Sometimes it is easy to forget how far the big boy has come when he is wiggling around, stepping on my feet, and trying to steal my stuff. Then, I remember our first walks from the old stable up to Bre's barn. Every spook was in my direction, my feet were smooshed every third step, when asked to move from pressure he often stomped in disgust or reared. He wanted to grab the lead rope out of my hand constantly and would headbutt me if I didn't share it with him.
These days he only steals my stuff when he is bored. If he needs to spook it is away from me 90% of the time. He is willing to step out of my space easily and doesn't throw tatrums when I ask. He very rarely steps on my feet these days. He stands tied without too much wiggling and usually his only protest is the occasional stomp. I am still keep my guard up but he isn't half as nippy. He seems to be getting the concept that humans can be sniffed and nuzzled but not bitten.
We've been working on trotting in hand quite a bit. He used to get so excited when I ran next to him that he would leap, paw at me, and dance sideways. The last two days I went out he just trotted along next to me like a good boy.
Currently we are working on my putting my foot in the stirrup and jumping up and down. I've been trying to poke him in the side some so I don't have to be perfect when I mount. He stands pretty dang still for a horse who doubles as a perpetual motion machine.
And through it all he is just so personable. He loves people, he eats up getting brushed and petted. He isn't perfect by any means. He can't seem to get to understand that when he whips his head around to look at the Llamas (or birds, dogs, other horses...) that my head is the exact same level. I currently have a bump on my forehead to show for it. But, he is tries so hard and I feel privileged to watch him grow up.