I think every horse owner, sooner or later, gets their heart horse. We can wax poetic
about our mounts and I have good horses all of them, but Cooper is something special
indeed. I purchased Cooper as a 4 going on 5 year old, a not much handled pasture stud with no training other than what was required to halter him and do his feet. And everyone told me what a bad idea it was since I had not had a horse in 15 years.
I'm pretty hard headed. I found a wonderful trainer, the 3 of us worked hard for 4 months, every day. I brought the boy home in early spring to a local boarding stable and we have never looked back. 8 years later we are a team in every sense of the word.
I ride alone, not many riders up here to go with, and Gene maybe rides 5 times a year.
Cooper and I have covered a very good portion of this national monument together.
We've seen bear, bobcats, deer, free range cows and just about everything else that
lives out there. I've gotten completely lost too and Cooper, like most of his kind, knows exactly how to get us home from any given point. I've also gotten us onto some pretty scary ridges and into some terribly deep ravines and each time my steady mount will find a way to get us out safely. This is a thinking being on all levels. If he doesn't deem something safe, he isn't going to do it. If need be we'll find away around or go another way. Part of being a team is allowing input from both members. In all the years we've been riding together he has only totally refused to go somewhere once, on a known trail to us. He hit a point in the trail where he stopped dead, and lifted those front feet up and turned us around 180 degrees. Not typical for my mellow boy. I pushed the point and got no further with him. So, we went back the way we came. I could have made it a battle but I think he caught a whiff of something, cougar or bear take your pick. When a good brave horse refuses a known track, you have to listen, you have to trust in their judgement. He is a kind horse, and always takes the new babies under his wing, he comes when called and even if you fall off, he won't leave you. He'll come back over, check to see if you're all right and wait for you to collect yourself. I thankfully haven't hit the ground in a number of years. Now I get off, take his bridle off and let him graze while I wander around and stretch my legs in the middle of our rides. It should be fun for everyone. He stays put and if I wander off too far, he trots over to be closer and goes back to eating. So, I've waxed enough on Cooper. I could never say enough about such a wonderful horse really. To know him is to love him.
The pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago.