I foolishly let him out of the barn, wanting him to get some exercise and fresh air, and thinking that he was tame enough to be reasonably catchable by now. Wrong! That will teach me to harbor weak thoughts of niceness. He'll still come and eat grain from my hand-- but snatch his head away at the first sign that I might try to touch him. In the barn, I could walk around slowly "chasing" him until he just stopped in a corner and gave up. Out in the courtyard, he has no such inclinations. The good news is, he still hasn't spat or kicked, and hasn't tried to jump my fences. Hooray for small victories?
Nash's determination not to be caught has led to other inconveniences. Because I fear that Nash will be murdered by my horses, I can't let them in the yard. That means I can no longer feed them in the cement hay bunker, so my precious hay has to go on the ground in the pasture, where it gets stepped on. I can't bring Annie in the yard to saddle her up, forcing me to cart everything into the mud. Finally, while Nash was in the barn and easily caught, I was making progress slowly trimming away his horrible coat of burdocks...and now, no progress is possible. That's really bad, because we're experiencing a heat wave here: 70-80 degrees! Poor Nash must be suffering under his coat. Before his venture into the courtyard, I was able to trim off significant pieces around his neck and shoulders, revealing a beautiful, soft, fluffy dark brown coat underneath. You can sort of see it here, with the ragged edges peeled back like a banana skin:
This is the largest chunk I was able to get off of him (my boot toe is in the pic for size reference):
...and that's only about 1/50th of the stuff on him!