Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How's Tex?

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.


15 comments:

  1. Sounds like Tex is warming up.

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    1. Most days I think so; but there are days that I just throw my hands in the air and think he'll never get there.

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  2. He's coming along nicely. I admire your patience

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    1. You are equally patient with Carmen. I admire how you work with her as well.

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  3. Abuse is a hard thing to counter, especially if it comes upon one young. Movements and moments can be trigger points for fear. Your consistent, calm approach, without taking offense, is perfect. It just takes patience, since Tex needs to do this in his time.

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    1. I think your point about not taking offense is important. I'm meeting Tex where he is and accepting whatever he can give me.

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  4. Your patience is truly inspiring - I'm happy he seems to be warming up a bit.

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    1. Patience -- something I never used to have. LOL. I guess Tex is teaching me too.

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  5. It's great that you're not comparing him to your other relationships. That's hard not to do. It does take a great deal of patience--and time, but you can see your progress.. Thanks for the update.

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    1. It's like your kids -- you love them all but the relationship looks different with each. There is something about Tex's quiet kindness that draws me.

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  6. You're right about it taking time and patience, plus consistency. As people, we usually have some sort of timeline in mind, which I think they can sense even if we don't realize it. When he decides you're honorable, he'll give you his heart. With my Eagle, and he'd been beaten, starved, basic care neglected and who know what all, it's taken a few years. But he trusts me wholeheartedly now. He's still more wary and flighty than our other horses, but he comes back mentally very quickly. He has more heart than any horse I've ever known. I have, and am enjoying the journey. Bet you will too...

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    1. It would be wonderful if I could develop the same kind of relationship with Tex that you have with Eagle. At this point, I'm just looking for relaxation and enjoyment of my company. If I get that, I'd be happy.

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  7. An American in TokyoMay 19, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    It's lovely to hear about your journey with Tex!
    I love hearing the stories...please keep them coming!

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    1. I will keep them coming; the process is so slow that I feel like I'm writing about nothing, or grass growing, or paint drying. Maybe a weekly update?

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  8. I think the time you're taking with Tex will come back to you eventually and he will trust you and want to turn to you for reassurance. We all learn patience when dealing with horses. I've had a few abused horses and it takes the time it takes to earn their trust. Weekly updates would be great!

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.