Some of you might have remembered seeing my posts here about getting a paint mare that I rescued in OR. Well unfortunately things didn't work out with getting her here but I found her a great home with a family in TX and she's doing great. After all of that happened I started to look for something else. I looked and looked and nothing fit right. I decided to go out and have a look at this 18-22 year old Belgian gelding who is supposed to be bombproof, road safe, used to carrying rank beginners and bigger people, children, etc. So we went to see him and everything was great, I liked him alot, he has a great calm puppy dog personality. I was late to get there because we got lost and the owner had to run to work so we only stayed a while, we even hung out a bit with him after she left. The next day she wanted to set up to trailer him to me, we set up everything that I would take him on a trail period of a 12 month free lease and then pay $1500 for him if I wanted to keep him. She was supposed to bring him 10 am two Sundays ago and we got up early, took care of everything and waited and waited. She never showed. I came in and checked my e-mail and sure enough there was an e-mail from her saying that she found out from her Ex husband (who's horse it technically is) that he cannot be kept alone ever or he colics. We're disappointed but completely understanding and wouldn't ever want to risk him getting sick just to have him here. We drop it and everything is fine. She tells us that if we were to get a goat or a pony or whatnot she thinks he would be fine. The only problem with that situation is that we only have one stall, a 14 X 14 converted garage on our farm. This is temporary until next Spring when we atcualy build two stalls in our big barn. So I let it go and started looking some more. My neighbor down the road is going to free lease her horses out for the winter because she is in financial trouble and has a pony who was used for lessons prior in his life, he's a 12 year old Welsh Gelding. My kids have ridden him before when I take them to visit. Just as I'm about to tell her that I'll take him because I'm more looking for a horse that I can give lessons on to my kids and young Newphews and Nieces than for me to ride, I get an e-mail from the Belgian lady telling me that she talked to a horse friend who is in his 70's and has had horses all his life and he doesn't think Dan (The Belgian) is going to colic from being alone. She said come to think of it that he'd been alone and been fine. She talks me into trying him out and giving me a tube of Banamine to give him if he ever starts to look off. I've had him for two days now. He seems to be perfectly fine being alone, he's not pacing, neighing excessively, his poop is great, he's eating, drinking, etc. My problem lies in that I'm wondering how long is normal for a horse to act different from a move, and at what point would I assume that he's not everything he was projected to be? This afternoon after grooming him out thoroughly and hand grazing him for awhile I decided to try lunging him to see what he knows. Now he's a big boy, 1900 pounds of horse, whom she claimed had been ridden by a 4 year old with very little help in his paddock. I have high expectations at this point. I put him on the lungeline and take up my lunge whip and start trying to move him around at a walk. Nothing. I flick my whip a little at the ground at his feet while telling him to Walk On and he takes off in a nervous trot. I tell him to Whoa and thankfully he does stop. I go to his head and give him a pat and try and show him that I want him to Walk. I go back to the center of my circle and try again. Again, nervous trotting with head tossed up in the air and he's pulling much to much to the outside, angling his rump diagnol away from me. I try telling him to drop to a Walk from the Trot and he did respond down to a walk for all of 15 seconds before going into the nervous trot again. This time, not wanting to end it badly I told him to slow to a walk and once he did a couple steps later I told him to Whoa. I then put him back on a regular halter and lead and just walked him for awhile. Wanting to further see how he was reacting, I had my husband go and grab my bareback pad, I wanted something light. I wasn't intending to try to mount him, I just wanted to see how he would react to being "tacked". Well it wasn't good. I let him sniff the pad as I walked towards him with it and he was fine, but as soon as I lifted it to drape it onto his back he swung his hindquarters away. I tried again and actually got it draped over his back and then he stomped his foot down really hard and tossed his head. It certainly wasn't the reaction I was looking for. And I never even buckled the girth. I let it sit on him while I led him around inside his paddock and when he was completely oblivious to it and grazing normally I removed it. So how much is just newness jitters and how much is lies? hmmmm. He also won't let me pick up his feet to pick them out. I have tried every way thinkable and he will not pick up his feet. When I asked her about that she said that only her Ex and her Blacksmith (both men) seemed to be able to do it. So I had my husband try, and he still won't pick up his feet. To me that's a major thing, you need to be able to clean your horses hooves out. Now, keep in mind that this horse is supposed to be for me to ride but mainly for me to give lessons on. I'm suddenly very nervous about whether this guy is going to work out. Luckily I haven't put any money into him yet, just trying him and she's told me she'll come back and get him if it doesn't work. What do all you horse people think?