Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Horse Rehab

Among the horses we bought to put work into and resell was Denny, a big, chestnut Morgan gelding of substance and stature. We didn’t go looking for him. Rather, he found us. I knew of him. That he’d been in a bad wreck while being driven, and that his owner had bailed and let him go. There were rumours that he might be sold, and I went to take a peek. I made an offer that was taken under consideration, and it was left at that.
I more or less forgot about him, or filed him in the back of my mind, so when he was suddenly mine if I wanted him, I was surprised, yet jumped at the chance. He wasn’t coming without a whole lot of baggage though. He’d had another runaway and wreck, a bad one. This time there’d been a driver and passenger, and both had bailed. I can only imagine how terrifying it had been for the poor horse as he ran, the vehicle bouncing and banging behind him as he tore through the ditch and hurt all sorts of things. What had been a one of was now compounded. The big gelding had no faith in people, his trust level nil, and rightly so. He’d been let down not once, but twice.
I did what had to be done. I took Denny back to basics, and that included a whole lot of long lining then driving, san vehicle of any kind, of course. His pulling days were over, if he’d ever had any. For the first few weeks, he was as tense as could be. Those first few days, as soon as I harnessed him up, he would begin to sweat. His fear was darn near palpable, every muscle as tight as a coiled spring. Eyes wide and worried, nostrils flared with concern, he was saying in every way possible, ‘I’m afraid.’
As I spent time with him, grooming, talking, scratching in all the right places a horse can’t resist, he began to relax. I was in his face and space a good deal, so he had to get used to me. The big guy had no choice.
Not only was he being overwhelmed with being retrained, but he had to be reminded that trailering wasn’t a bad thing as well. As always, corral panels were positioned in a pen off the back of the trailer, feed and water were placed at the front inside, and Denny had to decide for himself, when he was willing to step inside. This method always worked. It had worked for many horses before Denny, and many horses after. It’s the best way of positive enforcement that there is. The trailer becomes a good place to be, like a comfortable stall in a barn is. He would come out of the temporary pen, be worked, then returned once again. It took him longer to start going into the trailer than most, but when he did, he was avid. He would see me coming, and quickly go into the trailer where he would whinny at me.
“Hey, I’m hungry! Hurry up eh?”
Honestly, he said eh, because he was, after all, a Canadian.
When he was a happy, relaxed yet still energetic boy, more than ready and willing to be caught and go out riding, I put him up for sale. All we needed now was, his forever owner.
Sometimes all the stars align, and what should happen does. Denny wasn’t available for very long, when a very lovely couple from Northern Ontario, came to see what I had available. Right off the bat, I liked Donna and Brian. I’m not the greatest judge of character, but this time, I was right on the button. They took out Denny and Semi Sweet, a quarter horse mare, out for a ride, and I could tell they were rather taken with the pair. We turned them out into their pen afterwards, and the first thing Denny did was run and stop atop a bit of a hill. As he stood and posed, all regally majestic in stature, poor Brian was done for. That big gelding had him, hook line and sinker.
They ended up buying both, and loved them dearly. In fact, Denny lived the rest of his long life with Brian and Donna. Donna still has a son of Semi, and Denny, well they lost him not very long ago. Denny had what we hope for all our horses, his forever owner and forever home.

  1. That was a good story Trudy. Like you say a match made in heaven. They were both a little stubborn..

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