DEAD PEOPLE! I think so at least. This could be the only possible explanation for his behavior today. Our arena is next to this ancient mare and her pasture. There's a small break in the trees and every horse freaks the first time they see her, or if she gets up next to the fence unexpectedly. Willie has seen her 102 times. He stopped and snorted and got over it the first time and it has not bothered him since. Today, she was no closer to the fence line than normal, but all of the sudden he noticed her, whipped sideways, stopped and stared. He was trembling and I could feel his heart thumping. All of the sudden, he rears, spins sideways and takes off. I stop him, turn around and face the offender. I cannot get him within 50 feet of that corner. I finally get about 20 feet away when he starts backing up like there was no tomorrow. He half rears, pivots, and scoots away. Again and again we repeat this process until I decided that getting myself killed wasn't going to do us any good. I got off of him and led him to the corner, couldn't get within 25 feet. Starts running backwards again. And again. And again. After about half an hour of standing there and calmly walking back and forth past her, he at least didn't run away. He definitely had his neck and body tensed. All I can think of was maybe she was wearing an invisible grim reaper cape, holding a scythe and also holding a sign that said, "Willie you're next!" What's funny is that he was awesome after that.