I had a consultation with a trainer Saturday and she was amazing! I'm going to have her come train Sherwin (new name to be determined LOL) and me twice a week until I feel more comfortable handling him and then we'll drop down to once a week and riding lessons.
It felt so good to have yet another person tell me that he's a GOOD horse and that he will be everything I'd hoped with proper conditioning. (For anyone not familiar with the saga, a vet told me to return him, auction him or use him only for pony rides).
Anyway, this leads me to something I'm wondering. The vet that didn't like him criticized me for giving him a treat out of my hand. I have some MannaPro little biscuit thingies in peppermint, carrot and apple. He used to love, love them but now he's just "meh" about them and prefers carrots and apples (which I slice or break into chunks because of his teeth).
But...anyhow...she said I should never feed a treat out of my hand and that I shouldn't treat at all really. At the time he'd just endured a looooong speculum exam of his mouth and he's been genuinely frightened, so once he settled down after his ordeal (he was really acting like she'd stolen his dignity LOL) I gave him the treat.
Would be interested in hearing how and when it's "appropriate" to give treats. I often give him carrots or apples "just because." I never would do it in a way that would enforce bad behavior.