Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesdays with Tex

Its been a quiet few weeks with Tex.  First we were gone to Alaska and then, upon our return, we all came down with what I'm calling the "Alaska Crud."  It hit all of us a bit differently, but with the same basic set of symptoms.  I managed to avoid most of the fever and other "typical" flu symptoms that involve running to the bathroom or a barf bucket, but I was incredibly fatigued.  Yesterday, I managed to work a half-day and that was quite an accomplishment.

Brett rode Flash on Sunday while I sat in the garden, in the sun, with my colored pencils.  After watching a YouTube tutorial on how to color fur, I took a deep breath and colored the wolves in the coloring book our friends gave me in Alaska.

Tex was not happy about being left all alone in the pasture while Brett took Flash up to the dressage court to ride.  The goats were with Tex, and he could see Lucy and Jackson across the driveway but he was still very anxious.  When Brett came into the garden after putting Flash back in the pasture, he told me that Tex had developed some serious dreadlocks in his mane.  I made a mental note but didn't have the energy to do more than that.

Monday, I worked from home.  We got a call from our contractor's drywall guy saying he could come out that afternoon and patch the hole in our ceiling.  The guy showed up mid-afternoon and got to work.  At 5:00, I noticed him sitting on the front porch, eating and staring off at the pasture.  Soon a small truck, dusty and dented, pulled up the driveway and three additional workers settled on the porch with their dinners.  I smiled as I watched them looking out at Tex and Flash.  I could tell by the way that they were quietly chewing and gazing, that they were soaking up the peaceful evening. When I looked over again, three of them had moved over to the pasture fence.  Flash immediately came over and hung his head over the fence.  Tex followed and stood close, but out of arm's reach.

Later, Brett started making rounds with the hay cart.  I went into the pasture to work on Tex's mane.  Other than sharing apples with him, I hadn't worked with him at all since our return.  He stood quietly while I worked my fingers through the tangles and stroked his neck.  As I turned to leave, I noticed a white plastic grocery bag blowing across the driveway, towards the pasture.  Flash and Tex noticed it too but neither was worried.

I latched the pasture gate behind me and walked over to where the bag was blowing and skipping along.  I picked it up and gave it a shake.  Flash looked at me like "whatever."  Tex didn't move, but he lifted his head high and gave the bag a good stare.  I walked towards the pasture, still snapping the bag, and Tex backed up.  Flash continued to look unimpressed.  I stopped and turned around, taking the bag to the trashcan, waving it around as I went.  As soon as I turned and stopped moving towards Tex, he stopped backing up.  Horses are much braver if they are going towards a scary object, rather than it coming towards them.  Overall, I was pleased at Tex's response.  He didn't run away; stepping backwards while assessing the situation is perfectly acceptable.

5 comments:

  1. Wow your colouring is awesome I have to check out that tutorial online but I am sure you need some talent to accomplish what you did with that colouring book. Nice that your workers had a nice relaxing sit :) Hug B

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    1. Me artistic? Ha! My favorite tutorial series is done by Hanne on Passion for Pencils -- I love her technique of layering colors. For the fur, I just googled "how to color fur with colored pencils" and watched a few videos. I love YouTube!

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  2. An American in TokyoSeptember 22, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    I agree with Buttons Thoughts, your coloring is awesome!!

    At my old riding club, everyone brought treats for the horses in plastic bags, so they LOVED the sound of the plastic bags! They would always perk up at the sound, as if they were saying, "Treats?! For me?!" Ha ha!

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  3. I agree, your colouring is absolutely beautiful. I can't believe it's a first attempt accomplished with a YouTube tutorial. I'm with you on that - YouTube is amazing!
    Great teaching moment with the plastic bag!

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  4. Great picture! I like to watch various people who come to the farm to work. Some want to get close,some watch and some ignore them. I have a theory that how people react around horses is a good personality barometer.

    Even a plastic bag is a useful training tool. Tex is smart and curious. I think it's good he didn't run off, it shows the level of trust he has towards you. He wasn't crazy about the bag but knew you wouldn't let it harm him.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.