Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Pony Tails

Rotten, Little Smokey

Perception is everything, when it comes to a pet, with an overabundance of personality. A completely obedient pet, horse, dog, cat or whatever, is seen as smart. A naughty pet, one that always seems to get into trouble of some sort, is seen as stupid, or rotten. A no good animal that is a waste of time, or too much trouble to deal with. Over the years, I’ve owned a few of the naughty ones. The over-thinkers that drove some people, people like my husband for instance, a tad crazy. When I think of horses that irritated him to no end, Smokey leaps to the front of my mind.
Smokey had it all. She was as pretty as a picture, sturdily built and as sharp as a whip. That pony was capable of great things, wonderful things, and quite handily as well … if she so chose. Unafraid of anything, she still insisted upon spooking at the little, blue version of a certain flower that grew along the roadsides. She never spooked at the white ones, only blue, and only at a canter. Well trained and reliable in harness, she would pull a sulky, cart, wagon or bales of hay without a bit of complaint. I bought hay from a neighbour, and would periodically hook her up to the stoneboat my father had built for me, the neighbourhood kids would pile on, and we’d go to pick up a few bales. The drive over was fun for the kids, and Smokey was always particularly jaunty. It always seemed like, she enjoyed the winter outing. I would load up a few bales while the little kids goofed around and played in the snow then, as soon as I had the load on, they’d pile back on. Smokey would lean into the harness, as if checking the load, then she’d back a little, gather herself into a muscular, compact bundle of strength, rear a bit then leap forward to break the stoneboat loose. Off would go a bale or two, a few children, screaming and laughing with utter joyful abandon, would tumble off, and we’d be on our way. That tough pony would hit her stride and trot all the way back home, kids running along to jump on again. She was so great in harness, yet would use her ability for her own gain whenever she could. To pull loose when tethered, to pull away from anyone leading her. She was a pony who waited for opportunities, watched for them, and took advantage when she could.
She was a brilliant jumper. That darn pony could jump far beyond her size, beyond what she should’ve been capable of, yet wasn’t reliable in the show ring. If her rider wasn’t bold enough, Smokey simply said nope, not interested. She could easily sweep a course clean, but simply wasn’t interested. Jump out of the pens at home though? That was a given. There wasn’t a fence that could hold her, if she got it into her pretty, little head that she wanted out. If she couldn’t jump over, she’d crawl through, or under. I can’t count the times I caught her walking the fencelines, checking for that perfect spot, she could make work for herself.
Smokey was a thinker, a planner. Smokey was super smart. Hubby, well he hated Smokey. He hated how Smokey would get out at the drop of a hat, kick up her heels with complete exuberance then gallop off to play and tease the other horses.
“I hate that Smokey,” he would declare in utter frustration, ,”She’s so stupid. I really can’t stand that horse.”
I would just laugh it off, “Not stupid, super smart. Probably one of the smartest ponies you’ll ever get to know.”
“How can you even say that?” He would look at me as if I was off my head, “She doesn’t listen. We can’t keep her in a pasture, she’s a stupid, stupid horse. “So so smart,” I would counter with a grin and a shrug, “A dumb horse wouldn’t be able to do, all the things Smokey can. She’s one, smart cookie. Honestly, the smartest pony ever. If she gets out, then we have to out think her. If she gets out, it’s because we made it possible. We do our job well enough, she can’t get one over on us. She’s a very smart girl, and that’s all there is to it.”
“I still think she’s stupid,” hubby would stubbornly grumble, though I could tell he was beginning to think. After all, there’s no arguing with logic.
Smokey was smart.

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