Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails


We didn’t often have boarders. They could be extremely annoying, use your stuff, leave gates open, generally do all kinds of dumb that irritates like crazy and causes unnecessary angst. That being said, we also had some amazing ones. The best were usually those who bought from us, and really wanted to learn. Many of the keeners were people who were fulfilling a lifelong dream, and they soaked up knowledge like sponges that never oversaturated. There was the occasional one who came with just enough knowledge and bravado to be a danger to themselves and their horse, and those who there was no point in wasting your breath on, too. Those who wanted to know how to do something, then did the exact opposite or completely ignore good advice are my pet peeve. Still, the annoying, get under your skin boarders, were far outnumbered, by wonderful, eager to learn people like Lucy.
Lucy fell in love with Megabucks, the second she lay eyes on her. I swear it’s true. Megabucks was a quarter horse, Arabian cross that was high energy and looking for an owner like Lucy. Lucy was definitely someone I would describe as a keener, and despite the fact that she and Meggy were both incredibly green, she was more than willing to learn and be guided as she finished training Meggy herself.
This may sound a tad strange, but one day, Meggy was displaying signs of colic. We had the vet out. She was seen to, and he advised us to walk her until she had a couple of good bowel movements. Meggy wasn’t suffering a twisted gut. She just needed to poop. A childhood friend who happened to be visiting lent a hand. As Jim was prone to do, he found a better way than walking Meggy. Instead, he hopped onto Robin and ponied the ailing horse around the big lawn. I was okay with it. Meggy was receiving just what she needed. Robin was also experiencing something new, something casually relaxed that still required proper behaviour and obedience. It was a wise use of time and an opportunity to school.
Seeing as Jim had things well in hand, I got busy with other things. There was a vet to pay, instructions to listen to, and things to watch for. By the time I had time to focus on Jim and the horses again, he was astride the untrained Meggy, and Robin was patiently standing at the hitching rail.
“What in the world are you doing?” I had to ask with a bit of amused disbelief. I mean, there was certainly nothing to be surprised about when it came to Jim. He was an action ‘do it’ sort of guy who didn’t worry about the consequences until after the fact. For that matter, he rarely worried about them afterwards either. Jim was Jim, and that’s why he was great with young horses. They didn’t scare him, not one, little bit. Meggy wasn’t her usual feisty self, which was a good thing, and after about another hour of walking, Lucy took a turn, rode Meggy a bit longer then she was ready to safely go into a pen. The crisis was over.
Lucy took full advantage of Meggy’s bit of unexpected training. She was quick to move that pretty mare right along, and soon the pair of them were enjoying hours together. Lucy rode her bareback, rode her under saddle, just rode and fully used, every bit of that Arab fire and energy. That Meggy crazy girl was on or with her horse, every spare moment she had.
This was back in the early years of our farm. Corrals were being built, pastures laid out, and the beginnings of a proper system was slowly being created. There were still areas that were low and needed building up. One of them was at the end of a new corral. Seeing as it was late spring, and hubby had pushed snow there all winter, it was now a rather reasonably sized lake, or at least a pond. A pond of dark, manure-coloured water that was about knee deep in the middle. Hubby and I were working on fences. Lucy was off riding Meggy away from the yard, her first time doing so, without the company of another horse. I had the funniest feeling as she rode out the back driveway and turned down the dirt road. Meggy was all fired up, snorty even, and she appeared to be in an excited mood. Still, Lucy loved that about her horse. She loved a non-boring ride. She wanted vim and vigour, spit and fire, get up and go, and that day, she got all of that and more.
Meggy wasn’t too impressed with the idea of leaving the yard without a buddy. She argued and fussed, and whenever we glanced up, they were still arguing it out.
Pretty involved with what we were doing, we hadn’t looked to see what was going on between horse and rider for a little bit. What caught our intention was the sound of galloping hooves, almost drowned out by Lucy’s extremely colourful language. Stopping what we were doing, we watched dumbfounded as horse and rider leaned around the corner of the driveway off the dirt road, and tore into the yard. Lucy was doing everything she could, to stop her horse, all to no avail. They flashed by us at a flat out run, the air blue from the words coming from that little girl’s mouth. It happened incredibly fast, yet seemed like slow motion. There was the girl on the horse, headed straight for the dark brown pond, and we were helpless to do a darn thing about it, but watch. Meggy wasn’t turning to the left or right. She was aiming for the middle of that brown water, just as if she was going to carry on straight through it. I could envision it. Gross, brown water splashing high into the air as the runaway horse leapt through it.
That’s not what happened though. At the very last moment, with not an inch to spare, Meggy planted her hooves and dropped her pretty head between her knees. Up into the air Lucy lifted, up up up while her forward momentum carried on. The beginnings of a somersault were well on the way, but there wasn’t room for it. That girl landed flat on her back, long, wavy, light-brown hair fully immersed in what pretty well was, liquid manure and urine.
Running to where they were, Lucy staring up at her horse, Meggy staring back as if with surprise, I tried to keep a straight face, but couldn’t manage it.
“Are you okay?” I practically snorted, with barely restrained laughter even as she rolled over onto her hands and knees, “Are you hurt?”
The naughty words kept tumbling right out of her mouth, which only added to the hilarity. She was such a little creature, and those blue words sounded ridiculous coming out of her mouth. She had to get to her hands and knees to rise, went to the horse that still stood there, because Lucy had never let go of the reins, then climbed back up, grossly saturated and all. I have to give her credit. She rode that horse back out, made her behave then put Meggy away for that day.
Did she want a change of clothes, a shower, to at least wash her hair? Nope, not a one. With a big smile and shrug, she got into her car and drove off. Hubby and I? We laughed our butts off, after she left. A person could only control laughter for so long, before it bubbled up and out.

  1. oh my word…that is hilarious.

    Sensible girl Lucy is Oh, thank you for the belly laugh…I can just see it happening. <3

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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