Thanks for all the help guys! I tried a lot if the suggested things and more.
1. 24/7 turnout started Thrusday. So far so good, feeding him outside, pulling boots off after initial wahoo moments which have gone from panic/bolt/weave against the fence to "Oh boy! Now where is my dinner.."
2. Started him on Smart Digest on Wednesday for various reasons. Could be helping.
3. Borrowed a brow band magnet from a friend. I have seen these do wonders for horses that weave. Thought I would give it a try for this. Put it on about an hour before turn out and he only slowly canter a small loop that day. I did remove it with his halter when I pull his boots after about 15 min out. I will note that he schooled xc the same day, but he is an ottb and tired is usually not in the vocabulary.
I plan on keeping him out as much as possible unless/until it gets really hot. Need to invest in some fly gear! You guys rock thanks for all the suggestions!
I haven't read all the posts but have been there...several times.
Turn out in good fleece lined boots like Heidi boots helps with the rubs...you need to keep them clean.
Work him first...be fore turn out. Get the edge off him and a little tired. Every time. Initially, for turning out, have the handler walk the field with him and hand graze him a little, then after they take off the halter or unclip him...stay there. If this doesn't help...then you do have to just not watch but you can not have any one around him at all that is anxious about it.
Try a non-equine buddy. My problem horses go out with two sheep. Sheep are low maintenance, and will not hurt the horses...but the horses seem to like having them there without getting too attached. Goats or small ponies are also an option.
I hope the 24/7 turnout helps!
My guy is a hot TB - hot as in extremely high energy, but he's not really a nervous/scared type at all. The typical boarding situation here has horses in 12x24 pens with zero turnout. While my horse was boarded I turned him out in an empty arena daily, and he would run like he had a swarm of bees after his sensitive butt. I calculated he was running between 10 and 15 miles a week when I turned him out, on top of his 6 hours under saddle. I actually stopped booting his hind legs because he was doing huge sliding stops, and at 16.3hh and leggy TB, I didn't want himself destroying his hocks. It only took a couple dirt burns on his fetlocks for him to stop doing that to himself...
We built a place with a stall which has an acre attached so he could run any time he felt like it, and instead of frantic running until he burns out his excess energy he gets where he wants by galloping and lets out the energy in small bursts instead of trying to run it all out at once. He still has bursts where he convinces a neighbor to race him or where he wants to show off for one of the girls if they're in heat, but overall it made a huge difference for him and almost entirely eliminated the crazy runs.
It's *extremely* hard to watch your horse run like that. Other people will comment how beautiful it is or sometihng, and you just want to grab the bubble wrap! I think you made the right choice going for full turnout, though, and hope it works out well for you!