Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Riding the Dream.

To own her own pony, is almost every little girl’s dream, and I was no exception. After riding every horse in the neighbourhood for years, I finally had my own.
Thow-ra was my every dream come true. I thought she was beautiful, she was actually a bit of a cave painting. Her legs were too short, or maybe it was that her barrel was too long, but definitely cave painting material. She didn’t have a Standardbred jughead, but it was a bit long, and she wasn’t worried about looks either. When she was relaxed and happily trotting along, her ears waggled. Still, when I gazed upon my precious horse, I saw all kinds of beautiful. If there was no one to go riding with, I wasn’t at all bothered. After all, I had all the company I needed. I had Thow-ra.
By the time that first fall rolled around, my wonderful, red horse and I were pretty in tune with each other. She sensed my every mood and emotion, and I trusted her implicitly. It was a beautiful day. A bit of a nip to the air warned of colder days coming, but these brisk days were simply wonderful. The bugs were nonexistent, and Thow-ra behaved like a youngster. She always wanted to run, yet now there was more to it. She seemed full of the joy of life, but then, I was too!
My favourite place to ride was in the gravel pits. There were trails that crisscrossed through the thick bush, sandy stretches winding through hilly areas that were great fun to gallop along, as well as all kinds of terrain to test horse and rider both. It was thrilling to gallop a near mile if trail with multiple, natural jumps and to swim in the clear blue water of the pit on a hot summer’s day. I also loved to explore the faint deer paths for new trail possibilities. We were following just such a deer trail, when it opened up before us. I saw that years before, a bulldozer or crawler of some type had made test holes, to look for certain gravels. They weren’t really holes per se, but more of a sweep of a big, steel blade into the ground. Most were about 20 or 30 feet long, 4 to 6 feet deep, and the width of the blade, about ten feet. The bottoms were deep with colourful, fallen leaves and I simply couldn’t resist. After cautiously riding down into the first of the long row, I asked Thow-ra to canter. Soon, the leaves were flying around us, like fake snow in a snowglobe. It may sound like a silly thing to do, but it was fun and a bit exhilarating. The last in the row was deeper and twice as long. We didn’t hesitate for a single second. Down the gentle slope we cantered, leaves swirling all around.
One second we were having a wonderful time, the next Thow-ra felt like she was disappearing from beneath me! Without hesitation or thought, I leapt from her bare back to a bank, reins still thankfully in my hand. Scrambling to turn and look back at her, I was positively horrified. All that was visible of my precious Thow-ra was her head and maybe a foot of neck, if that. To this day, I don’t know how she got out of the mire, or quicksand, or whatever it was. I pulled on the reins, sobbing with fear for her. She struggled every time I pulled, and finally, she climbed out. Leading her out and away from the sweeping hole, I couldn’t stop shaking, and neither could she. Almost completely covered with muddy, wet sand, she shook from more than just the cool day and wet. She shook from the strain of what she’d been through, and from the stress of it. Leading her down to the water’s edge, I let her have a sip of clear, cold water before heading for the nearest house behind the pit. I don’t know what the man who watched me walk my filthy, shaking horse towards him thought at the sight of us, but he swiftly got out burlap bags and together, we rubbed down Thow-ra until she stopped shaking. I was ever so grateful for his help and understanding, and for his kind help.
After profusely thanking him, I headed back to the farm, walking. It was dark by the time we got there, and my mother had come looking for me, yet I couldn’t leave Thow-ra without making sure she was okay first. Mom went home for warm water for Thow-ra to drink, and I spent the time waiting for her return, brushing my rather dirty horse. She was dry, had long since stopped shaking, and seemed none the worse for wear. She drank the warm water, then made it obvious that she wanted to go and join her buddy Smokey, out in the pasture.
I had a different idea. Because of what had happened, I was going to keep her separate, in a smaller pasture. I finally released Thow-ra only to watch her do her giant trot, towards the separating fence then quite handily jump over it. So much for taking it easy for a bit. She was over her ordeal. I on the other hand, had nightmares about it for days.

Leave a Reply

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.
All rights reserved. No part of this website or book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic or mechanical – without the prior written permission of the author.


 Oakbank, MB