Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Catch Me

There’s little more annoying, than a horse that avoids being caught. A beautiful day comes along, the sort that just begs for a ride, but your horse says no. It’s so darn frustrating. I had many of those days, back when I was young. There were times it quite literally took a few hours, to catch a horse. I’m sure, they all came by their aversion to being caught honestly. Chances are, they weren’t treated well, were subjected to pain and discomfort, and looked at people as awful beings. Many of the horses I bought, had been abused and many more starved. Some fell before my charms and tasty tidbits, quite quickly, others took more time. Still others, never entirely came around.
A hard to catch horse, certainly keeps a person on their toes. Each one took, a different approach. Some quit running after being funneled into a smaller pen, some didn’t. The horses that got the whole gang running, were absolutely the most aggravating. One hard to catch horse, swiftly turned into a small herd of them. As tricky as I was, some knew exactly what I was up to. The hand hidden under, or beside a bucket of oats, the sidle alongside with a rope, they were onto them all. I soon learned to catch with a lead, not my hand. If a horse jerked away at a touch, a handhold wasn’t strong enough. I learned that the hard way. It’s easy to assume that after being dragged a few times, or having a halter ripped out of my hand that I’d learn … not so much. Many a time, I went skiing on my heels, beside a fleeing horse or pony. You’d be amazed, at how powerful a wild pony could be. The broke horses didn’t attempt pull away, they knew better. The second they felt a hand on their halter, they gave up the game. A rope over the neck was another story. Just because a rope lay over a neck, didn’t guarantee capture. That rope had to turn into a halter pretty quick, or all bets were off.
Thankfully, the chasing horses is in the past. Even horses that come with issues, and don’t want to be caught, can get over their wariness. Horses like Aurora, Jim, and now Max, soon learn to come to us. We catch and release, over and over again, until the horse learns that we won’t hurt them. If chased, horses run. If a hand abruptly grabs, they’ll react. Behave like you really don’t care, one way or the other, be willing to let go, and they’ll start coming back to you. Instead of playing catch me if you can, it will change to ‘just try to get rid of me’.

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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