This type of situation is extremely frustrating and dangerous for equestrian trainers. Some people, like my mother, do not understand how easily a horse can be spooked. But before anyone even has a chance to become hysterical, make sure to lay out a few ground rules.
Before anyone purchases your services, make sure that you sit down with the client and explain basic horse safety. Even if the client has heard it all before, it is always important to refresh their memories. In addition to other safety features, explain to them that horses can spook easily and not to make sudden movements or loud sounds, especially if the horse is already spooked.
Unfortunately things happen and people become hysterical around horses, which causes them to spook. So it is important to learn how to deal with hysterical personalities in the ring.
1. Remain Calm: The most important thing to remember is to remain calm throughout the entire experience. Panicking will not help anyone in this situation. If you remain calm, you will be able to better focus on the task at hand, which leads to a speedy resolution.
2. Get Everyone To Safety: Make sure that no one is in harm's way and attempt to calm down the hysterical person. Explain to him or her that in order to safely calm down the horse everyone must be quiet. Do not yell at or blame them because this will often cause more hysteria.
3. Allow The Horse To Calm Down: Once everything quiets down, the horse should calm down as well and allow you to approach him. However, if the horse is still panicking, you may need to take further action. This would include speaking gently to the horse and walking slowly, but confidently toward him. You never want to force the horse to calm down because it would only spook him even more. Allow him to obey his instinct and provide him with comfort.
Sometimes people have to experience these things the hard way so make sure that you are prepared to deal with hysterical people (and horses) in the ring.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us.