Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Horse Tails

When my daughter was about eleven, she joined pony club. I thought it would be fun for her to be a part of something where there were lots of other kids, with their horses, too. She, and by she, I mean I, had decided that she would ride her lovely, very tiny, purebred Morgan mare, Beatrice in pony club. Beatrice had safely carried her on trails, in parades, and so much more. She seemed like a sensible choice, for this next adventure. As it turned out, not so much.
Beatrice couldn’t jump. It wasn’t just that she wouldn’t jump, she physically couldn’t. I should’ve known. After all, the fence could quite literally be on the ground, and she wouldn’t escape. She’d pitifully call for her friends to come back, but she wouldn’t cross a simple rail on the ground. What was I thinking?

Still, sweetpea was determined to use her precious Beatrice, we were never allowed to call her simply Bee, and they forged on together. Or to be clear, sweetpea would have every intention of taking on the jump. Beatrice, not so much. It was near impossible to push the tiny, black mare into a canter towards a jump, and it didn’t make much of a difference anyway. She would get to the jump, abruptly slow to a near stop, then rear up to hop over like a deer.
I don’t know if any of you have really watched a deer go over a fence, but they can bound over from a standstill. This is what little Beatrice did. She simply didn’t have the forte to jump. Some horses can jump, some simply can’t. Beatrice most definitely fit into the ‘can’t’ category.
My little girl child was neither frustrated or upset with her darling horse. I swear as they launched almost straight into the air, only to momentarily part company at the height of that awkward leap, all you could hear was her laughter ringing off the trees. Upon landing, she would be on Beatrice’s neck, or occasionally still in the saddle, but she thought it hilarious. Of course the coaches thought that if sweetpea carried a whip, matters would improve. They didn’t. There was no way she would ever touch her precious Beatrice with a whip, never mind bop her with it. Not that it would’ve helped. The wee horse, simply wasn’t a jumper. At one point, a coach even walked up with utter frustration.
“This is a whip,” she sighed, “not a magic wand. You actually have to touch the horse with it.”
I simply chuckled under my breath. There was no way a whip of any kind, would ever touch Beatrice’s glossy coat.

Now I’m going back a few years, to a time when sweetpea was my constant shadow. I would be leading that hot wingnut, Sundance Kidd. He’d be bouncing and snorting on my right. The tiny girl child, hopping up and down on my left, and all I’d hear was, “My turn, mom, my turn!”
There was no darn way, I was about to put my 3 year old child up onto Sundance Kidd. No matter how much she pleaded with me.
Now it’s years later, I still had serious qualms about the girl child riding Kidd, as he was still a rip-snorter and hadn’t slowed down at all. The problem I was faced with, was Beatrice couldn’t jump. Sweetpea needed a horse that could, and Kidd definitely could. Not only could he jump, he loved to jump! He would pull towards jumps, as if saying, ‘let me at it’!
She needed a jumper. Kidd was a jumper. It seemed a simple enough decision, especially as she was an amazing little rider. Yet the idea of my baby girl up on the wingnut that Kidd was, gave me sleepless nights. Despite my anxiety, I finally allowed sweetpea to ride Kidd. Want to know what happened? Nothing, not a single thing. After all the nonsense he constantly did with me, he never pulled a single one on her. He was as sweet and gentle, as could possibly be.
I continued to ride the nut-job, I’d come to know and enjoy. She rode the quiet, sensible Kidd in pony club.
Beatrice, well she was the Prince Phillip Games mount, as her 12 hh size was perfect for the vaulting and other tricks. If I’d only known that Kidd would take such good care of the girl child, she could’ve been riding him for years!

I apologize for the quality of the photos, but they are what they are. The one has a special place in my heart, as my mom is in it, and she’s been gone for years now.

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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