|At our last Fun Show|
His prior owner (and our farrier), bought him as a trail horse for her now ex. When they broke it off, he turned into a lesson pony for their program but soon he was forgotten as new projects came in.
My trainer at the time (who is friends with said prior owner), knew I really wanted a horse, but didn't have the money to buy one "ready made" for an intermediate rider starting into eventing after 11 years of hunter/jumper.
He came with a price tag of $750. I was told he was a perfect gentleman, beginner friendly, he only started cantering last year, but has been all around to shows and on XC with a beginner, and when I went to see him he seemed everything I had wanted. He was skinny, but not unhealthy and had been in the pasture for 6 months. He was perfect loading into the trailer and I was ecstatic the day we arrived at my friend's barn.
Barn #1: Group turnout 24/7 with two feeding times. Lead mare hated him, and they kept fighting for leadership. He was a bit food defensive and so ended up needing to be fed in his stall. After a month the BO said she can't handle him not getting along with the others and we would need to find another place or board would increase.
Turns out he is terrified of clippers, and the hose. Also flinches with anything near the top of his head. However his ground manners are impeccable.
Barn #2: Another friend took us in while I searched for other places. She was a great help, he started putting on good weight but issues started showing up. He refused to be tied if something scared him and would fly into a panic (Broke 2 halters) so we swapped to just ground tying. Starts to gain weight and muscle and is looking good.
He is an angel under saddle, not spooky will go anywhere around the farm and even ride into the herd of calves they use for roping. Unfortunately he also figured out how to tell if the electric was off and would chase their pony.
Turns out he is terrified of his farrier (past owner) if his feet aren't messed with on a daily basis, actively avoids any sort of wormer by throwing you with his head, and terrified of any crops/whips. Also seems to dislike/does not trust anything that isn't part of his "routine"
Barn #3: Our current place and I can't be happier. He gets individualized turnout, the people there love him and his "quirks", and honestly he seems very happy. He's at a great weight, glossy coat and his mane/tail are growing back in and are gaining in quality as well.
He is terrified of a lot of things, but it seems to be a confidence issue. We are with a new trainer and he and I are making leaps and bounds in trust though he is still lacking in a lot of confidence. He now hides behind me if he is scared (though I wish he would be braver), but is extremely athletic and gives me 110%.
We're at 6 months of ownership now. He still doesn't tie, but his ground tying is excellent and we've been to a fun show and a paper chase. Both he was amazing at. Clippers and hoses are going to be tackled next summer, his prior owner says he looks amazing and wonders how I can keep his weight so well (he gets a mini scoop of feed ration with some flaxseed oils and grass/hay 24/7).
About me? I've been riding 12 years, all lesson horses and this is my first. He was supposed to be an easy keeper "project" that has turned into a massive undertaking. However I wouldn't sell him for the world.