I'm feeling better about the situation with Tex today. Much, much better.
First, I received a ton of feedback on his bloodlines and did a little research myself. He has Driftwood once on the top (sire side) and twice on the bottom (dam side). That isn't optimum but it isn't a death sentence either. I've heard that Driftwood was reactive but I've also read that he was a good all around, kind horse. He was one of the top five rodeo (cattle work) horses of all time so I can understand why his name shows up more than once. Tex was bred to be a rodeo roping horse and that was his first job.
Second, I did some research on liberty work and watched a couple YouTube videos last night. I think Tex and I could have a lot of fun with liberty work. I'm excited about the prospect of building our relationship to the point where we are in perfect sync without any tack.
Third, Tex is very happy to be back home and was very relaxed this morning when I went out to feed. When I gave him his bucket of vitamins, he didn't flinch at all as I stopped by his side and gave him a good-morning rub. Later, I brought hay into the pasture and tossed it into the feeder. He stood close to me as I did that and when I turned to leave -- he left the hay and followed me. (shock, disbelief).
Tex, why are you following me?
I stopped. Tex stopped. He positioned himself next to me and looked over with soft eyes.
I'd like another one of those good-morning rubs, please.
I walked over and started to rub. He relaxed further. He didn't flinch when I touched him.
Ahhhhhh. That feels great. He turned his head and nudged my coat pocket. Is there a cookie in there by any chance?
I know that this morning was just one morning. He will have good days and bad days but this is the best day he has ever had. He showed me that he can relax and not react. Obviously, being at home in his own pasture has a lot to do with that as well.
A couple more responses to comments over the last few days:
A number of you have mentioned TTouch. I'm familiar with it, think its great, and have used it in the past. I have been working, over the past year, on the horses using the Masterson Method which is a combination of massage and release work. It made an incredible difference in Lucy, who was quite tense when I started, and Tex enjoys it as well. If you Google "Masterson Method" it will take you to the website and also give some YouTube links. I have been working my way through the training course and have been very impressed with the results. For me, it works more effectively than TTouch -- but they are both excellent body work methods.
Additionally, I have ordered Tex an herbal supplement that was recommended by Mark and his wife. They've had good success with it on horses that are reactive. They also recommended discussing magnesium oxide with my vet as it can also help settle the pathways in the brain that cause reaction. One of the things that I like about Mark Rashid is that he doesn't push or endorse products. He said, "Here are some things that have worked for me." and then sent me out to find them. There are a few clinicians out there (you know who they are) who push their brand of this and their endorsed product of that. To me, that is an instant turn-off. While some of them are knowledgeable, they seem to be in it for the endorsement money/marketing of their own products and not for the horse. I won't work with them and I won't buy their products.
(okay, stepping off my soapbox now)