Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

One would think it would, or should, take some time to get to know a new horse, and for the horse to become familiar with it’s new person. Not so, with Thow-ra and myself. It was, as if we’d been friends forever. Right off the bat, she was in-tune to my every mood, and I felt hers. We galloped over the countryside, and explored miles of trails together. I practiced pole bending between the steel angle iron poles that held snow fence over the winter months, and hadn’t been taken down yet. They were far closer together than regulation, and there were far more of them, but I made it work. My knees clipped the thin, hard posts now and again, but not enough to stop. We practised turning a barrel with anything that was remotely passable. A burning barrel, post and bucket, 3 trees, imaginary nonsense, anything and everything worked. I borrowed a bridle and saddle, and entered my first horse show that July. I entered 9 classes and took home 4 firsts, 3 seconds and 2 thirds. I won first in barrels, pole bending, obstacle race, and bareback equitation. Apparently, not owning a saddle, along with riding a rough standardbred’s trot, has it’s benefits. It was extra wonderful that my parents and their friends who had been instrumental in my finding my horse, were there to watch as well. So many people, came over to admire my wonderful horse. A few even made offers to buy her. There was no possible way, I could’ve been prouder of my mare, or felt more possessive of her, than I did right then. I would never sell her, couldn’t even fathom the idea. Not only was she all mine, she was truly amazing.
We’d travelled 5 miles to get to the show, competed all day, then rode home. I was hot and tired, yet exhilarated. It had been an amazingly wonderful day.
The rest of that summer was one I will never forget. Part of the deal for being allowed to keep my horse well pastured, was taking care of their horses, and training their son’s rather naughty, extremely brilliant pony, Smokey. I think her owner was about 10 or 11 that year, and we rode together almost every day. Sometimes we would pack a lunch, or have a weiner roast somewhere. We would tie the horses in the shade, while we ate lunch or built a fire. It only took a couple of times of walking all the way home, to teach us not to tie Smokey beside Thow-ra. Smokey would untie Thow-ra’s reins and her own, and away they would go! Heads high and held to one side, so as not to step on the reins, tails flagged in triumph! Thankfully, they always ran home, and watched traffic, too. After a second long, hot walk, we made sure to tie multiple knots in Smokey’s reins, and repeatedly check on her, too. There were many times that 12 knots would be down to 3, or even scarier, 1! The funny thing was, she never left without her buddy, Thow-ra.
We rode rain and shine, and had a glorious time that first summer.
Unfortunately, there was a problem with the father and Smokey. They hated each other. He was too rough with her, and she wasn’t about to put up with it. There came a day when the son came to me, desperate to sell me his pony. He was worried that his father might hurt her, or get rid of her. And that is how I came to own my second, memorable equine. Smokey was pretty, pretty darn smart, and worked her way into my heart. She was 12 hands of naughty that I owned for many, many years. And she was Thow-ra’s best buddy.

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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