I'm really looking forward to riding him--he's supposed to gait like nobody's business. I almost just threw a saddle on him today, but I decided I should stick with going through my groundwork routine instead, just to give us a chance to get acquainted before I climbed on.
As expected, he did really well. In about an hour, I was able to run through a series of sensitizing and desensitizing exercises that typically take me several days to teach a new horse. He didn't really like the string toss at first and it was pretty clear no one had ever spanked the ground with a stick and string around him, but it didn't take him that long to realize he just needed to stand still.
He wasn't fully relaxed yet about it, but I don't think it will take long, especially if it's not so windy. We were having strong winds with 40 mph gusts while I was playing with him. For his first day at a new place, with a new handler and crazy winds...this horse was stellar!