It's a rainy day and I am just about to offend almost everyone with a horse, even my friends. Horses are NOT cheeky. It's a word that makes me want to scream because it implies that there is a moral dimension to a horse and also that simply by having a 'cheeky face' they are cheeky. Horses are just horses that act like horses. They don't plan anything, they don't try to be cute or clever or anything, they are just what they are and what they have been taught to be. The same, of course, may not apply to mules...
My problem with words like cheeky and naughty, and other words which for the sake of national curriculum are known as synonyms, is that it sets up the relationship between the handler and the horse which is based on a false premise. It then affects how we handle them - some people may tolerate what they see as 'cheekiness' because it seems cute, and others may punish the horse because they see cheekiness as disrespectful. Behaviour we don't want is simply that, behaviour which is inconvenient to us and which can be addressed if necessary or desirable but a horse cannot be cheeky in its behaviour or its appearance.
Perhaps what it points to is our inability to describe what it is about horses that fills our souls with love or frustration.
Don't worry, I also have problems with words like moist.