Well I have had this boy for two weeks now and have really enjoyed playing with him. He arrived with a sore back and has been getting a massage every day. It is interesting to see how each day reveals a different area of soreness or tension. I think that as I have unwound the worst of the muscle soreness then the underlying aches and pains are coming to the surface. He is far more comfortable and happier to be around new people then when he arrived. He was initially snorting at new people and wary but now seems to be OK when new people come over and give him a smooch. I have had as many people as I can bribe come over and give him pats and cuddles and he is being loved to death. He is enjoying being paddocked with Latte and snoozes beside him in their sand wallow in the mornings. Edward gets to join them for half hour or so before being shut into teh Jenny Craig paddocl. Oh I am a mean person. We got out the clippers to clip Mani's brand and got carried away lol. So now he is a patchy pony with a hairy saddle blanket until he sheds all of his winter coat. Dont know that i am going to post any photos until he is one smooth dude lol. However he started very wary of the clippers and ended standing quite nicely. I might go over him again to make it a nice neat job but he's not too bad really. Shandeh got on his back day before yesterday and I got on his back yesterday. He definately gets tense under the weight of a rider but is not sore at all. He feels like he is scared and waiting for the rider to explode on him so I am going to take things very very slow so he gets a chance to realise that all is good and nothing bad is going to happen. I have the professional massage guy coming out on the weekend as this is a really unusual horse. He walks, ambles, trots, paces and canters. So I just want to make sure there is no pain hidden anywhere that I am not picking up and work it out for him. He is SO sensitive to leg aides. I dont have to touch his side at all. Just thinking about the aide and feeling my muscles start to tense is enough for him to move away from the aide. So he is going to be a tricky ride as I need to make sure that I am not asking for anything if I get off balance at all. I am thinking that I really need to reduce the sensitivity a little but hope that simply quiet riding may help him realise that I am not going to get stuck into him. I have him on Pali gold and some dolomite to try and reduce his sensitivity and am doing stuff with him every day. By gosh he walks fast, brings his legs through fast and also has a long stride. He has feet problems with hoof wall seperation but I am on top of that with the barefoot trimming. I am hoping that it wont be long before that is all sorted. He is gorgeous and very much enjoys his smooches although I dont think he is all that wrapt to have a saddle and me on his back but I am hoping that if we just do enough every day to get him relaxed at the walk he wont be too hassled.