Q. Is your ride perfect apart from a problem with traffic, can you only use country lanes that you know are quiet at certain times of the day? Do you blame yourself because your horse will not listen to your leg aids? Are you beginning to loose your trust and confidence in your horse that in every other way is just great?
A.Traffic problems are not nice and are, unfortunately, some of the hardest ones to solve. If your horse has a problem with any form of traffic, it can become very serious with your horse acting out of character, becoming jumpy and refusing to listen to your aids. This situation is dangerous to all including you, the horse and the traffic that is on the road. The only way forward is to go right back to basics and work with your horse as if he is a complete novice in this situation. Go hacking with a friend who has a confident horse around traffic and who is willing to put herself between you and any oncoming traffic. This will hopefully make your horse feel less threatened and will start building his confidence slowly. Both you and your horse need to take things very gently and start building your relationship slowly again within this situation, remember that in all other situations on your horse you are a confident rider. Try riding him some where quiet a few times without the worry of traffic, interspersed with a few rides out where there is traffic. More importantly don’t blame yourself for your horse’s problem; it may be he already had this issue before you bought him. Stay positive calm and confident and your horse will eventually do the same.