Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Good Eats

Fall on the Canadian prairies, is often pretty much perfect, unless it’s a wet one, or it snows. Snow usually stays away, at least until Halloween. I can’t count the times, snowflakes would gently drift down, as we kids walked home from trick or treating. When my own kidlets were young, there were times I was driving them around, in a foot of snow. Thankfully that doesn’t happen all too often. The autumns that last well into November, and sometimes even December, are the most wonderful. No bugs, perfect weather for riding, and a briskness to a horse’s stride that’s exhilarating. The woolly coats the horses grow, Canada geese flying overhead, and the changing of the colours of leaves, all say, fall won’t last. The early snowfalls that don’t hang around … not yet anyway, say it won’t last. Winter will come. Before long, the snow will fall, and it will stay. There are all the things, the many tasks on the ‘list’, to try to get checked off, and not a day can be wasted. As much as possible, has to be done, in the time that’s left.
This perfect fall day, started off rather well. Crepes with delicious, saskatoon berries for breakfast, then the girlchild and I went outside, to move two horses to fresh pasture. Fresh pasture in the fall, you ask? How is this even possible? It’s possible, if a pasture has been in the process of being re-fenced, for a young stallion. If that stallion is a tad portly, and does very well on two or three flakes of hay twice a day, he certainly doesn’t need to be on pasture. It made far more sense to put horses that could use the grass, on it instead. We didn’t have to think about it. The two horses, with the good fortune of enjoying all that grass, were to be Aurora and her blind beau, Lucky Jim.
When dealing with a horse that’s blind, there are extra considerations that must be made. Don’t do anything unexpected or startling. Don’t forget to talk, and allow the horse to see with his ears, and at all times, have kind, gentle patience. Throw the fact that said blind horse, had his faith and trust in humans seriously shaken, and an added level of care and handling, is added to the mix. Still, he’s doing pretty well. Some would say, he’s doing great.
Jim’s story before us, is hazy at best. Most of what we know, he’s told us. He hates his ears being touched, especially the right one, so someone twisted his ears very painfully. This is an archaic form of submission, and clearly, it was applied to excess on poor Jim. He used to be afraid of clanging metal, rattling chains … humans in general. Now he comes when called, is interested when he hears the vehicles he knows, and eagerly anticipates senior horse feed time. Which, by the way, he believes should be all the time. One by one, Jim’s fears have fallen by the wayside. He’s changed so much, it makes our hearts happy.
It seems a bit funny, to celebrate the smallest things, but the smallest thing happened yesterday, then again today, and was celebration worthy. Jim came up when called, and allowed sweetpea to take hold of his halter … without a bribe. No handful of grass as an enticement. No pocketful of senior feed. He simply allowed it, and that’s huge. Today he did the same. A tickle of his whiskers, he moves away, but ever so slightly. Another tickle, all the while sweetpea is talking all kinds of sweet talk, and Jim says ‘okay. Okay nice person, I’ll go with you.’
To the new pen and pasture we all went. Jim was shown where his new boundaries were, where the water was, Aurora tagging along, like a good buddy should. Of course, the geldings in the pasture next door, came galloping over, with much excitement. Not to worry, I appreciate the value of buffer aisles between pens, and a lack of fighting over or through the fence, has a great deal of appeal. Jim had no worries at all. No horse could reach or hurt him, ever.
With Jim happily settled in his new digs with Aurora, we left them to graze. After all, there’s always that list to get at. I would check on Jim later, on the girlchild’s orders!

  1. He looks pretty good sized next to sweat pea. How tall is he?
    I can tell from the video that he feels safe with her.
    I bet that he would go nicely following boyfriend on Aurora being ridden by your daughter. Ok. Next spring. I find it impossible to believe that with his color and stature he wasn’t trained for something or shown. I look forward to next spring and watching you guys find out more about him.

    • My educated estimate would be that Jim is a tad over 15 hands, about 15.2, and Aurora is also one we rescued, and can’t be ridden. She lives the life of leisure, like the princess she thinks she is. We know Jim had training, and over time, will explore what he knows.

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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