Yes, Toby is quite safe for me. He is very gentle at times, and at others can be a little stubborn. My trainer says that he doesn't have much respect, but we are working on that.
Cherie-'Blu' (that's just what we will call my trainer online) understands horse behavior quite well. No, she is not a Monty Roberts, but she also is not a "conventional" horse trainer by ANY means. I must stress the fact that it was NOT my trainer joining up with Toby, it was her son and possibly an older man (both the man and the son have the same name, so I'm always confused). So never fear-blu will save the day!! =D
Dustbunny-I'm not sure why they were joining up with him, actually. I know that Toby was owned by someone else for a while, than the owner died, and he came to live at the barn where we currently are. You must understand, I ride at a rescue place, where there is a sober house and they also do sessions of therapy with disabled children and addicts. They also rescue abused horses. Toby wasn't ever abused I don't think, he just was out of regular work for about a year before I started caring for him. Perhaps they were trying to get him back into work. Or perhaps they wanted to bond with him, as the older man really likes Toby.
Whatever the reason, don't worry, he is safe for me to handle, or else I wouldn't be allowed to. They sometimes put disabled kids on him and lead him around the arena. They wouldn't do that if he wasn't safe.
There is a video of Toby and this "little incident", but neither me nor blu have seen it. Maybe I will ask her to watch it and let me know and maybe see it. I get the impression that blu was not there when they were joining up, or trying at least.
Cherie-I just re-read your post-I think you hit it on the nose!! He was at the trainer's house, not the barn where he lives when that happened!!! Maybe that is what caused him to panic. He does spook sometimes, but has never bolted so is still rather safe.
Thanks for all the advice!!