It is absolutely important for a rider to transform leadership from the ground to saddle. It is rather easy to control the horse on the ground but in the case of an unconfident, sensitive and spooky horse, it is important for you to learn and understand important riding principles to preserve your own confidence before you finally decide to ride that horse.
Horses need effective leadership especially in the wild. If you are unable to provide necessary leadership to your horse, they will become independent and decide when to move, when to run or when to stay at their own. You also need to remember that everything is fine when conditions are calm and normal but your leadership will be checked at some stage or other. You need to observe some golden principles when your horse seems to be out of control, unconfident or unnerving.
First and foremost, you need to understand the feelings of your horse when he is behaving strangely. It is pertinent to note that unconfident and fearful horses are most likely to spook, overreact or speed up when they should not. Therefore, it is not a good idea to pull up two reins simultaneously because it will make horse feel trapped, further worsening the situation. You must think from the perspective of your horse. You should try to help it shed its fear instead of blaming it for its actions which are totally uncalled for.
When you bend head of the horse around hindquarters, you are releasing the power from this very important position. On the other hand, you will add power to the actions of the horse, whether positive or negative, by pulling the two reins as it practically engages the hindquarters. As a result, you can lose your balance, the horse can spook and it gets progressively worse. What you need to do is to allow its feet move in a tiny circle which will also dissipate the panic built earlier by pulling the two reins. Of course, the best way to do is to pull the one rein at a time.
One reign position you can use to stop horse’s feet when the horse is ready to stop is lateral flexion. It is a neutral rein position which prevents the horse from galloping on instead of stopping abruptly. The horse will stop once you hare have managed to calm down its emotions. The Indirect Rein performs the same function in this position, front feet will vertically pivot while the hind feet are still moving. What you need to remember is that both positions give enough time to horse to anticipate what is going to happen next.
It is never easy to train or ride a spooky or unconfident horse. You have to care for feelings of your horse instead of pursuing your own goals. Therefore, it is better to take help of a professional trainer or riding club to train your horse or learn the tricks of the game yourself. Professional trainers normally have years of experience in dealing with spooky and fearful horses and they are in better position to help you in this regard.