Sammy's progress journal
I figured I'd start one now just so I could keep things in order. (I'm going to leave Kevin and that whole bs situation out of this since he was never really a part of Sammy anyway)
I bought him May 16th and brought him home on May 25th.
Raggedy winter coat that refused to shed off, 1300lbs, no muscle tone, skittish, pushy, horrible feet, scared of anyone/thing behind him. Mentally unstable. Left front hoof cracked, possibly turned (luckily it's not), very long, he's unsteady, can't trot without a limp, shy...
After an hour long trip and 45 minutes of getting lost on the way we finally got back to my barn and unloaded him. Nervous and skittish Sammy stomped, slammed, kicked and tried his hardest to buck in in the trailer. I was terrified he'd was going to hurt himself but luckily with fingers crossed and a mixture of tripping stumbling and pulling, he made it out of the trailer without any scratches.
I walked him around and started immediately on teaching him to mind his space while my trainer opened his stall door and put fresh hay and water in. We walked him into the barn where Banker (friends horse) promply bit him on the butt and consequently got Sammy's back foot very close to his nose.
After a couple hours settling into his new stall I pulled him out, brushed him, and walked him around the property. Around 6pm after dinner I turned him out into the arena were he trotted around, snorted shavings up his nose, and rolled all over the place. He was a happy horsey.
For the next week I rode him around bareback after 30 minutes of lunging and working on his manners.
As for riding he was fine as long as his rider was confident. If his rider shows any nervousness or insecurity at all he's terrified and will stand there frozen in place shaking. He needs constant reassurance that he's ok. I email this to Holly (the lady I bought him from) and ask her to look into his past a little for me. She gets back to me with a number of things that point to mental and some physical abuse. He's had dogs let out after him which explains why he doesn't like dogs running up behind him. He was batted around in the face so he's slightly head shy and a number of other things. He was left to sit, bullied by everyone and all other animals and never was given a chance to mentally mature. He dropped weight and because of his mental state was deemed "******ed" and sold again and again and again....
June 11th, 2010
he gets his feet done couldn't get him settled enough to tackle the back feet. Front shoes take 3 hours to put on but after putting them on he tests them out in the arena and walks like a puppy with socks on for a good 15 minutes. He still has a limp for another 2 weeks before he starts to even himself out. He's permanently short on his left front from excessive hoof growth but so far it doesn't seem to bother him and with shoes the vet says he's completely sound.
The vet also gives him his first Chiropractic adjustment and I start on daily massages for the big boy. He's under saddle daily for 30-45 minutes and has had two other riders other than myself.
more to come...
June 25-26th 2010
He gets his first full show bath complete with conditioning, braiding, brushing, more grooming and standing while the whitening shampoo works it's magic. He's blanketed and put in his stall where he pitches a short hissy fit before being stuck on the cross-ties and figures out he'd rather be in his stall.
June 26th we load him up, get to the arena where he starts to back, slips out of the trailer, destroys his halter and runs behind a parked trailer where I slip a leadrope over his neck and lead him to a stall for him to calm down. He busted my lip in the process of falling out of the trailer so while he's resting I go to Urgent care for ice, tetnus shot and get my lip taped back together.
I take him in one afternoon class and he does just fine. He loads fine at the end of the day and unloads back home like a champ. Mental note: Never Rent from Dels in Woodinville.
We continue his under saddle training and I find a half lease on Sammy. A young girl who is willing to take lessons on him and ride him 3 times a week under supervision. She's experienced with horses, 13 years old and is a confident rider. Her mother and I split all his costs in half like board and vet and it really helps me out a lot. They're flexible with time so they're open to when I'm available to watch her ride.
Between July and August the vet comes out for other horses and observes Sammy. She says he shows similar characteristics of a child with mild autism or Aspergers and suggests I treat him as such. He's extremely smart and learns things very quickly. However if he isn't constantly directed and guided to show him what he needs to do, if one step is skipped he's scared, frozen and shuts down. He doesn't understand how to handle things on his own and is easily frustrated. She says he has come along leaps and bounds.
He also gets his second shoeing, shoes reset and his back feet filed down.
August 26th, 2010. Sammy has his first photoshoot.
He loads like a champ and unloads like a champ however he doesn't want to leave the horse he hauled with. He's never met Sunshower before this trip and had only been next to her for an hour. He has a hard time focusing and calming down when they are separated but eventually settles in under saddle and we get some amazing pictures.
Sammy on May 16th and now.
1-3 Sammy on May 16th (After he shed the left over coat you could count his ribs)
4-6 Sammy June 26th schooling show
7-9 Sammy August 26th at the photoshoot
OMG i just want to jumo right in the pics and hug him he is sssooooo beautiful!!! Congrats on such great work with him =)
Thank you! He still has a good stretch to go but he's getting there!
I found a picture of one of the first hugs Sammy ever let me really give him. He normally would yank his head away and this is the first time he let me give him a good hug without being pulled off the ground. It was sometime in june.
Rode Sammy bareback on 9-6-2010 for the second time since I got him. I had to put my trainers western pad on him and cinch it down but it was a fun ride. We did a slow trot that my back decided it didn't like later. Then we decided to canter and with a tight grip on a chunk of mane I kissed him into a nice forward canter. I realized it wasn't at all that bad and easy to sit so I brought him back to a trot and asked him to canter again this time without the death grip on his mane. I did just fine and he was a dream! I went to catch up with Riley who was riding in the outdoor ring and joined her. I trotted him around but decided it was more fun to canter so I did that for a while until Riley decided to head back to the barn. We took the long way and walked up to one of the upper barns before heading back to the lower barn. Sammy did great and listened perfectly! I plan to do it again sometime soon but my chiropractor has suggested I do monthly visits if I plan on trotting Sam bareback for more than a couple minutes. I wacked out a lower rib and some vertebrae apparently. I hope to get pictures soon.
He is beautiful and you're doing a stunning job with him ^^ Can't wait for more updates/pictures!
I get to ride him out in the back acres tonight and work on hills with him. I'm going to get pictures of bareback work in about a week I hope but just walk and canter I guess trotting him bareback isn't an option for a bit but the chiropractor said walk and canter is just fine since it's more of a rolling motion instead up bouncing and jarring
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He did great tonight! My trainer and I raced for fun and boy can Sammy move! Once he realized he wasn't being asked to collect he let loose and flew. It was so fun! He collected back up better than expected but we still need to work on that. It was great! He had a lot of fun and so did my trainer and I.
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