I have a Warmblood who came to me with anxiety and what I would call, ‘horsey anger issues’ and was very spooky and hot. He is prone to ulcers and nerve induced complications. Coincidentally, he is also injured right now. When I first got him, he spooked on the ground A TON! He had been handled roughly and was used to being shanked on the nose with a lead chain when he spooked. This resulted in him being afraid of facial pressure and when he spooked he would then go “OMG I SPOOKED!” and run from what he thought would be pain dragging me all over and causing him to freak more because of the added pressure from his halter. I had to develop the tactic of when he spooked I went with it. So when he jumped and started to run away I would calmly move with him to prevent him from coming against pressure and talk quietly and soothingly to calm him down. He eventually learned he wouldn’t be punished for spooking and trusted me enough that when I said something wasn’t that scary he believed me. Try to find out what is bothering your horse and create your own tactic like this.
Because he is injured just take it slow and easy and try to avoid situations where he could hurt himself. If you sense him getting nervous just stop. Like freeze where you are and talk to him and rub his favorite petting spot until he calms down and then continue slowly with one hand on his neck to make him feel safe. Physical contact is the horses natural comfort. When wild horses are nervous the touch each other and young foals are almost always in contact with their mother because it makes them feel safe. Also, don’t hold his lead too tight with the other hand because he can feel the tension through the rope and will get more amped. A calm firmness should do fine and can be tightened if necessary.
-Hope this helps, good luck!
The triple threat of riding = EVENTING! 😉