Re: how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?
How long have you owned him for? Just wondering as a lot of horses will be fine for a month or two when you first own them and then when they start to feel their feet or if they do not settle into their new homes and feel insecure they will start to mis-behave of show signs of insecurity in their behaviour.
Does he do this just when you hack out alone or when with others as well? What about in hand, is he nervous then or more relaxed than when you ride him? Are you a nervous rider as if he feels you tensing even slightly when a bike comes towards you in anticipation of his nervous behaviour this will highlight to him that his rider is scared too.
Is it just bikes he has become nervous of? If so could you try and desensitise him at home in the yard and field? For example, could you handle him and get a friend to bring a bike over for him to sniff and look at? Then maybe get someone to cycle around the yard/field while you hold and handle him, keeping thier distance at first and as he relaxes get them to start cycling a little closer and closer until he realises they are not out to get him and you are with him reassuring him and keeping him safe. Cyclists on the road dont always understand horses and can sometime come wooshing past out of no where which can cause horses to spook and become wary of them. Coco always had a problem with cyclists who stand and cycle and kind of bounce up and down and make the bike move from side to side underneath them.
It does sound more like he is nervous of something rather than a tack issue so I would work on ground work, reassuring him and trying to give him confidence in you that you wont let anything get him. Be calm, be relaxed and confident that bikes are fine and safe and he should start to feed off your confience and relax the more he comes acorss them.