Well, here's the deal.
I got him after he had been down for a few months. His last race was April 2010, I got him at the very end of August 2010.
We took everything slow, and like I said, under saddle, I never have problems with him. By Summer 2012, we were schooling 2'9 to 3'3 and showing 2'3/2'6. He was the perfect jumper.
It's his ground issues that make the problem. He has always been cross tied, so he usually stands pretty well in the barn, I've had maybe two problems with barn cross ties since I've had him. It's just the wash stall. When I hose him outside, just holding him, he spins around me and makes it difficult to keep still.
Also, his stall makes no difference. The farrier tried everything, stall, barn, outside, chute, etc. He didn't care. He didn't want those shoes. That's why resorting to the sedatives.
As for his past, his owner didn't tell me much. She told me he was a bit hot, but every time I emailed her with questions about his problem, I didn't get much of an answer. She's had him since he was born, she bred him. So I'm not sure if she's covering something up or what.
I love him to death, but I just wish I could settle this whole freak out issue with EVERYTHING. One of you asked, and yeah, it pretty much comes out of no where. Last night, he reared up in his stall and fell to the ground, all over a tube of wormer. I tried showing it to him, etc. He would spin around his stall unless I had a lead rope on him, then he would just start to rear if I tried to come close to his face with it. Yet, if I put the wormer tube down and picked up treats or even just went toward his face with my bare hand, he was fine.
Edited to add:
Also for the "time off" you all have suggested, I am currently going to school in Florida and he is in Maryland. He hasn't been ridden since August. The only time he is brought out of the field is to eat, or get his feet done. My mom and boyfriend go out occasionally just to pet him and feed him treats, but other than that, he's had the last 4 months to be a horse.
Hmmmm since I've worked in the racing industry (majority of my horse career) I can offer some advice.
There's a whole pile of things going on here. It's a combination of:
Breeding - (let's face it, racehorses are bred for speed, not nice personalities!)
Handling - on your part, the previous owners part and at the track - either poor or not firm and consistent enough
History - the nature of his life, the routine, the feed, the high energy
You need to change what you can change, you cannot change his histroy and you cannot change what has been genetically given to him.
I would give this horse a spell, as you are doing. I would also re-enter my approach to this horse with a plan. A consistent straight forward routine. Lots and lots and lots of groundwork.
And my biggest piece of advice, is to soothe this horse into submission (not coddling, not treats) a low ho-hum voice, gentle gentle handling.....that is how I dealt with the explosive horses at the track. One thing at a time, low soothing voice.
He sounds very fearful, but he also sounds as though he has been in charge for a while.
This may or may not be feasible, but if I were you, to get to understand the nature of this horses previous life and to gain some skills in handling these types of horses in an everyday environment I would get a part time job at the track in Florida for a time to really see what goes on.
The handlers at the track learn to deal with these horses in a relaxed way, you get so used to them jigging and jogging and stuff that you can just take it in stride - its not considered bad manners (unless they're trampling you!) it's just the nature of the industry, when I started at the track I had for the most part walk horses (and ride some) back and forth to the track all morning, in any weather, walking two at a time or riding one and ponying two for about 2 kms there and 2 home. There were plenty of explosions, horses running away, getting dragged, stepped on etc.....These horses aren't routinely beaten, that is a myth. They are treated like athletes. If a handler has beaten a horse, mistreated a horse in anyway they are either fired or reprimanded in a big way....atleast where I come from.