Bill bought Ranger in December of 1999; he "spent the first year trying to buck him out; the second year healing and apologizing; and the third year training."
Ranger himself wouldn't let me close to him for years. I'm not exaggerating. Even when we were running the livery in 2004, Ranger wouldn't let me near him. There was no way, rope or no rope, that I was allowed to catch him. I, apparently, was not worthy.
Eventually, I'd had enough of not being able to catch him and started walking him down (yes, with a swinging rope). It took a while, but I managed to catch him, rub him down, and then release him. Soon, I was catching him for Bill before we went out on rides, leading him over to the lodge and helping get him tacked up. I never rode him, just pulled him for Bill, then attended to whichever horse I'd be riding (Meeker, Estes, or Washoe - never Jesse - still haven't been up on that beast).
I finally decided that I wanted to ride Ranger and asked Bill's permission. He said yes, even though only a couple of people had ever ridden him. Other than Bill, I'd be the first family member up on him. I played it around in my head for a couple of days, put on my big girl panties, and decided to do it. It's not that I was necessarily afraid of Ranger, but let's just say I had a healthy respect for his ability to move when he so chooses.
I pulled Ranger from the pen, brought him over and tacked him up (there was no way my first ride was going to be bareback)...
I had to make nice with him before he allowed me to bridle him, but I managed.