My handsome man was originally a wild horse, caught by the Bureau of Land Management as a young colt. They adopted him to a ranch, where he was broken to saddle, gelded, branded, and put to work. We don't know 100% what happened there, but it wasn't good. When he was bought by Angel, he was underweight, scared stiff of whips, crops, chains, even trees. It took a lot of work and patience to get him to remember he was a horse, and not a punching bag.
Because of his history, he was still wont to act up every now and again, including trying to bolt. Whenever the stable caught him (he was boarded at a facility because Angel didn't have property of her own), they would put a chain over his nose (a perfectly acceptable method of control with spirited, sometimes dangerous horses, like high-strung racehorses, or stallions), and YANK on it. That takes the chain from acceptable control to abuse. Needless to say, much ass was kicked and many names were taken.
Now Blake is a wonderful horse. Everything has gone off without a hitch, except for yesterday. Morgan was hand-grazing (he's in a halter and on a lead line, "mowing" the grass), and he twitched the leadrope out of her hand. She lunged for it, and he realized he was loose. Immediately, he flashes back to bygone days when being loose meant a shanking and likely a beating, and takes off... towards an extremely busy road. Fortunately, he just wanted to say "hi" to the mares, before he took off for a wild run. He'd done this often enough that he was able to not get tangled in the lead line, so that was one less worry. He ran for a good half hour, through six yards, down a gravel road, through a garden, and past a pond. I was doing my best Track Star imitation, keeping up with his trot on foot.
As he ran past the pond, there was a "gentleman" fishing there. He cast and reeled, over and over, as this fifteen-two hand horse goes cantering by, leadrope dangling. Then he watched as I ran after, "WHOA BLAKE!" still casting and reeling. I wish I'd had enough wind left to cuss him out, because by every god and goddess, he deserved it!
Finally, after another garden, a low fence, and chest-high brush, me, one of the neighbors, and a friend managed to corner him enough to get his lead. Once caught, he settled down, and meekly let us lead him back to the barn for a good bath and brushing.
I haven't run like that since I ran cross-country in high school. My legs felt like spaghetti all the rest of the day. Morgan couldn't believe that I kept up with him most of the time. Thank goodness Angel knew his history so well, or it would've been a Mess!