Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Lucky Jim’s New Space

To say it’s been dry this year, is most definitely an understatement. The rain keeps passing us by, and pastures certainly could use a good drink. With fifty acres divided up and well-managed, we don’t have to feed hay yet, but it was time to move the horses to better grazing. I had hoped to leave Lucky Jim, our blind rescue, on the front pasture he was now familiar with, along with his two ladies, but the situation dictated otherwise. They would have to move. It’s not as if he hasn’t been on a few different pastures here already, for he certainly has. It’s just a bit disappointing that it must happen.
Aurora the Arab, and Spirit the Morgan needed a bit of a trim, so we figured it was as good a time as any, to move them as well. Aurora and Jim could move directly over to the fresh pen and pasture. First, Jim would be walked along the boundaries of his new space, then Aurora would be brought over. While she received a pedicure, Jim could do a bit of exploring. Spirit would also have a pedicure then go to graze in a different, nearby pasture. As that pasture has trees and possible dangers, Jim couldn’t safely go in it.
The girlchild took Jim for his walk, and I went to get the gate, for her boyfriend and Aurora. As soon as she returned, I simply had to hear all about their walk. Was Jim nervous? Did she think, he would be okay in the new space? She had to laugh. Jim wasn’t nervous about the new area, yet he had been rather concerned about something. Probably worried about his womenfolk, he hesitated as she led him along the perimeter of the fenceline. He didn’t much care that three mares came galloping up to see what was going on. Sweetpea was with him, he was safe. Sweetpea did have a good chuckle at Sally though. One of the three sisters, who inhabit the adjoining pasture, she actually spooked at the sight of the lovely, very spotty, Jim. I suppose an Appaloosa would appear very strange and rather odd, to a mare who had only known horses of solid colour. Jim wasn’t concerned about them, but Sally certainly had serious doubts about him. To her way of thinking, an alien had landed!
Bringing Jim back into the pen where Aurora was submitting to her pedicure, Sweetpea showed him around the pen then released him by the shelter. The big, spotty fellow, worked his way over to Aurora. Finding the saltblock along the way, he lost himself in the sheer joy of its salty goodness for a while. We’ve never seen a horse use both top and underside of its tongue before, yet that’s what Jim did. Lick forward, drag back, lick forward, drag back, all with a lovely, slurping sound that said, he was thoroughly enjoying it.
As soon as Aurora was done, she went out into the pasture, and we helped Jim through this new gate and to her.
The whole time we were trimming Spirit’s hooves, we kept an eye on Jim. Happily, bliss appeared to reign. When we were done with Spirit, she was moved to the little, treed pasture. It’s a wonderful thing indeed, when a plan goes to … well, plan. It certainly appeared that we had worried for nothing. Jim wasn’t upset or stressed, not one, little bit.
I checked on him a few times over the next while, always with the same result. Jim was contentedly grazing with Aurora. Of course his special water tub had moved over with him, and I could see that the water level had gone down. This was a good thing. Drinking, after all, is very, very important, especially when it’s hot and dry out. Oh, did I mention, Jim drinks out of steel troughs now. As he gets close to where the troughs are, his nose skims along the ground until he touches the side of the trough then he follows it up to the water. Troughs are kept full, to aid his search, and he’s figured it out. The electric fence is also off, to allow Jim to settle in.
Evening chore time rolled around. It was time to bring Jim, Aurora and Spirit their senior feed. Taking out the water truck at the same time, I intended on topping off troughs, while doing the few evening chores. Noticing that Jim was in, and Aurora out on the pasture, I was pleased that he must’ve found his way into the pen, but wondered why he hadn’t gone out with Aurora. Mind you, the three sisters were hanging out on the other side of the separation aisle, so Jim could’ve been visiting a bit. It was all good.
In the midst of topping off troughs, I noticed that the sisters had meandered away, and Jim wasn’t very happy about that. Going to him, I wasn’t surprised to see Aurora hurrying over. It was time for senior feed. She’s no dummy, that pretty Arab. The pair of them share incredibly well, so they ate out of one tub. Three portly mares, returned to see, if they were randomly going to get some feed, though they never have before. I suppose it’s really true, hope does spring eternal. Jim and Aurora finished up, Aurora left, Jim stayed behind to check out the women only to find that when they walked off, he was alone again.
It was time to go to the rescue.
“Jim … come Jim.”
And he did. Trotting over without hesitation, for the help he knew would be provided. Draping a lead over his neck, as I had removed the mask and halter for the night, I led that eager horse out to where Aurora was, with many reminders to ease up. That horse has one long stride, and it’s a bit of work to keep up with him. Straight to his friend he went, putting a nose to her side as if making sure. I left them there, grazing and hanging out, and it struck me again. That lovely, smart, entertaining horse, would’ve been dead quite some time now, if we hadn’t taken him in. Blind or not, he’s an amazing horse.

  1. Missing you on fb. Sigh.
    Thanks for the happy heart with my cuppa this morning.

    Jim’s saga just makes me feel good all over 🙂

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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