Chance let me hang a small rope around his neck earlier this week. Yesterday and today, he let me scratch his belly. That's the one place a horse can't get to.
I can rub his back, his sides. He lets me pick up his front feet. That's essential for the farrier to trim/shoe them.
My goal is to have him accepting a halter and lead rope by the time Mallory foals. She's due around June 8. When the vet comes to check the foal, he can examine Chance and give him his shots.
I showed Chance's photo to a fellow horsewoman. She has raised sevens foals from birth. She believes his straight spine indicates that he's young. If so, perhaps his skittishness is because he was never really handled. In person, however, his spine doesn't always look so straight. The vet can tell more by looking at his teeth.
He still won't let me approach him outright. He walks away, stops, turns, snorts, looks back at me. Or looks sideways. Then, if I have his food, he approaches cautiously to within a few feet. With outstretched hand, I walk up to him. I pet him. I talk softly to him. I try not to make any sudden moves that might scare him.
I wonder how someone got him into a trailer to haul him to my neighbor's farm. That scenario makes me shudder.
He's fattening up. His hip bones are less prominent. You can still see his ribs, but not so much as when I got him. He's quite handsome, too.
Will he make a good trail horse?
Time, and a good trainer, will tell.