Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Twenty-five Days of Jim

It’s hard to believe that the Appaloosa out in our pasture, is the same nervous, wary fellow that joined our family not so long ago. He’s changed every day, thankfully, for the better. He’s learned that humans are good, his environment is safe, and if he needs help, he can ask for it. Some would say that it’s impossible, nay ridiculous, to suggest that a horse can ask for help. I beg to differ. Many of the horses here on the farm, ask for help on a regular basis. There’s plenty of ‘scratch me here and get that giant stinging thing off my back’ from all of them, except for Jim. He’s only beginning to learn to ask for help, but he’s getting there. Over a period of three days, he learned that if he needed a human, all he had to do was ask, and ask he did.
The hubby and I were working on a shelter that was in need of repair, when I noticed Jim’s two companion mares, come in for water. Jim had followed, as far as the gate leading into the corral then would go no further. Whatever had happened, to make him think he couldn’t pass through on his own, must’ve been pretty scary. Far too scary, to now leave him able to go it on his own.
“Jim’s thirsty,” I said to hubby, even as I was setting down my hammer, “I’ll be right back.”
Part of Jim’s care, is to make sure he drinks enough water. That saying, the one that says, you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink? When it comes to Jim, it’s completely wrong. I meet him at the gate, calling out to him as I approach. He comes to me, is actually eager to meet me, reaches out as he seeks my hand, and I brush his whiskers to let him know how close I am. I take hold of his halter, and bring him to his water tub. I warn him a few strides before, his strides, not mine, that we’re reaching the water, then tickle his muzzle. Yes, he follows that tickle down to the water, or his feed, or grass. It’s how I tell him where his muzzle needs to be, and he learned this, within days of being in the pasture. As soon as he’s drinking, I let him go to do as he pleases. As the mares moved to relax by the shelter, I returned to help hubby.
Keeping an eye on things while working, I smiled when Jim found a good spot to roll on. He’s pretty much, the most amusing horse to watch rolling. He moans and grunts from the sheer pleasure of it, and clearly enjoys every second of it. Of course the mares chose right then, to leave the pen and head back out onto pasture. Poor Jim. He groaned back to his feet, gave his coat a good shake, then checked for the ladies. It didn’t take him long, to figure out that the ladies had left him behind. About to go and quite literally lend him a hand, Jim suddenly did something so funny, so dramatic and surprising that hubby and I burst out laughing as we watched. Jim threw a little fit. Right there by the gate he wouldn’t go through on his own, he squealed and squeaked while bucking on the spot! Poor Jim was pretty darn upset, and he was showing it.
“Aw, Jim, I’m coming,” I laughingly called out to him, and ran to help him out. That darn, smart horse heard me, and was visibly relieved to hear me, to feel my presence. He knew I would help him. I always help him.
I helped him to find the girls, because instead of leaving me, he kept circling back to me. Every time I led him a little further and released him, he would come back to me. He wanted me to bring him right to the mares, which I did.
From that point forward, Jim always asked for my help. He reaches for me, touches me, and knows I’ll keep him safe. He still won’t move through the gate on his own, but he can suddenly find the girls with unerring accuracy. That lovely horse, even has the confidence to trot to them now, and to think, he would be dead, if we hadn’t taken him. What a waste that would’ve been. Blind Jim is an amazing horse that only shows us more of his true self, with every passing day, and he’s amazing.

  1. So enjoy your stories. I drive a truck and in my down time i like to follow up on the latest post. Adds a bright spot to my day. I miss my horses when I’m on the road

    • How cool that you drive truck. You’ve probably figured out that I did too. It’s an interesting job, but the long hours aren’t great. Glad you get time to read the stories though.

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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