Time Period~ Largely irrelevant. Middle of nowhere is middle of nowhere. It's a fantasy world with Medieval-ish level of tech, just to keep modern answers from appearing in the list.
Search Terms Used~ Spooking horses; Spook horse forest; What spooks a horse? Riding rainforest/jungle. All these gave me very generic answers, like beware of snakes, and I'm really not sure how to narrow the pool there.
Backstory~ I previously asked a question about the same bunch of horses a few months back. Basically, we've got about a dozen war horses with experienced warrior riders, a placid draught horse with a rider of about two months experience now, and three pampered pompous and potentially skittish greys that they nicked from the local stables in a rush to escape roughly two weeks prior to where we are now. These three are handled respectively by one of the experienced warriors, a former warrior who's been imprisoned for the better part of two decades until the said rushed escape, and a 12-year-old princess more pampered than the horse. The former warrior is looking after hers while the princess rides it and saves her poor pampered feet.
Question~ Focussing on the warrior on the pampered, flitty creature. I have one of the other warriors I want to have look untrustworthy, and one idea I've had is to have him somehow spook that particular horse, which then runs off and breaks its ankle or something. It has to be that specific horse, though, and none of the others, which is what makes it tricky. So! Using the full arsenal of the Sumatran-ish rainforest, how do I spook this one horse so it looks like the other warrior is sabotaging things? It can be an accidental or a deliberate act, I can work with either.
Extra~ Beyond trip hazards, what else should I be thinking about with these beasts? Is it realistic to feed them mangoes and bananas and whatever other tropical fruit I can grab? (they left in a rush, no time to grab bags of oats for a three-week trek.) Would the humidity and daily storms have an effect, given these horses have all been in the environment for a minimum of two months (all their lives in the case of the three pampered greys) at this stage?
Thanks all! Sorry the question got so long.