I've enjoyed reading this thread. Love that you are working towards a lifetime partnership with this horse.
The saying "Rome wasn't built in a day" is a favorite around my house. I took my time with Walka and it has paid off. It is very gratifying to see that trust build up with a horse. No matter what has come our way, he is a very curious guy and looks to me to determine if we are okay or not. Love that!
This past summer I took him out alone (normally I ride him with other horses on the trail) waiting on my trail for the riding club to show up. He was a little nervous out alone, but I worked him on a section of trail and kept him busy and he was fine. When the others showed up, I had him at the road end of the trail waiting. Oh my he was so excited seeing 20+ horses coming! But, he did his job leading the group and was a gentleman all the way. Yup, I was a proud MaMa!
I still consider him a bit green (more celery green if you will), but I believe that is more to do with me than him. I haven't reached that level of trust and relaxation with Walka that I have with T. Just need more wet saddle blankets is all.
Just wanted to drop in and say keep up the good work.