It's been a couple months since Sammy came back home. I picked him up June 10th from the lady I sold him to about a year before. She couldn't afford him anymore and it showed. To keep a long story short. He's on free choice, 24hour turn out with my girls, as much hay as he wants, pulled his shoes after he went three feet lame because of the crap job farrier work and after 3 months home he's finally sound and healthy enough to ride again.
On top of bringing him home underweight he was claustrophobic after living inside a stall for 3 months with 8 days out a month from my understanding, turned out alone which made him pace and he dropped pounds so he was no longer turned out, and she poured all the wrong feeds into him. I feel terrible that I let that happen and that he went to someone that turned out to be the wrong person. Since I own my own place and no longer board I can afford him plenty this time around. I'm thrilled to have him back and he's just as connected to me now if not more than he was before.
I'm not trying to blame her. I just don't think she truly knew what she was getting into no matter how hard I stressed what a huge commitment he is, specialty hoof care, health, weight...He's a big job. Easy when done right but he'll break your bank if you let him slip.
I took him out yesterday for a catch up shoot and jumped on him bareback and bridleless. He remembered his tapping cues (two finger taps for canter, one for trot), he stayed under me, lifted in his corners...he was amazing. We played tag which used to be his favorite game and he got snuggles, ear rubs and a hose down.
Thank you everybody!
Let me see if I can answer all the questions.
Height: Before I sold him he was measured 8'7 from tip of the ear to point of the hoof when perfectly squared. He's 19h even at the withers.
As for my place, yes that is my finished arena! It's not as big as it looks but it brings in a lot of natural light which is something I've always wanted. It's 120 x60 feet which he's never done well with but he did great!
Here's some of the information I posted on facebook explaining our bond just so I don't have to retype and hope I have everything in order.
He has the characteristics of an autistic child so when I bought him the first time around I taught him games to keep his mind focused, used different training methods, developed vocals with him and trained him for riding. When he has something to do that he can look forwards to and something that is planned out he does great! He remembered his games (tag was his favorite one), he remembered his bareback cues since his transitions will castrate an unprepared rider if he does them without warning, he listened to my leg and played with the camera man.
Without his games Sammy is usually completely lost especially if he's used to working. He prefers doing something instead of doing nothing. He likes being out with the girls and transitioning into something new he gets nervous but he grasps things extremely fast and tries very hard. I talk to him constantly especially when I'm riding. Usually if I stop talking he'll stop moving. I've been told it's because his mental connections are so underdeveloped when I stop talking he thinks I've all of a sudden disappeared and it makes him nervous. If I'm on the ground he'll put his head against me or in my arms for constant reassurance.
For those of you that are into the energy balancing and earths connection and what not here's a fun tidbit. Usually people ground to their horses. It's a natural connection between the animal and human bond. People that seem to have an issue with grounding naturally tend to be more in tune with animals whether they know it or not because the animals help ground their people. Sammy uses me to ground. I recently had a lady out to clear my new property and make it new for me to make it my own and she watched me work with Sammy. She said there was almost a white cord of light between us and Sammy was drawn to my center. He's a scatter brain nervous mess until he has security and he seems to find that with me. I thought that was pretty awesome.