Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

The entertainment that was Higgins

After about a month, and the gallop-by incident, we decided it was about time to move Higgins to the property. He’d been to visit, many a time. Except for the one hiccup, he was bonded with future hubby, and seemed to have a friend in Thow-ra. Thow-ra had a pasture buddy in Smokey, but they both appeared to like Higgins as well. For that matter, what was there not to like? Higgins was a rather handsome fellow with a somewhat regal, somewhat snooty way about him that was bound to intrigue. All the girls wanted to get to know him. As Thow-ra already thought him to be hers, and she was boss horse in the pasture, we didn’t foresee any problems. Still, we weren’t about to recklessly throw him into the little herd, where he or one of the other horses in my motley crew could suffer possible injury. We had done everything right to that point. There was no good reason for impatience at this point in the game.
Higgins went into a separate pen, so all the horses could chat, and get to know each other safely over the fence, and out of range of possibly angry or jealous hooves. We kept up the separation for a few days, though it was obvious from the first day, that there wasn’t going to be a problem. All the girls simply loved Higgins, yet he absolutely belonged to Thow-ra. Apparently, the old girl, loved the younger fellow. She was more than willing, to welcome him into the group.
The day came that we decided to fully integrate Higgins into the herd. We brought him into a larger pen, then one at a time, allowed the other horses in.
Thankfully, our care and caution had paid off. Other than a few squeals of introduction, as well as some posturing, bringing them all together was a complete non-event.
There were things to do, horses to trim, fences to repair, and we got at it. Every now and again, we would check to see what Higgins was getting up to. He seemed to be enjoying a thorough investigation of his new digs, and everything appeared up to snuff. Life had to be looking up for him. He was doted upon by future hubby. He had a nice group of new friends without there being so many, that he would ever be lost in the crowd, and there was pasture! Lots of wonderful pasture, to be a real horse in. All in all, we figured life had to be looking pretty good to him.
Glancing up from trimming feet, I looked for Higgins, only to notice, he appeared to be standing somewhat oddly.
“Hey, look over there. What’s that crazy horse of yours, up to now?”
Following my gaze, future hubby frowned as he tried to see better, “What is he doing? I’d better go check.”
“Why is he off by himself like that, too?” I mused out loud, “Instead of hanging out with his new friends, over here with us? Seems kind of weird, eh?”
Future hubby agreed, and as we went into the big pen and headed for Higgins, he suddenly picked up the speed of his pace. Higgins had a front leg, caught up in the fence!
“Don’t rush at him,” I cautioned, “we don’t want to do anything that might make him pull back and possibly hurt himself. Talk sweet and walk steadily.
Immediately, future hubby slowed to a cautious walk.
“Too slow can also be a problem,” I added, “because that can make him suspicious, and he could still react badly. Just be casual and normal,” I advised, “so he will be, too.”
Fortunately, Higgins remained calm, simply waiting as we approached, all the while softly nickering to us as if saying, ‘come give me a hand, I need you.’
With a good deal of reassurances and scratches to keep Higgins focused on us and calm, future hubby carefully eased his gelding’s leg off and out of the fence. All the while, Higgins snuffled the back of future hubby’s neck, and played with his cap. Of course Higgins was showered with attention. He was carefully inspected for any sort of possible injury, and his leg given a good massage, just in case. Leading him away from the fence, future hubby gave Higgins a friendly pat and scratched, then followed me back towards the front again. We didn’t get more than half the way, before Higgins was beckoning for us to come back. We looked back, only to be completely startled and amused. Higgins was right back where he’d just been, leg hanging on the fence again!
“Oh no,” I shared a grin with future hubby, “this is just like what he did, back at the barn. He’s an attention hog.”
“But,” still rather concerned, future hubby was doing his best not to hurry back to his horse, “he could really hurt himself. This is bad, really bad. What if he does this when we aren’t around to help him out? What then?”
“I bet he only does this when someone is around,” I countered as we reached the horse. I could almost swear that Higgins grinned with satisfaction. He had our number. “And do you notice how his leg is exactly between the barbs, just like last time? I swear, he’s doing this on purpose. I’ll bet you anything on it.”
“Naw,” rubbing the warm head that was now pressed against his belly, future hubby was answering me, but talking to his horse, “that’s crazy talk, right Higgins? You wouldn’t do something so silly, now would you? It was just an accident, that’s all. It’s probably never going to happen again.”
“Right,” I snorted with a laugh, “you go with that theory then. Personally, I think he’s darn smart, likes the attention he gets, and is doing it on purpose. I bet he does it again. I’m just glad he’s smart enough to avoid the barbs. I hate barbed wire fence. When we get to move the horses to a new place, no barb wire, not a single piece. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have to get horses trimmed.”
“I’m right behind you,” future hubby amicably assured as he followed, Higgins by his side. We left the pen with every intention of getting back to work, only to notice that Higgins was headed back for the fence again.
“Higgins,” future hubby called to him, “where you going? Stay here.”
Higgins stopped and looked back at us, as if waiting for a moment, to see what we were going to do. When we didn’t make any move to follow, he went straight back to the fence then stood there, watching us watching him.
“Pretend to be busy,” I whispered through restrained giggles, “and we’ll see what he does.”
We acted as if we weren’t watching, and a second later, Higgins carefully, studiously placed his leg back on the fence!
“You’d better go save your horse again,” I laughed with amusement, “I think he needs you more than I do right now. Take him for a walk or something. I’ll trim the horses that will stand tied for it. I’ll leave the others for when Mister Needy is done with you. You’d better get at it,” I laughingly added as Higgins whinnied a tad louder, “You’re being paged.”
As they walked off together, I had to shake my head. If nothing else, Higgins was going to be a continuous source of entertainment. He was quite the character.

  1. Another fab chapter, looking forward to the next. Thanks x

  2. That is hilarious! , just like horses can feel your mood , I’m sure they can almost understand what we say to them.
    And the ones we have to part with with the Vets assistants, I hope they know I did the best I could for them for 17 years and I’m sorry ( she was 24 or 25) when a lady gave her to me . I hope I’m not just a “ feed bag “ walking towards them, I hope they know I love them.🐴💛

  3. My old Ruby died on Wednesday, April 25,18

    • I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the story. I believe that the people who care for and love their horses become an important part of their herd. I bet your old Ruby was as attached to you, as you were to her.

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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