Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesdays with Tex

Tex has been slightly less wary the past few days.  I never know if the behavior will stick or not, but as long as trusting days are on the increase, and occur with some regularity, I'm happy.

My agenda of "no agenda" continues.  I've backed off of "doing" anything with Tex this past week; no grooming, no at-liberty, no nothing.  After chores, I put four or five cookies in my pocket and go into the pasture.  I stand with him, lingering after the cookies are gone.  A few evenings ago, I was standing at his shoulder, doing nothing other than just being present, when Brett came into the pasture with the hay cart.  I figured we were done; that Tex would walk over to the gate and follow the hay cart to the feeder.  But, no, he stayed at my side and watched Brett wheel the cart past us.  I turned and walked to the feeder and Tex followed me.  I left him there.

Last night, when I got to the pasture Tex and Flash were already diving into their hay.  I closed the gate behind me and Tex turned his head to look at me.  He left his hay and walked in a straight line to where I was standing.  He didn't circle me at all but stopped about five feet away.  I approached, coming to him via a wide angle to the left and stopping about a foot from his head, facing forward, standing together with him.  Tex doesn't like me coming at him straight on; the sideways approach feels less threatening.  Tex tensed slightly when I got to his side, but didn't move away.  I gave him a cookie and waited for him to relax before moving closer.  I stroked his neck a few times and noted the dreadlocks in his mane.  But mostly, I just stood, without touching him.  When he finished the cookies he remained with me again.  He snuffled my pockets a few times, licked any remaining crumbs off my hand, and then investigated my hair.  After awhile, I left and he went back to his hay.

It's slow progress; but it's progress just the same.

4 comments:

  1. what a beautiful picture you paint with your words

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  2. It seems like great progress to me, too. Choosing not to follow the food is pretty big.

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  3. An American in TokyoMay 26, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    I love hearing about your progress with Tex!
    I always think it's important to just hang around with horses to build a relationship with them. For some reason, it really works! I used to sit outside this one horse's stall during lunch, just eating and reading a book. She was the first horse ever to groom me back, and I only saw her about once a week! Good luck! =)

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