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Re: [RC] [RC] Boldness in Horses - Dawn Carrie

This sounds like my little CMK gelding Sundance.  He got off the transport truck from California as a 3 yr old, I put him in his pen, and he immediately grabbed some hay and started chowing down.  The first time I took him out on trails we went alone.  He was totally fearless, striding along like he'd been out there dozens of times.  When we came to a big uprooted tree that our experienced horses always veered away from just a bit, even though they passed it every time we rode, he fixed his gaze on it as we approached, strode up to it with a "what the &$^%# is THIS?" attitude, sniffed it, chewed on the roots a bit, then strode off down the trail without another look.  If he sees something that looks a bit scary, he generally heads right over to it to see what the heck it is.  He's also a challenge...opinionated, strong-willed, wants to lead, very forward, questions authority, and is mentally very tough.  He's going to be one heck of an endurance horse, if we survive each other.  <G>  He doesn't spook much, but can occassionally throw in a good one...nearly always in response to a sudden noise such as a deer or other animal bolting off.  He doesn't generally spook in reponse to inanimate objects.  He *is* rathr jumpy in response to sudden movements, etc. on the ground...less so now than he was a couple years ago.

On 4/15/07, Tx Trigger <txtrigger@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I have a horse who is very bold.  But, he was difficult to break, as he was weird and spooky about things on the ground. Also took him awhile to not panic if he saw me move an arm while on him, out of the corner of his eye.    His very first time on the trails I took him alone. He acted like he had been on the trail many times.  His 30th time I was on his back, we did a 1 day, 15 mile NATRC ride, and rode alone most of the day.  He never has needed another horse along, but does go well with others. He loves to lead the pack, and is very forward,  BUT, he is at times one of the most difficult horses I have ever ridden. He will spook at odd things still, like sticks in the trail, or even a water bottle someone has dropped on the trail. I have decided after riding him now for 3.5 years, that it is maybe a slight vision issue.
When we did Tevis in 2005, and he never spooked once, and gave me a ride that I will never forget. His boldness and mental strength is what helped him finish.  So yes, I do believe many are just born bold, but can still have "issues". He never has to have another horse lead the way past something spooky, but has took the lead when others were reluctant. But he has also given me some of the worst spooks I have ever dealt with.  But even with the spooks, he is never reluctant or hesitant to move out down the trail, in the lead, or alone.  The most common spook is when we are moving along at a good pace, and he sees something in the trail, slams on the brakes, puts nose down to take a better look, then about the time I have regained me seat from being slammed into the pommel, he decides it is fine, and takes off again, usually slamming my butt back down in the saddle. Amusing for friends to watch, and maybe even amusing to the horse. Me, not so much.  :-)
Yes, they can be born bold, but still spook. And maybe some do become bold with miles.
Jonni in TX

[RC] Boldness in Horses, Tx Trigger