While Brett watched football this afternoon, I went outside to work with Tex. Both Jackson, in the small arena, and Flash, in the front pasture, were taking naps. Jackson jumped to his feet before I could get a picture but Flash barely moved.
When Flash started rubbing his neck in the mud, I whipped out my camera to get a video. Tex, who was grazing down by the stream, decided to investigate.
How can you not love that face?
This morning, as I was dumping a load of manure in the compost pile I glanced over and saw Tex at the bottom of the pasture, picking his way carefully through the water. He looked over at me, changed direction and walked all the way from the far corner, across the pasture, and over to me. Just to say hi.
Today we worked on walking, stopping, walking with Tex doing exactly what I was doing. We also spent some time up at the dressage court walking up to the mounting block. I wanted him to walk up and stand still while I climbed up and down the steps. He swung his butt away the first time, but by the third or fourth time he stood still while I climbed around. At the end I stood on the top of the block and gave him a thorough back scratch.
Last, I worked with standing on his right and (horrors) touching him. I practiced a bit of Mark Rashid's technique of resting a hand on Tex's neck, using my energy to pull him to me, and then releasing when he did. I can walk up to Tex on his left and give him a good rub on the neck with no trouble. Today, I was able to rub on the right while he dropped his head and chewed. Small as it seems, I think that was the biggest breakthrough today.
I remember Mark Rashid telling Brett that Tex is a good horse, that he wants to like and trust people, he just needs someone to show him how. I feel Tex's energy trying so hard to trust, to get it right, to be a good boy. The desire to be good trumps everything else in my book. That energy, desire and try are what draws me to this horse and keeps me coming back for more.