QHDragon: Artakez was one of the horses in the original post =). I like him too. The friend I have who went to the track recently said that he was very sweet and jogged nicely when she saw him.
BlueSpark: I am prepared to give a new horse however much time it needs to adjust. My old barn had several fresh OTTBs over the course of the years I spent there, and my trainer now has a couple in her training. I don't think any of them took 6 months, but there was definitely a transitionary period. I'm sure it just depends on the horse :)
Elana: Wow, you are good at this! He DOES do that click-y thing at the trot, only on occasion. And by occasion I mean once every other week or something like that - it is not severe enough for me to put bell boots on when I ride or anything. He used to have a SEVERE tripping problem when he was younger too. Thankfully that has gone away with more training and as he built up more muscle. Oh yes, saddle fitting is so "fun"
. I tried on every jumping saddle at my barn and NONE of them fit 100% correctly due to his withers. When I use a riser pad in the front, the saddle I have works, thankfully.
As far as the farrier goes - this picture was taken when I first moved him down there and switched over to a different farrier. My trainer pointed that out too.
He does pick up his knees much nicer over oxers and solid XC jumps. I think another problem with his knees is that he was used as a low level lesson horse on and off for about 8 years. He jumped a LOT of x rails during that time and I think that somewhat contributed to sloppy form. I agree - I should be giving more by opening up the angle of my elbow.