Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

My Bud Beau

It was time to ride out. Beau was doing phenomenally well, and his training was ripe for progression. It was time for him to learn all about the big, wide world. My intention was, for him to be a wonderfully sensible horse. One that anyone would be able to trust and ride, without fear of drama.
On the very first ride out, he showed me just how sensible he was. Coming home on the last, short stretch of a four mile ride, I was going to cut through the ditch, which proved unexpectedly slippery. His hooves slid out from under him, and down he went, smooth as could be, onto his side! Thank goodness for automatic reactions, as I simply stepped off him. What did Beau do? I can tell you what he didn’t do. He didn’t panic, didn’t throw a fit or get spooked in any way at all, he listened to me. He listened to the reassurance of my calm words, and the manner in which I behaved. I didn’t make a big deal of it, so neither did he.
With an amused chuckle of surprise, I helped him up and patted his neck. He appeared somewhat surprised, yet nuzzled me as if asking ‘hey, what just happened?’
Nothing at all, that’s what. He slipped out and fell, things happen. Don’t make a big deal of it, and it won’t be. There was no panic, no trying to run off or bucking. I collected the rains, asked him to stand, climbed up and rode the last little bit to home. Don’t make a big deal of things, and they usually won’t be. At least, that’s what I’ve always found.
Riding Beau was relaxing and pleasurable. Though there were other horses to ride and put work on, I found myself drawn to him. He was easy, and handy, and so much fun. I probably rode him far more often than I should’ve, but he was so lovely, so relaxing that I often took the easy out. I rode him in the gravel pits, on the shoulders of roads, and took him to Birds Hill provincial park to explore the maze of trails. A multi use park, Birds Hill is a treasure of green space the public can enjoy whenever they choose. There are beaches for families to enjoy, water to swim in, trails to hike and many camping sites. On top of all that, there are riding stables within the park, a restaurant with hitching rails, a polo field, show barns and rings as well. My favourite part of the park, are all the trails to ride and enjoy.
I get a kick out of riding alongside the giant, cross country jumps, from two different eras of Pan American games. When in pony club, my sweetpea practiced with Sundance Kidd over the smaller course, and most people with horses, enjoy the trails on a regular basis. On this particular ride, Beau and I were leading, a rather amusing turn, as he wasn’t the most experienced fellow. He was however, very predictable and willing. If I asked him to do something, anything, he gave it his best try. We struck out, me and my lack of direction on Beau, followed by a friend on her big, black Canadian gelding, then my longtime friend, Del brought up the rear. Chatting and laughing as we followed the trail through thick bush, we were thoroughly enjoying the ride. I hardly noticed when the trail beneath us had soft, squishy stretches the horses sank into a bit. Progressing onwards, there were spots where water sat on the trail, then even more water that Beau plodded through, and the others skirted by. We weren’t too worried about it. The area had seen a but of rain. It was bound to be a bit wet.

We carried on, the watery sections seemed to be appearing more often, and then it appeared before us. A long section of trail that was completely under water. It had to be at least thirty feet long! Oh well, the horses weren’t made of sugar, they wouldn’t melt, so we forged on.
After one watery stretch, there was another then another. Gee, but the ground underfoot seemed spongy. Gee, but the rain had certainly affected the trail. Now there was yet another stretch off trail that lay under water. This time, it was a bit deeper, and I could tell that Beau was a tad surprised by that fact. There were random little islands sticking up through the water, and he worked his way forward using these as stepping stones. Behind me I could hear the horses of my companions, snorting with displeasure. Abruptly pulling up, even as the big black came up behind Beau, almost pushing us off the tiny mound of grass we’d stopped on, I called back to them, “We have to go back!”
“Forget that,” the rider on the Canadian said, “this must be the worst of it. Let’s go.”
“Nope,” I had to laugh at how adamant she was, “we have to turn around and go back … look.”
We’d all been so intent on the footing that we hadn’t been looking around, not really. I giggled at her quiet gasp as she looked around. We were darn near in the middle of a beaver pond! There was no more trail ahead. At least not that was visible. We truly had no option but to go back.
With a good deal of unhappy grumbling, she got her horse turned around to follow Del back the way we’d just come.
The black gelding slipping off the teeny islands and floundering as he went.  Beau on the other hand, well he gingerly turned his bulk much like an elephant on a stool, and picked his way after them.  Now that, as far as I’m concerned, was one impressive horse. We had a good deal of laughter over our little adventure, and Beau rose several levels of greatness in my eyes. What an awesome horse. When he tried to steal my apple right from my mouth when we took a break, I happily let him. He’d certainly earned it.

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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