Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails


Once in a while, we would buy back a horse we’d previously sold. We always appreciated, when owners at least gave us the option to do so. It never happened very often, but when I got the call that Manny, a gelding I had sold was going to be up for sale, we just had to go and see him. His owners were retiring and moving to the cabin at the lake, where there was no place to keep a horse. He wasn’t for sale for any reason, other than that. He had no issues, no vices, no horrible problems. His owners were simply moving on, to start a different, retired life, and had kindly chosen to give us first option.
Of course, my girlchild immediately wanted to go and see him. If it was up to her, we would never sell a horse, and would quite happily buy them all back. What am I saying? She’s still like that.
Anyway, we made arrangements to go and see Manny posthaste. The girlchild didn’t want to leave it, just in case the owners suddenly got a big offer, and sold him to someone else. I was told that we could go and see Manny, even though no one was home. As I knew the horse, they didn’t feel that they needed to be there.
The girlchild and I hopped into the truck, and went to see Manny.
Manny was every bit the horse we remembered, sociable, curious and in very good health. The whole time we were giving him the old once over, my little sweetpea kept looking at Manny’s buddy. A bit of a cave painting, the chestnut gelding had a rather long body and swayback, legs a bit shorter than they should’ve been, and a long head. Still, there was something extra-appealing about the old gelding, and yes, I was sure he was old. Late teens, from the look of his teeth. I knew what was coming, even before sweetpea opened her mouth.
“We have to take him, too,” she said, her demeanour and voice ever so imploring, “We can’t leave him behind, mom. He’ll be lonely, and no one is going to buy such an old horse. If they did, they wouldn’t take good care of him, like we would. We have to mom. They’re best friends. We can’t split them up … that’s just too mean.”
“But we’re not getting Manny to keep him, sweetie,” I reminded her, “We’re getting him, to make sure his training will be fresh then we can sell him to another home as good as this one has been, right? If you want to buy Manny, by all means do so, but an old horse we don’t know anything about? That’s another story. For all we know, he hasn’t got any training at all.”
“I’ll try him out,” she immediately grasped at, what surely must’ve appeared to be some sort of weakness on my part, as she hurriedly began looking around for some means of doing just that. Spying a halter and bit of rope hanging on a post, she smiled from ear to ear. Clearly, to her way of thinking, the old horse was surely coming home with us.
“What do you think, you’re going to do with that?” I asked, even as she headed straight for the old gelding, “You’re crazy, if you think you’re jumping up on him. I mean, what if he bucks? Worse, what if he bolts and takes off?”
“If he bucks, I might fall off, or maybe not,” she nonchalantly answered with a cheerful smile of expectation, “and he won’t take off. He’s way too nice.”
“You don’t know that,” I insisted, while she persisted with getting the weathered halter onto the long head.
“He’s not going to do anything,” she persisted, even as she tied the bit of rope onto the bottom ring of the halter, “He’s really sweet, mom. I can tell. Give me a leg up, pony ride please?” she added with a persuasive grin my way.
I’ll wager, I led that horse and sweetpea maybe ten steps, when she chirped, “okay, hand me the rope. I want to ride him around a bit.”
“With what amounts to one rein, you want to ride around on a strange horse?” I slowly shook my head, because to tell the truth, I didn’t feel like she was going to have any problems, “You think you’ll stop him, do you? What about reining?”
She had an answer for every question.
“I’ll straight rein in one direction, neck rein in the other, no big deal. Give me the rope and let go, mom,” she encouraged with a nod, “we won’t know until I try. If I want to stop, I’ll just come to you.”
“And if he doesn’t neck rein?” I tried one more time, even as I appreciated that I was giving in.
“Then I’ll just turn one way,” she affably shrugged, “no problem.”
Handing up the rope, I watched as she rode off. That girl of mine, rode that horse all over his pasture just as she said she would. I knew then, that we were taking two horses home, instead of just one. Little did I know that old horse named Chico, would come to spend the rest of his years with us. Sweetpea’s intuition had been right on the money, he was a great horse. He became our ‘go to’ horse. Was a great lessons horse, and fiercely protected any pasture he was in from Canada geese, which he hated. The stories I could tell about that horse, are many and amusing. The stories, I will tell about that horse, will come along … soon.

  1. I would have done exactly as you allowed girlchild to do……………Absolutely love your stories and writing skill. Thank you.

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