Long story short, I am adopting a 9 year old Hancock bred gelding. He was trained professionally as a 4 year old and I'm not sure if he has been ridden since (I *think* he has, but I'm sure it wasn't by experienced riders). I KNOW he hasn't been ridden in at least a year and a half as he was thrown out on a pasture with a 1200 lb round bale and was forgotten about. His feet weren't touched and he is ridiculously obese. He has a very "in your pocket" personality (almost pushy, but he backs off fairly easily and is good about moving away from pressure). He is calm and confident and good with having his feet done and trailering. That is about as much as I know about him. Oh, and did I mention he's fat? I mean REALLY a chunk!
So my question is-How would you go about getting back on this horse and seeing what he can do? What precautions would you take?
I am an experienced rider. I've started several colts and ride dressage and reining/cutting horses. However, I have not dealt with this particular situation before and I always choose the safest and most reliable option rather than just hop on and hope for the best!