Diagnose Your Spooky Horse

Horses spook at two things: things that move, and things that don't. But have you ever wondered how to diagnose his phobias?
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[top photo: amha.com]

Now, I'm not a trainer so I can only speak from my experience, but I do lease an absentminded Thoroughbred who, if you let him, will go along gazing at the sky…the grass…the woods AND THEN OMG THERE'S LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS IN THERE!

What can you do about your spooky horse's phobias?

My best piece of advice is to demand that your horse's focus is on you at all times–keep his little brain engaged so he just doesn't have room to freak out. On the ground, I do this by making sure my horse stays out of my space. If I halt, he's not allowed to move past me. If we're walking on the lead, he needs to match my pace. Under saddle I usually put him to work right away if I feel him getting tense, bending him toward the center of the ring, or using lateral work like shoulder-fore or leg yields to get that brain working.

What's your horse afraid of?

Ablutophobia – Fear of bathing

Ailurophobia – Fear of cats



Alektorophobia – Fear of chickens

Algophobia – Fear of pain

Anthophobia – Fear of flowers

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Aquaphobia – Fear of water


[photo from Clevergrrl, Flickr]

Bovinophobia – Fear of cattle

Brontophobia – Fear of thunder and lightning

Catapedaphobia – Fear of jumping from high and low places


[Wikimedia Commons]

Claustrophobia – Fear of confined spaces

Coulrophobia – Fear of clowns (according to Wikipedia, this is not restricted to evil clowns. This is equal-opportunity clown fear.)



Cyclophobia – Fear of bicycles

Dextrophobia – Fear of objects at the right side of the body

Globophobia – Fear of balloons



Herpetophobia – Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things

Insectophobia – Fear of insects

Isolophobia – Fear of being alone


[Wikimedia Commons]

Ligyrophobia – Fear of loud noises

Musophobia – Fear of mice

Neophobia –Fear of anything new

Olfactophobia – Fear of smells

Ophidiophobia – Fear of snakes

Panophobia – Fear of everything


[Wikimedia Commons]

Pogonophobia – Fear of beards

Topophobia –  Stage fright

Xylophobia – Fear of trees, forests or wood

Go Riding.


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