First of all, this can happen with every horse no matter how quiet and easy going the horse normally is. Every horse can have moments in which they feel insecure.
So don’t be surprised when this happens with your horse. Even if you think it’s silly your horse finds a chair in the corner scary.
Our horses perceive our human world in different way than us and are born only to survive in nature. We bring them into our human world and they will, at first, rely on their natural instinct when they encounter a situation they are suspicious of.
So, it’s completely normal behaviour.
Second, when this happens and your horse doesn’t want to go past a certain part of the arena, there are a few things you want to avoid doing.
What you don’t want to do
I often see riders trying to force their horse to go past the scary corner. Even though this might work for some horses that just need a little bit of encouragement, this approach often doesn’t work with more sensitive horses.
You’re basically adding more pressure in a situation where your horse is already feeling too much pressure. As a result, your horse will build up even more tension.
I often try to explain the situation by comparing it with having a large spider on the wall. If you’re afraid of spiders and someone tries to push you towards the spider, you will only try to get away even more.
It’s the same with our horses.
There are also two other mistakes we often make, which you can read about in the blog: ‘3 mistakes we make when there’s a scary corner’.
I also explain why you don’t want to force or push your horse towards the scary corner in this video with my young horse Don: