Since I had some free time yesterday, I decided to go visit the Morgan. I've held off going again because with Russell's most injury, I didn't know if there was still a chance of a trade. No point in getting attached, right? But now that I am s-l-o-w-l-y beginning to recondition Russell, hope sprang up again. Plus, a few weeks ago I had a conversation with a Morgan breeder. She cautioned that Ritz's sire is known for throwing "tough" horses; not mean, just not very trainable. Although that has not been my impression at all with Ritz, I wanted to interact with him again with that information in mind.
It's been almost three months since I've seen him; he's shed out and gained some needed weight. I interacted with him loose in his stall and paddock, as well as in the cross-ties and out and about on a lead. (I really wanted to ride him, but that would have been foolish with no one around. I don't think he's been ridden in many months, maybe a year.) It was a pleasant visit, and I did not see any hint of the temperament I was warned about.
Now to call Ritz' owner a call to see out if she's still open to considering a trade . . . eventually.