Some horses are born grumpy. Cases in point, Previous Horse [In Defense of Caesar] and Karen Briggs’ horse Toddy, “Who was an obstreperous bastard and my horse of a lifetime.” [Writing From the Right Side of the Stall: No Witnesses].
I don’t think Milton is deep down cranky. He caves too quickly. He was getting pushy before meals, so we fussed with him for a few moments before serving. After a token protest, he now expects it and assumes the attitude of ‘Okay, let’s get this over with so I can eat.’ If we had gotten between Caesar and food, his response would have been, ‘Die, puny human.’
Milton is mostly bravado. The racetrack takes a lot out of a horse. Or perhaps, losing on the track takes a toll. He won’t end up as sweet as Rodney, but Rodney is pathologic in his need for affection. Milton will be closer to the middle of the bell curve, once he gets over himself.
Therefore, we are going out of our way to love on Milton throughout the day. If that is too anthropomorphic for you, we are engaging in multiple, short sessions to increase Milton’s tolerance for human interaction.