Sunday morning, we put Flash and Jackson in the top pasture to graze. Normally, we would put Tex and Flash up there but I don't want Tex on lush grass until we rule out PSSM. Jackson hasn't been able to partake yet because he's been gimpy, but he'd been sound on all four since Friday morning. So, Brett got Flash, while I took Jackson out of the arena that has been his winter paddock.
Half-way up to the back pasture, Jackson figured out where we were going. He immediately became very excited, pulling on the lead rope, prancing and even throwing in a half-rear when I told him to knock it off (which he did, barely).
Meanwhile, Tex was watching the boys leave and wasn't happy about being separated from his herd or about being left out of the fun. He began galloping around the pasture, sliding to a stop by the gate, and then galloping off again. Brett and I went into the house to have breakfast and I kept an eye on Tex, through the dining room window, who continued to run. The goats were out with him, but goats don't count. The girls were in the pasture on the other side of the driveway, but that wasn't good enough either.
After breakfast, Brett went started grooming the two arenas, since rain was coming in at noontime. He wanted to have the arenas sealed and ready. Tex had stopped running but he was covered in sweat, with steam rising off of his back while his flanks heaved. I opened the gate and let myself in. I didn't have a clear plan. After all the Masterson work I did on Saturday, I didn't want to lunge or do much of anything with him. My plan was just to keep him company and see if he would settle enough to eat.
Tex walked over and stood next to me with his face at my shoulder. Hmm, I thought. This is the correct position for liberty work. I wonder what would happen if I started to walk. Tex stayed with me, right at my shoulder. We walked all over the place, straight lines, circles, and changes of direction. We stopped, we started, we were in perfect sync. Then I walked four or five paces away from him, stood facing him, and made a "come here" motion with my fingers while saying "Tex, come here." And he did! He walked forward, right up to me and put his head against my chest. I walked backwards and asked him to follow; he did. We stopped; I asked him to whoa, backed up, and called him to me. OMG, I thought, this is incredible. And so.much.fun.
I went to the barn and found Brett.
"You have to come watch me and Tex!"
(And then I prayed Tex would do it again).
I went back into the arena, and he did it all again. I think he had as much fun as I did. Later, I was pulling weeds in the garden and as I came out the gate and headed to the chicken run with my bucket of weeds, I saw Tex standing with his head over the gate watching me. I tossed the weeds to the chickens and walked back towards the garden.
Tex nickered to me. My head snapped up and I grinned. I have a very strong bond with Lucy and with Jackson, but this bond with Tex is different. And I love it.