A few of you have asked about, or commented that you particularly enjoy the posts about my journey with Tex.
It's a dance. And he's a challenging dance partner.
The other day I walked into his pasture with nothing but a pocket full of treats. He circled me warily before approaching, one cautious step at a time. When he got relatively close he leaned forward towards me, his front feet planted and his neck stretched straight out, his head completely horizontal and his lips twitching to reach the cookie in my hand. He took the cookie, but he wasn't close enough to get it fully or securely and it dropped to the ground. Tex immediately jumped back and circled again.
Later that afternoon, I went back out with his fly mask. He let me approach and didn't fuss at all.
He hates the movement of me brushing the hair out of my eyes for some reason. He always jumps away from me when I do it.
Sometimes he is okay with fly spray, and sometimes he isn't.
This morning, he was worried when he saw me coming. He circled and stopped; stepping sideways away from me as I entered his comfort bubble. Last evening, there was a congregation of flies on his nose, and crawling on the fly mask. I had both his fly mask and the fly spray (we use an herbal product, not an insecticide, which is not irritating to their skin, smells great and keeps the flies from biting) in my hands. After a cookie reward for allowing me into his space, I sprayed his legs and neck. Then I sprayed my hand and wiped my wet hand on his face. He was surprisingly okay with that. Last night, he was happy to have me wipe the flies away as well. He was also good about the fly mask. This is the latest thing I am asking him to accept without worry. He used to be pretty much impossible to put in a fly mask.
After I had the fly mask on and his body sprayed, I stood next to him quietly. I gave him a cookie and stood, stroking his neck and telling him that he is gorgeous, while he quietly chewed. By the third cookie he was nudging my sweatshirt with his nose, to tell me when he was ready for another one.
Right now, I am just trying to build a relationship of trust and comfort with Tex. Its a long, slow process where we progress and retreat. I doubt I will ever be able to lay against his side with my arms draped across his back like I do with Jackson; or hold his head in my hands like I do with Lucy -- but that's okay. We're creating our own dance.