I realized yesterday, while riding Ashke, that I have lost my fear of what he might do. We are no longer warming up in the round pen, no longer walking around the arena on the lead line, nor am I feeling afraid of his reaction to being ridden. With the two exceptions early on, Ashke hasn't tried to throw me.
Yesterday, when he was bouncy and not wanting to relax and just trot, when he kept lifting his front feet off the ground wanting to canter, I just felt amused at his antics, not the scared, OMG-can-I-do-this rider that I was when we first starting working together. I have no idea when that changed.
Trust. It's a good thing. And I think it is mutual. Ashke seems happiest when I am working with him. I know I am happiest when I am working him. I don't worry about being kicked. The nipping doesn't scare me, I just have to be aware of his mood, because it happens more when he is stressed or not happy. And the bouncy horse action may just be him.
We will see how trailering him out to the energy-worker-reiki-vet works out tomorrow. I certainly hope he is not as stressed or scared as he was last time. Watch for photos, because I will be documenting it.