I feel like my horse, Major and I are finally starting to develop a true bond. I have loved Major with all of my heart the whole time I have had him. He, however, has always been very mistrusting and standoffish. I have had so many issues with him...I couldn't catch him, when I did have him caught he would bolt very easily, when I tried to ride he would not let me mount or dismount without bolting ( I literally had to have 2 people hold him to get on or off). Well, I ended up sending him to a trainer for 30 days and she got him to the point that I could mount and dismount (once you are in the saddle he is fine). Well, she did a terrific job with the training, but said because of an abusive past it would take a lot of work to get him truly trusting on the ground (he is way more nervous on the ground than in the saddle). So after that I started spending around four hours a day or more with him...riding for a few minutes and the rest of the time spent brushing him, petting him and hand grazing. Well, a couple of days ago, he saw a big horse eating tractor at the barn, but instead of bolting away from me he ran up to me to get closer!!!!!! I was so excited! Today, I had him tied to the hitching rail after I rode him and pulled up a chair and sat next to him. While I was sitting there...he lowered his head and closed his eyes while I was scratching his face, licked my hand, smelled my jeans and face, mouthed my hand and my hair. It felt like it was just me and him in his world. Their were kids and a dog running all around, but he was focused on me. I don't know that much about horses, so I can't be sure that letting him do that was a good thing or even if he was doing it out of affection....but, it just felt like it was very gentle and loving and a true sign of very real trust. I'm sorry for writing a book and I know this is kind of a pointless post...but I know that there are people here who really understand how I feel and so I wanted to share it. I am just gushing lol...silly me.