- We didn't really have to track him down - all the horses (and the bull) will come right up for 'treats' (OMG, they were giving them white bread!) but the minute you tried to touch M&Ms neck or shoulder with a rope in your hand, he would dance away. And the owners just don't do much more than give them treats and pet them. I first caught the older mustang mare - who had a huge club in her tail - and held her so T could cut the mat out. Then I walked up to the QH mare (I want her!!) that M&M adores, got her haltered, and had Kyle lead her out so I could trap M&M in the barn aisle. To his credit, once he realized he couldn't just dance off, he stood still for me to halter him.
- If Dewey and M&M were harness trained, I'd keep them as a matched set of carriage horses! The only real difference is that M&Ms mane is mostly black and his tail is mostly white (and both desperately in need of conditioner!).
After feeding, worming, some grooming (too cold for a bath, so his white isn't white) and some basic groundwork tests to see what he knows, I decided to see how he'd behave with a saddle and bridle. He stood ground tied and patient for the saddling process.
Finding a saddle that fit was a bit of a trick. He has no spine and minimal withers (a back that begs for bareback). I tried my endurance saddle first (center-fire rigged) - but it slid to the side as I tried to mount. My barrel saddle stayed on for mounting - so I rode in that - but it slid a bit to the side as I rode (girth wasn't very tight and I tend to ride slightly right leg heavy) so I kept having to shift it back to center. I think I may have to work him in my trooper.
I will say this, though: He hasn't forgotten much. Once I was in the saddle he was responsive and light, ears forward, and has a HUGE motor. I took him into the meadow just beyond my tree line and he really wanted to step out! I kept him mostly to a walk since I just wanted to see if there was any "silly" in him, but once or twice I let him step out just a bit. He's super smooth and it was obvious he had a lot more if I'd just let him. But that has to wait until his feet are done! Can't wait until his feet are done and I can see what his cruising speed is like!
He did get a bit looky at a pile of garbage (and old sofa and mattress), but only stopped and looked. When I asked him to move on, he took a few more steps and then stopped and looked again. Third time, he walked on but kept his eye on the scary thing. No spin, no spook, no attempt to get away. He trusts his rider.