Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Pony Tails

A Girl and her Horse

As you all know, from my many stories, I was about as horse crazy, as a kid could be. As I grew, my addiction never waned, not one, little bit. If anything, it grew in leaps and bounds, which is a tad funny, as well as ironic, as many of the horses I had the joy of riding, did a good deal of leaping and bounding. I trained horses and ponies to make pocket money, but a mere kid, doesn’t get the good horses to ride. She gets the ones, the big name trainers, pass on. They like to train horses that will make a name for them. Horses that will show well, in the hoity toity circles. Horses that are worth big money.
Those hard case horses, I got to train, certainly did make me a better rider, and taught me a good deal. There were ones that came after me, if I happened to come off. I remember one in particular that was like a dragon horse. If I went off, I had to hit the ground running. There was no such thing as moaning and groaning, about aches and pains, or how hard the ground was. Her hooves would be striking out, and apparently, it’s true that horses can bare their teeth. Eventually, they all came around to my way of thinking, and all ended up being great riding horses.
Having a horse crazy girlchild, is about as good as it gets, when you’re horse crazy yourself. From a tiny tot, my little girl was about as fascinated by equines, as I had ever been. I couldn’t keep her out of the pens and pastures, and she was riding before she could walk. If it had four legs, a mane and tail, she wanted to ride it, and often did. Those critters out in the fields weren’t just horses, they were her friends.
Her big brother had his pony Chauncey, and they rode him all over the yard. As I was on the hunt for a suitable pony for her, they shared Chauncey, though he was her brother’s pony. Chauncey was such a great pony. Absolutely trustworthy, he didn’t have a mean bone in his adorable body. I never had to worry, when they goofed around on, or with him. Little sweetpea would help her brother up, then he’d haul her aboard, or she’d climb onto a rock or the fence, and jump on. Sometimes I would help them, but I wanted them to figure these things out for themselves. Did I mention, the boychild was about four years old, the girlchild was three? They were young, but they certainly had a good deal of fun together. Those two rode that rotund, little pony, double. Of course, walking would get a bit tedious and boring. Before too long, they’d be drumming their little heels against his sides, and asking for more. It was the funniest sight ever, as their legs stuck out on that barrel of a steed. No way, did their tiny, enthusiastic feet, ever connect with Chauncey’s sides, not even a bit. Still he always seemed to figure out what they wanted, and would pick up the pace.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a tiny, trotting pony, with two kids up, and bareback besides, but it’s hilarious. Two little bums, bouncing with teeth-chattering speed, is always a source of amusement. I never worried, if they fell off. They were close to the ground, and if they fell now and again, they put more effort into staying on.
I don’t know why, but the boy was usually the one, to bounce off Chauncey’s round back. There would be the tiny girlchild, perched on Chauncey’s plump rump, and seemingly just fine, riding the rumble seat. It was pretty amazing, but that wee girl, rarely fell off. Chauncey would trot on a bit, then usually stopped to eat grass. Sweetpea would scoot forward, stretch down for the reins, and bring him back to a very disgruntled brother.
The scene repeated, more times than I can possibly count, but the end result was that both kids, became good riders. Those early rides, only served to make the girl want to ride more, do more. She was like my little, chatterbox shadow. The boy was as well, but he never had the horse bug, like she did. The questions were endless. “Why this, how come that?” I would answer as a caring mom does, yet every answer, simply seemed to lead to another question. My go to, when I ran out of answers?
“Because that’s the law of toyland.”
Surprisingly, it worked for a few years. It was a department store commercial about toys, and what kid didn’t love toys. Besides, it was clearly a law, so beyond questioning.
As the kidlets grew, the girlchild’s life was wrapped around the horses. The boychild still helped do whatever was asked of him, but quit riding at about ten or eleven, when the big, old mare he rode was retired. The girlchild went on to help train, ride all kinds of disciplines, and soon became the main starter of young horses.
I can’t imagine a child of mine, not sharing my passion. Thankfully, I don’t have to.

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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