Eli comes off as far too grumpy and catty to be especially derpy, although he has derp moments.
They usually involve him wanting attention or eating something he didn’t like. Or licking dirt. Or not paying attention to where he’s putting his feet.
Derp is not his factory default setting — it’s more like an optional upgrade. If you’re into watching horses look derpy, anyway.
Take for instance yesterday evening … I was grazing him, near the round pen, and another boarder walked over to ask a question. I ignore Eli for two seconds, and he’s rolling in the round pen sand mud (it had rained in the morning and everything was wet and gross). Luckily he remembered he was attached to a lead rope and did not do that thing horses do when they get up a from a really good roll and take off bucking … he just shook some of the sand mud off and blinked at me.
And then of course he was mad that I hosed him off …