Thank you for the great post. My Nibbles was raised and trained by an excellent horseman. She is well behaved, calm and willing to do anything asked of her. I don't think she has ever been hit in anger. Chief, on the other hand, from what we have found out, had been owned and ridden by little girl and had been a great horse. When she lost interest he was sold to a lady who tried to make him into a barrel horse. When he wasn't fast enough or would hit a barrel or wouldn't turn right, he was roughly handled and whipped. By the time we got him he was a mess. He is very sweet, but evertime you'd raise your hands (while riding or on the ground) he would freak. Just picking up the reins would cause him to try to bolt. If you asked him to do anything at all he would either freeze and tremble or try to bolt. We really thought we had made a mistake. Gradually, however, he has come around. He wasn't with his last owner long, and I think he is reverting back to his old self. He listens and we are praising him when he tries. At this point we aren't asking anything really hard, but we make sure he is successful on what we do ask him. The bolting and freezing has completely stopped, but he will never have the calm "whatever" attitude Nibbles has, and it makes me so angry with the lady who did that to him. He tries SO hard to please and be a good boy, but even though he doesn't act up, you can tell he starts to worry when we ask something new. It sometimes makes me want to cry when I see that worried look in his eyes.