This business of getting the mares in and out of the gate, past the George, has been very good for all of us, I think.
It has been good for me, because it has given me a lot of confidence in George, and has shown me that patience and trust will be rewarded.
It has been good for the mares and me, as we have learned to pay attention to each other and trust each other during the delicate maneuver of running the George gauntlet.
And it has been very good for George, because he is able to be magnanimous and has learned he can cooperate freely.
Today as I was bringing Bridget back into the field, George barred the way for a long time, generally letting it be known that he would like to come out again. But he was very amiable about it, and I felt quite intimate with him as we stood together in the gap of the gate.
The first time he moved aside, Bridget was reluctant to take the plunge and enter. But Rose saw a chance to go out the gate and was heading toward the space which George had vacated. George, quick as lightning, shot over and ran her off, which was rather helpful of him - although if I had shooed her away, personally I wouldn't have bitten her butt.
Then George stood aside again, and Bridget entered, not without trepidation. George stood perfectly still and let me take Bridget's halter off. I think the mares are a little behind the curve here and that George has advanced further than they yet give him credit for.
Afterwards I gave George a big hug and made a fuss of him, and I think he's beginning to enjoy a little bit of this kind of demonstrativeness, and I think he knows I appreciate him. Anyway I hope so.
Afterwards he followed me along the fence line, wanting to stay in touch. Today felt like spring in more ways than one.