5 ways to stop your horse spooking in traffic

Hacking your horse on the road can be daunting as you can never predict what's going to happen.

There are lots of things you can to reduce the risk of your horse playing up in traffic.

These may seem obvious, but it's amazing how many people forget to do the following when they're out hacking...

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1. Look where you want to go

Provided you're not hindering your horse's movement by holding him back, he's more likely to go in the direction you're looking.

2. Ride your horse between your hand and leg

Doing this while staying relaxed through traffic will help keep your horse moving forwards, prevent him from changing direction and help keep his walk going forwards. 

3. Don't look at any scary objects

The more you look at the object, the more your horse will look too. 

4. Smile, nod and say thank you to passing cars

It's a simple courtesy, but so many riders forget. Lots of drivers will do the same back and be more inclined to drive considerately around horses in future. 

5. If in doubt, get off and lead him

If a situation on the roads spirals out of control - and you find nothing's helping to calm your horse down - get off and lead him. 

By getting off, you're being proactive in helping him regain his confidence, but only do this if you feel it's safe to do so.

Put the emphasis on providing leadership and helping your horse deal with what he finds stressful.

Provided you know him well enough, and know how he'll react while being led, this is often the safest option.