Adorable, isn't he? Meet our new mini-horse, Cooper. Clever name, huh? Yup! He is cute! He is a mini-horse that looks like a Saint Bernard. In fact, his coloration reminds me a lot of the Saint Bernard that I grew up with. But that's where the resemblance ends.
Cooper is a rescue horse, which doesn't tell you anything about his personality. Despite being rescued from an appalling existence, he could well be the sweetest equine ever. But, he isn't. Not yet, anyway. He's pretty damn feral, and very pissed off.
In the photo above, that cute little face is actually lunging at me with evil intent.
You can see that one of his eyes is white with violence. The other, however, is brown and soft. I suspect he has mixed feelings--two completely divergent attitudes toward the hand that feeds him.
He's my new project horse.
And I'm writing this now for two reasons:
1. To postpone going outside to start training pony-face (the name that comes to mind instantly, unlike Cooper, which doesn't actually leap to mind, but sinks like a stone, beyond reach; so, for the time being, he's pony-face, unofficially).
2. To motivate me to go out and train him on a regular basis, spurred on by the pressure of having to report back to you, dear reader, on our progress.
By the way, contrary to what I wrote in an earlier missive, I've discovered that offering Cooper treats as a gesture of friendship or a means of persuasion is a terrible idea. In the picture above, he's saying, "Give me a treat now, b&#*^!" I kid you not. Perfectly articulated.
In the absence of a treat, he will lunge out of spite because there is no treat and because I look like someone who needs to be subjugated by a tiny, adorable horse.
You can see how small he is in the photo above. That was his first day at our farm. He's been with us a week and a half. Within an hour, he had ducked under the rope separating him from the other two horses (it wasn't electrified, intentionally). He made friends with Tanner and installed himself in the barn that night.
Fire, the white Arabian, was aghast as Cooper kicked out with his hind legs and usurped Fire's place at feeding time. Now, pony-face eats where Fire used to eat, and former rivals Fire and Tanner eat from the same pile of hay, head to head, fending off Cooper's intrusion like action heroes standing back to back to fend off the onslaught of hostiles.
That's how it goes now for Tanner and Fire, except the hostile is a tiny adorable mini Cooper.
Don't be lulled into a false sense of superiority. Cooper easily weighs 200 pounds, and he thinks he's a stallion. He was gelded just a few weeks ago. His hormones run amok. He has sharp little hooves and powerful teeth. Basically, he's a land-shark.
He nearly sodomized Tanner, if you can imagine, and perhaps you'd rather not. It really takes the adore out of adorable. So, while I want to get chummy with pony-face, I do want his hormones to settle down before we get into heavy petting. (Perhaps we should have named him Weinstein.)
Don't worry!!! Cooper will be fine. Time is a great trainer, and I its humble servant. Already, I think Cooper has stopped molesting the Palomino.
Sometimes, he doesn't seem to mind my being in the barn to feed and clean up after him, but that's still unpredictable. I keep a broomstick handy to impose a safe distance between us, and I use a rubber feed bowl as a shield. It works. It's not ideal. It's not a permanent solution.
So, that's why I hafta go outside. And that's why I'm procrastinating. I have to get the pony in the round-pen. I have to run him around and show him who's boss. (I am.)
He does take our minds off of Belle, I will say. He doesn't remind us of Belle at all. She was a big beautiful horse with a heart to match. Yeah. Well, it has been that kind of year.
Truly, though, I won't ever give up on this little guy, just as I never gave up on my rescue dogs who all three temporarily ruined my life for about nine months at a time each, on average.
I'm a sucker for a furry face.