Since my last update on Prince, he's had several more training sessions and I've had two more lessons on him as part of his training.
He continues to live in his little pasture with his buddy Boone. We had a real treat over the weekend. We were off the hill and swung by to say hi and give Prince a little attention. We were surprised to find him and Boone in a full out play session. Galloping around, rearing, bucking, and play fighting. And when I say full out - I really mean it. We watched for a while not wanting to disturb them (I'd say a good 15 minutes). I then tried to get some on film, but as soon as I got out of the truck they stopped and decided it was more interesting to drink from the mini-lake in their pasture (it's been pretty rainy and snowy bringing the water table way up). Here's a little video of them - Prince is the one chasing and they slowed down as soon as I opened the truck door.
Prince is getting much more balanced and consistent with his flying lead changes with the trainer. As for me, I'm still floundering trying to keep my aids clear and consistent. But he is much more balanced, less spooky, and listening to me so much better than he ever has. We actually had a couple of relatively clean flying lead changes at our last lesson together.
But even more than that I had a good talk with the trainer about his prognosis as far as being a suitable mount for my daughter. She believes he will be and gave me some suggestions to test him later in the spring. It's looking like he just might work for both me and her - something I was worrying about for the last year.
And Prince initiated his first show of affection when I was grooming him after our last lesson. He's always been a little aloof, not unfriendly, but not super affectionate either. I was brushing his face and rubbing the sweat marks when he lifted his nose and touched my face so I could give him a kiss on the tip of his nose. I was quite touched as this is "out of character" for him, but maybe it isn't as out of character as I had previously thought. I'm thinking the lessons and training are growing a stronger bond between us.