One of the first things to do with any horse, young or old, is to make sure they are desensitized to various objects and situations you could encounter in the real world. The sooner you start with this training the better behaved and less spooky you horse will be.
Imagine you are on a trail and suddenly a bunny hops out from the bushes. Or you trail along the side of a country road or trails in the woods and a plastic bag flies by in the wind. Imagine having to cross a creek, tree stumps or a dip in the ground. Would you not want a horse that is desensitized and doesn’t spook at the site of unexpected and unfamiliar things?
So how to desensitize your horse and what to use? You start by exposing him to various objects and noises. It takes time. Some horses, like on of mine, will catch on very quickly. Others need a little more patience and time. Some horses are curious by nature and want to check things out rather than run from it. I have one of those. Either way, reinforcing this training once in a while even with a seasoned horse may be of great benefit.
Desensitizing your horse is a good idea not matter if you plan on taking him out and about or not. You are less likely to put yourself and your horse into a dangerous situation with some basic training. Watch how to do this in the the following video.