move!

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