Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

The Things Kids do

What horses will put up with from a child, often amazes me. Horses can be incredibly forgiving, for things they really shouldn’t be. Not all horses have a special tolerance for children, but many do. They behave gentler, far more careful, yes, even concerned for the safety of a young person.
The Belgian, Tom was one of those horses. Sweetpea could do no wrong, at least as far as he was concerned. She could sit on him while he was lying down, out in the pasture. When she rode him, right from when she was three years old, he would never pull the reins out of her two finger hold. Yes, she literally held each rein with a finger and thumb. No matter how often, I tried to convince her to take hold of the reins, she simply wouldn’t. At least with Tom, it wasn’t a problem. Some of the funniest sights I ever saw, was when either the girl or boychild would go catch him to bring him in, and instead of clipping on the lead, they went the cheaters route and took hold of the halter instead. Tom would forget and raise his head, and just like that, there would be a child, dangling like a puppet on a string.
The girlchild would simply talk sweet to the big lug, he would heave a big sigh then lower his head. It was incredibly adorable, I can tell you that for sure. The boychild? If I didn’t catch it happening, I would hear, “umm mom … help?”
Looking his way, I would chuckle, “Be a good boy, Tom. Put your head down. Be nice. There’s a good boy.”
That big horse put his head, and my child down every time. No fuss or bother at all.
When the girlchild grew older, she loved to take her horse crazy girlfriends out to see the giant Tom. I think he loved those times, as much as she did. After all, what was there not to love. A gaggle of young girls fussing and fawning over you, no matter who or what you are, is pretty sweet. There were treats involved, pats and scratches in all the right spots, and he loved his great, giant head rubbed. Life was pretty darn good for that friendly, big lug. It got even more interesting when sweetpea joined Pony Club. Then there was a whole group of young girls who were fascinated by him. They were practicing vaulting, of course sweetpea had to go and get Tom out of the pasture. She could vault onto him. She wanted to see if anyone else could.
That giant horse simply stood there, like the trooper he was, while young girls crawled all over him. It was rather like watching rock climbing, and Tom was the rock. His knees were toeholds, big handfuls of mane, the safety line. He didn’t move, he didn’t complain or fuss in any way. He appeared perfectly pleased, as long as he was being paid attention to. If there was one thing he was getting scads of, from the giggling girls, it was attention. In the end, there was only one girl besides sweetpea, who could vault onto his great height, and that pleased the girlchild immensely. Tom was her special buddy. As much as she wanted to share how wonderful he was, she didn’t want to actually share him. Tom was her father’s horse, but sweetpea loved the big guy, and I think he loved her back. She’d fascinated him, from the first time he’d seen her, back when she was as tall as his head was big. That curious interest never ended. Tom couldn’t resist going over to see what she wanted, even when she didn’t want anything at all. They truly had a special connection that lasted all the years we had him.

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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