Sunday, February 8, 2015

The name's Cotton, nice to meet me

I’ve often said that Cotton is the James Dean of horses; that whole “cool without trying to be cool” thing. He’s definitely got enough naughty to make him interesting, but he knows how to work the sweet face when necessary.

Well, Mr. Too Cool for School made his USEA debut down at Full Gallop last week and, let me tell you, he worked his swag the whole time. He waltzed around that place like he had just been voted class president, homecoming king, and most likely to succeed all in the same day. I had to scoot over in my saddle just to make room for his ego.

I'm here. You're welcome.

He pranced and hopped and bucked on every square inch of that farm, alternating between flirting with the girls and picking bar fights with the boys:

hey ladies, how you doin’ . . . YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME, PUNK! . . . mmm girl, you smell good . . . WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN’ AT, BUCK-SKIN! . . . hi honey, what barn you in? . . . COME AT ME BRO, COME AT ME! . . . say sugar, that’s a sweet looking saddle pad – I’ll bet it would look great crumpled in a heap at the end of my stall . . . YOU WANNA START SOMETHING MAN-BITCH? SO START! . . . oh her? that’s just my human, I’ll ditch her here in a moment, don’t go anywhere, baby . . . THAT’S IT, SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR FACE!

We had a few airs-above-ground moments (you’re welcome, spectators), a few ‘death grip on the neck strap moments’, and more than a couple head-flinging, rip your arms out of the sockets moments.

But, more importantly, we had lots and lots of “oh-my-God-this-is-the-most-fun-I-ever-had, you’re-the-best-mom-ever!” moments. He really, pardon the pun, took it all in stride. There was a very endearing look of wonderment in his eyes the entire time, and that very look is how I know that I’ve got a very special horse standing in my field right now.

He might have lost a little focus in dressage (okay, I guess going from a 28 to a 41 might be more than a little focus). And maybe he spent more time cantering in place than going forward for stadium (who else can say they racked up 12 time penalties in a Beginner Novice stadium course?). But when he wasn’t flinging his head up in the air and pulling me out of the tack he had the look of eagles on cross-country.

In his defense, when we got home I had the vet do a thorough nose to tail exam to make sure his antics weren’t from pain, and although he couldn’t find one sore spot anywhere on that horse’s body, he did find a very small, very sharp, accessory tooth that had grown in where one of his baby teeth had fallen out. So he got that pulled out and we’ll see how he does next time.

Getting a tooth pulled is exhausting

Maybe he'll be Goose, maybe he'll be Maverick. But I’ll love him just the same.