Drifter's an interesting personality. He's not particularly dominant, but is very used to getting his own way - I'd describe him as a spoiled horse, but not in the sense that he wants to rule the roost, more in the sense that he's so used to calling the shots that he's doubtful anyone else should and is cautious about giving his trust. He likes people when they feed him treats and let him do what he wants, but when you ask him to do something he doesn't really want to do - lunge longer than he'd prefer, walk a pattern longer than he'd like or hold up a foot to pick when he's distracted, he's apt to have a little temper tantrum. I expect that mostly got him what he wanted, and he's got a short attention span at this point, so that's why he does it. That's pretty much what I mean when I refer to him as acting like a baby - this is stuff baby horses do and he's almost 10. I think with a little guidance he'll get past this stuff fairly easily.
He really needs to get out into the herd - he needs the discipline of the horse herd to give him his footing - he's been isolated for over three weeks now and it's hard on him. I'm going to talk to our vet tomorrow and see if she'll give us the all clear to turn him out. This will help him mentally - horses need other horses in a herd - although I expect he will become temporarily somewhat herd-bound - we'll deal with that as it arises and it won't last.
Today, when it was so windy, he had some big spooks while we were leading - a couple of times he came uncomfortably close to running into me although he didn't, which I give him credit for. When he's worried, he tends to want to be close, which is the exact time I don't want him on top of me - I think he'd climb in my lap if he could. We'll work out the proper distance and rules with time, but I was pleased that he didn't jump on top of me.
A couple of times I got some "attitude". Drifter shows annoyance by swishing his tail, or sometimes by pawing. When we free lunge, he likes to try to determine when we are done by turning in and facing me, refusing to move away again. I'd like to be the one that determines when we're done - I went and got a lunge line so I could hook him up and request him to move around me at a trot in both directions before I decided we were done. He did it well so that was OK. I expect he'd had to set the terms of when he was done with his last owner, so that's what he expects to have to do.
At one point when I was asking him to back out of my space - he was at liberty - he pawed at me and did a half rear when I moved into his space - that got a big reaction from me with lots of noise and motion. When the horse moves into my space or makes any gesture that is at all aggressive, I move quickly and with a lot of noise into the horse's space until they give way.
We ended on a good note today, but riding wasn't advisable as he was very unsettled due to the windy weather and the impending storms - I think the horses can sense these things.