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Horse Behavior and Training

Spookiness due to guns in night

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I exercise a friend’s horse on a fairly regular basis. He used to be excellent at the back of his field, where the round pen is set up. Lately, he has become quite spooky in that area. His owner has told me that there are neighbors (or someone) firing what sounds like machine guns somewhere beyond the fence line. This happened in the middle of the night last night. Knowing that info, I decided to do some Dually work in that area this afternoon. He did well with that. Then, I long lined him, asking for circles to get him thinking about forward motion (he can be stubborn at times). Then, I long lined him into the ‘spooky corner.’ As expected, he was quite jumpy as we walked around the outside of the round pen (I know I was in his blind spot at that point, but I kept talking to him so he’d know he wasn’t alone). He was especially jumpy on the left side of the pen (where I used to pick up a smooth canter while riding before). I finished with a little more Dually work in that area, which went very well. I’m planning to do some tarp work once the round pen is usable again (the gate rusted apart so the owner is getting that fixed). Any other suggestions? I’d love to ask the neighbors to stop being so inconsiderate, but I have no idea who they are since I don’t live there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! It just doesn’t seem safe for people to be shooting guns that close to a horse property... but for now I guess I have to deal with the consequences and I obviously want to do it in a non-violent way.