Well, I finally got some time (translation: I grew some kajones) tonight and got my butt on Mister. He was a whole lot less concerned about the whole thing then I was.
I decided that since it's been almost 8 months since he was last ridden that I would treat him as I would any other greenie and take everything slow and easy and just, basically, start over with him. I know he's had plenty of saddle time in the past, but I also know that he's been a bucker and had some issues. I really believe he's a good horse, but I think he gets frustrated easily. He's never tried to be horrible with me so I am hoping that continues. Really, really hoping.
I got him out, planning to just do some ground work with the saddle on him and see where his head was at. He is so fat and out of shape that he was puffing after just a couple laps trotting around the round pen, the bum. I got him on a long lead and did some more intensive ground work, so he was getting more exercise then I was trying to keep him going. He was so good. He's so soft and responsive and level headed when he understands what you're asking. I think he is a horse that you just have to be patient with and take baby steps and just not push him too fast. The boyfriend came out and worked with him a bit so I could observe and Mister was trying to comply, but he started fighting him after a bit. The BF was asking a lot of him rather quickly and was really getting after him for not doing it, which is usually fine, that's the way I work with Midori, but it just really didn't seem to work too well with Mister. Atleast not right now, when he is still very green and trying to figure things out. They went a couple rounds fighting each other and I told him to just get a good turn out of him and quit. I wanted him back. He fought me a little bit, but I spoke softly to him and encouraged him forward and he quickly figured out what I wanted and we got back in our groove. It was fascinating to watch that though. I'm pretty sure he really doesn't click with the boyfriend.
Anywho, we did some ground work and I smacked the saddle all over and flapped the stirrups and made sure he wasn't going to pull anything. He hardly even flinched. So I stepped up in the stirrup. Did the whole, greenie put some weight in the stirrup, see if he's going to explode thing. Again, hardly even flinched. So I got on. The BF walked us around for a bit and I patted and rubbed him all over. He could not have cared less. So it was a successful "first ride". I am happy with him. He even wanted to move off my legs when I tested that out. Wohoo! Hopefully things continue to go that well with him. Fingers crossed!
Hopefully the weather holds so I can continue to get some time on him. I know he'll be a solid horse very quickly, he just needs time. I'm excited to see how he comes along with me.