Interspecies Relationship

I am fascinated by interspecies relationships, which is why I spend all day every day cultivating one in particular between the horse and the human. But I am always extra interested to see how non human animals relate to one another. Today my German Shepherd project, Jackson, and I were doing some chores among my horses. Jackson has a history of extreme reactivity, barking and lunging at just about anything that moved. He has graduated to being off leash most of the time with me and is really working hard to be confident. Today while he was accompanying me to pick poop, one of my horse projects, Lyla, who is also pretty worried and insecure, decided to join us. I hadn't asked any specific of Jackson other than he not wander too far (and not eat the manure!), and I was pleased when suddenly Lyla and Jackson were both hooked on to me helping me out. I stepped back to take a picture, and before I knew it Jackson had laid down and Lyla was grooming him! It is difficult to tell in the photo, but she was using her lip like she would on another horse. Jackson was unconvinced that this was a completely smart idea but seemed to be enjoying it despite himself and didn't move, though he was completely free to do so. She worked her way up and down his back very thoughtfully. I watched and let it all happen, as it was clear that this was not about me. I posted a second photo on my 3R facebook page of Jackson flashing a big ol' smile about his new found friendship!