Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Sundance Kidd, the story continues.

The first thing I wanted to do, as soon as we got home, was get Kidd out of the trailer and settled into his new home. He was all high-headed and snorty as I led him to the barn. Not something I was too worried about. It was pretty typical behaviour that I had fully expected. After all, this was all new to him, what with the different smells, sights, and as always when a trailer pulled in the yard, the rest of the horses were hollering their welcomes. He followed me into the barn quite willingly, and straight into the tie stall with not a bit of fuss. I clipped the snap onto his halter, gave him a happy pat to his warm, soft neck, and moved to leave the stall. Well, all manner of upset happened! Kidd had every intention of leaving with me. He was pulling back with all his might, thrashing back and forth, and I was right there, still beside him, pinned against the stall. I have to say, it’s not easy to try to calm a horse that’s in a zone of his own, while calling for help, and trying not to die! My husband had heard the kerfuffle, and was already running to see what was going on. The second he burst into view, I said, as calmly as I could while being pummeled half to death, “stand to the side, but push him forward with your hand.”
In that moment’s break, when Kidd leapt forward from surprise at the sudden touch of a hand, I was out of that stall with the speed of a scared rabbit and the grace of a buffalo. I’m pretty sure, I darn near did a face plant in the aisle way, in my haste to get out of that stall. Standing there for a few long seconds, catching my breath while staring at Kidd, who had resumed his frantic thrashing about, I realized, we still had the problem of getting him out of the stall. Hopefully without dying or being seriously maimed in the process. Thanking the wisdom of building tie stalls with a walkway in front, I had my husband tapping Kidd’s rump with his hand for attention, while I hurried around to the front of the stall where I was able to release the stall tie.
Leading Kidd to a corral a few minutes later, the poor fellow sweating and blowing through his nostrils, I suddenly realized, we’d had the wool pulled over our eyes, again, sigh.
The next day I saddled him with what he was familiar with, English tack, and rode him for a while in the riding ring. He was difficult to collect, yet after a half hour or so, was going along rather well indeed. Things were looking up.
Well, a couple of days later, a couple of young, teen girls from a few miles away, rode over on their horses to see the new horse. I thought that, seeing as he was this incredibly well-trained horse, I would ride back with them a ways. Kidd needed the exercise, and I wanted to get to know him better. The beating I had taken in the stall, still fresh in my mind, I simply got all the brushes and tack I would need and set them out by the hitching rail. Something we did, for all the years we owned him. I simply held the end of the lead, and carried on. Anyway, once Kidd was tacked up, western this time, I mounted up and we headed off.
Things were going well. We’d travelled about 2 miles to a dirt road. Kidd and I in the lead, getting to know each other on this beautiful, spring day. A second later, I found myself behind the saddle, riding his muscular rear, and we were full gallop! With the recklessness of kids, the girls had thought it was a good idea to race up the dirt road, from behind me, and without any sort of warning at all. They passed us at a gallop, and Kidd was having none of it! His response was immediate and without any discussion with me, as to the merits of tearing down a dirt road at full speed. It took about 5 or 6 long strides before I somehow managed to claw my way back onto the saddle. Clearly all the horseback games from my childhood and youth were coming in handy. There was no slowing or controlling the big, powerful horse. He was off to the races! A few more strides, and we passed the grade, then the thoroughbred recently off the track was overtaken and soon eating our dust. I couldn’t slow Kidd down, never mind stop. The first mile flew by under thundering hooves, then the next. The girls who had created my problem left far behind. Thank goodness, there weren’t any cars at the crossings. Thank goodness, he didn’t trip! When I was finally able to pull him up, the corners of his poor mouth were raw, my hands were actually bleeding, and I was none too pleased with the girls, and they knew it. Another falsehood, we’d been told. Kidd did not work well and respond to a simple snaffle. Not at all! From that day forward, he was ridden with a mechanical hackamore. There was no darn way, that horse had done 3-day eventing in a snaffle, no way. I was ever so grateful I had been the one to learn that the hard way, and not my husband. It was a long, hot walk home. One that certainly gave me loads of time to think. We’d bought ourselves a project, again.

  1. Maybe you picked up the wrong horse and the people who sold him neglected to ever tell you HA HA HA

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB