lol, late, not early! I'm a night owl.
Mum had the first ride at home today, just in the round pen. Walk/trot, he was brilliant, no signs of bucking. He is petrified of the saddle, bridle, mounting block, actually mounting, dismounting... basically scared of everything until you're on, then is ok until you go to get off. But very responsive. Transitions on seat alone, don't have to touch his mouth.
Then, later, we went for a trail ride, intending to take him to a friend's place [bigger round pen] for canter work. Didn't get that far. MY GOD.... he is a great big coward! Terrified of everything. Jogs, flips his head [Mum is thinking about getting a tie-down and putting it on loose so it only comes into play if he head-flips], shies, threatens to rear [hasn't actually gone up... yet...].
Somehow I don't think he's ever going to be suitable for his beginner owner. He's too sensitive, and too "hot". He isn't even on anything that could possibly heat him up, just pasture and grass hay. This same heat that makes him totally unsuitable for beginners is what will make him a superb dressage horse with the right training and a good rider. The saying goes that riding a dressage test correctly and competitively is like riding an unexploded bomb and if you don't collect that energy and keep it together your bomb explodes.
The quiet ones like my middle-aged gelding are so much harder to get any pizzazz out of!
A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE