Pony goes by devilish name - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pony goes by devilish name

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - It's been said that animals can sense when they're in the presence of evil.

In the peaceful hills of Salvisa, Kentucky, about 65 miles east of Louisville, Satan is lurking, and Olivia Dixon is dancing with the devil.

"I know, I'm in love with the devil," Dixon exclaimed about Satan, the palomino pony she cares for. 

Satan had a rough start in life. The pony was mistreated and neglected and for six months, a wild man, running free in eastern Kentucky.

Dixon said, "He would go through people's fences and get in with their horses and be kind of a pain and at that point he was a stallion," said Dixon. There was concern he could potentially impregnate other horses, causing unwanted foals and other problems. "Nobody could catch him," said Dixon.

Animal control finally did catch up to him. A rescuer named him Pressley, but after all of his devilish antics, his name and an ad for him spread quickly earning the nickname "Satan."

The ad the rescuer posted went viral with funny jabs including, "You could buy the horse and he'd come with a free bottle of tequila because you'd need it."

Dixon said, "I grew increasingly worried that the wrong person would take it as a personal challenge and pick him up and try to prove a point, and I don't think this is the kind of horse that needs to be manhandled or strapped down to learn how to trust."

Sure enough, when Dixon picked up the horse, she got some booze. "She grabbed a bottle of wine and threw it in the truck with me. She said I hope you don't need it, but here it is in case you do," Dixon remembered.

A cult has already formed. Satan has more than 35,000 followers on Facebook.  Dixon said, "They were really interested in a pony that could be so bad, how he could be good in a future. It exploded. It was nothing that I expected. I never intended to have over 35,000 people watching what I'm doing with this pony. That's a lot of pressure."

And there were plenty of "neigh" sayers who wrote her messages about his name." It was impossible to keep a horse with that name and have everyone come around or ever be happy," Dixon said.

"It was too good of an opportunity to show people no matter how lost of a cause a horse may seem to be, at any point in their life, they're always worth redemption," Dixon said.

She said a name doesn't always fit. "Satan's a good pony. Oh, I've known quite a few princesses and babies and angels," Dixon said. In just a week's time, Dixon, a trainer with the Kentucky Humane Equine Rescue, has made great progress.

"The fact that he'll meet me halfway is huge. That shows a lot of effort on his part," she said as she worked with the pony.

Dixon slowly and methodically trains with him and if he gets scared, he takes off. "He's really easily overwhelmed by little tiny things. A camera in your hand or a tripod could look like a horse bazooka torturing device," she explained.

Satan does likes beauty shots. He's a bit of a show off, looking more like Fabio, than the Father of Lies. "Sometimes when he runs, he takes off and makes a show of it. He's a funny guy," Dixon said.

A WDRB photographer tried getting close to Satan with a small go-pro camera and he took off. We wanted to befriend Satan. No deal with the devil, just a bribe with a peppermint. Most horses love them, but Satan doesn't trust us.

"His survival instincts are so strong right now that he's trying to shut off the part of his brain that would allow him to relax and eat," Dixon said.

WDRB tried to get close to the horse once again.

Dixon said, "He wants to learn because he's an intelligent horse, but he doesn't know that it's okay to receive affection." And finally Satan lets us love on him.

There's a lot of hope, and a long way to go with this fallen angel and Dixon has no limitations. "If it takes 10 years to make him a happy horse, ten years, I'm keeping him forever anyway." she said.

"It's changed my outlook on life and on everything. If a horse can be abused and tied up with a tight lasso around his neck and not have water for days and not be cared for and still come around and trust enough, trust people again, why can't we change," Dixon said.

Dixon said many people want to donate funds to help Satan, but she won't accept money. She said a person should always be financially ready to take care of a horse and she said she is.

Dixon encourages anyone moved by Satan's story to take action to donate time or money to a reputable horse shelter.

For more information about Satan, click here.

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