Sinatra has never spooked with me before - beyond the occasional jump or freeze which is very non-dramatic. He's never spooked like Rolls and reared and twirled around or tried to run away. But he had a huge spook today that sent him jumping, rearing and twirling to run away. What gigantic thing spooked him, you ask? An M-80 set off right behind his butt? Lightening striking a tree next to him? A forest fire or giant black bear? No - a little spray of water coming out of the connection between the faucet and hose where it was leaking a little.
Poor little guy was just a mess after that! We had been walking out to the back pastures to see if there was one for him to be turned out in. But all the other horses had gone back in so we were going to pass where the owner was digging a drainage ditch and I was going to put him in the front pasture next to Trainer V.'s horse. The owner saw me walk by and must've remembered that he said he'd turn Sinatra out but had forgotten because he was so involved with the drainage ditch project. He walked up and say, "Oh, let me take him for you," but right when he walked up to Sinatra, Sinatra saw the spray out of the corner of his eye as we were walking toward it and freaked out. The poor owner thought it was his fault and was feeling really bad. I guess I've gotten a lot more confident and feeling safe with Sinatra because *I* didn't freak out. I loosened my hold on the lead rope, and the owner instinctually grabbed on tight which made Sinatra pull back and look like he was going to rear and I calmly said, "Let go ... just let go ..." so the owner let go and Sinatra slowly calmed down. I was very relieved that it didn't scare me! I'm starting to understand Sinatra and know what helps him calm down or to start listening to me.
Then we walked through the other barn (we really do call it "the other barn") where the other trainers keep their horses and Sinatra decided he was scared of the wash bucket in the middle of the aisle and scared of the bucket of waste on the other side. He had quite a time coming down from his spook and getting back to his normal, steady self. But he was happy to get out in the pasture next to Gabriel who is the same age as him. Gabriel showed his happiness by galloping in circles and bucking while Sinatra just stood by and looked amused.