Today is the third or fourth time that Rocky has seen me coming and met me by the gate. Not the third or fourth time in a row, but the third or fourth time since I started noticing.
Rocky’s the bottom horse of the three that live in the Back 40, and most of the time he’s the furthest from the gate. He’ll look up when he sees me, he’ll perk ears, give me two eyes, take a few steps sometimes, but usually his catching game is “please come close to me and I’ll take a few steps toward you when you’re between me and Them.” Then he shoves his nose in his halter.
But today, the other two were higher up the hill — in the Back 60 — and Rocky was near the fence at the bottom. Same thing on Saturday. Both days he walked energetically and perked up toward the gate and waited for me there.
Could it be that he wants to be with me, but usually he can’t “run up to me” like all the other Parelli horses in the world (heh heh), because until I’m inside the gate, he obeys Wesley and Paco. I should start driving them away from the gate before I even get there and see how big the bubble is before he’ll start waiting for that and then come to me when I’ve done so.
Today, my only Purpose was to deliver him a carrot for the tiniest, teeniest try of anything, just right there in the pasture, with good manners. We had moderate success as it is so deep and slippery I kept getting distracted trying not to lose a boot like a baby mastadon in a tar pit at which point the horses almost but not quite mobbed me.
Here’s a long-distance shot from my cell phone in which I attempted to capture the slickness of the mud but failed completely. Wesley is in the red blanket. Paco walked out of the frame before it captured. And Rocky is there, if you look hard enough.