Am just getting stuck into the new boy now. Was very wary of what an 8 yo, 17hh ex point to point TB who hadn't been ridden in a year and a half would turn out like, but I liked him so much as a character when I was working with him (I got him from the animal welfare centre where I work, he had never been abused but was part of a transport law case that took that long to get to court) that I thought it was worth the risk.
Turns out someone has trained that horse very well! Put him on the lunge and he actually knows how to engage and move in an outline, know obv a bit out of practice. When I got on him, he stood so relaxed without batting an eyelid, and he has been good as gold in walk and trot in the school. I took him out a hack today, and despite kamikaze pheasants, a heron, two deer and the opportunity of crossing open fields he was good as gold. I really think looking at his paces and his willing, relaxed attitude he may well make a dressage horse, even if he never makes it as the eventer I want him for.
So yeah, lots to work on, but I think I'm going to wait before I start schooling him til he has shoes on - farrier's coming next week. So until then lunging in side reins, and after that we can get going!