Copper was born in April of 2007 (one month before I graduated from high school), but we aren’t celebrating that today. We’re celebrating when he came to live with me in March of 2008 as a little fluffy colt. Today I’ll elaborate a little more on his breeding and what he was supposed to be when he grew up.
Copper was a great baby. He picked up on things instantly and was perfectly content to be groomed and petted on all day long. He is definitely the horse that I know the most about his background/pedigree. I met and handled his mother occasionally when I went down to spend weekends with A (the one who came in and helped with potential curb biting last weekend). Which reminds me, this is also the 7 year anniversary of my friendship with her! While I was getting to know Copper, I had some questions about the first eleven months of his life. A was the trainer at the barn that I bought him from, so I looked her up on Facebook to ask her about a few things and have since learned more about Copper and horses than I ever anticipated. A has since become one of my closest friends, was a bridesmaid in my wedding, and will always have a special place in my heart.
Back to Copper. Unfortunately All Ways Inclusive (Jake), passed away from laminitis shortly after I bought Copper, so I didn’t get the opportunity to interact with him much, but Copper gets his sound mind, cute head, and his affinity for neck scratches from his sire. He got his fear of needles, larger-than-average ears, and overall conformation from his mother, Mi Vida Luka (Luka). Both of his parents were successful halter horses and have National titles.
When I purchased Copper, I was hoping to have a halter horse, but in hindsight I am so glad that he takes after Luka’s sire instead. While halter horses can be attractive and some are versatile, that is not always the purpose of the breeding programs that produce halter horses. I will remain grateful that he ended up being more of a riding horse than a halter horse.
Copper did get to show halter at an ApHC show his yearling year. He was supposed to go in yearling lungeline as well, so we had him all braided up. Unfortunately he came up lame before lungeline, so he just went into halter with braids.
Copper actually got points in Youth Halter geldings at this show (I was still 18, and that counts as youth in the ApHC). And when I say points, I think he got a half of a point, but hey, we almost ended up with none. Thank you random judge who thought that Copper was nicer than his half brother. The ApHC actually has four judges for each class generally, so getting one second out of four judges meant that we got a half point. The horse that won unanimously under all the judges was a beast with a tiny boy on the end of the leadline. This horse was basically a horse version of the hulk.
Occasionally I throw Copper in a halter class at a local show for kicks and giggles, but he doesn’t generally place well since he’s in riding shape and people haul heavier halter horses to these shows. I actually had a judge walk up to me after a class and tell me that while Copper is built nicely, he wasn’t as heavy as the other horses in the class. I wanted to facepalm. The other horses in the class didn’t come back in the ring with hunter tack later either… The judge actually approached me again (after placing me first in Go As You Please Hunter) and said that now he understood why my horse wasn’t halter fit.
I like to show halter at open shows because it gives me the opportunity to lead Copper in the ring and let him see things that may startle him with less on the line. I say this, but inside I laugh. I like to lead Copper in to prove to myself that my horse isn’t spooky and will be fine in the under saddle classes. It is much more for my peace of mind than to quiet Copper’s non-existent nerves.
Have you been inundated with enough Copper pictures? My brother makes fun of me for all of my picture taking/hoarding. Okay, one more. This one is from A from before I bought Copper when he was an even tinier peanut. 🙂
Yay for seven years of Copper!