Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

The Red Snit

Sally is a character, a very special one. Full of herself, she absolutely believes that she’s incredibly special and in a way, she is. Allow me to explain. Sally is much like a big, glossy red, child. She truly believes that everything is about her. If people are about, surely they’re visiting her. If there’s food or treats, not only should she be first, she should have it all, all the hay, all the carrots, everything is for her. On top of that, she’s ever so licky. What I mean by that is this, she licks. She licks a lot, especially the girlchild. Sweetpea must be absolutely delicious, because Sally would lick her from tip to toe, if allowed. It’s ridiculous and hilarious
Lately, Sally has been trying to assert herself, a whole lot more. She shares space with two sisters. Raven, who doesn’t accept guff from any other equine, and Donni, who also wants to move up the tiny herd ladder. Raven is top dog. There’s no doubt about that,  and sisters, Sally and Donni don’t dispute her position at all. It’s their own standing with Raven that’s at issue. Each very much wants to be second in command, and neither has any intention of backing down. A few weeks ago, the pair really got into it. Though Donni ended up unable to put weight on one, hind leg, she had every intention of continuing the argument. Something had to be done. Vet bills or worse, are not acceptable.
After trying a couple of different living scenarios, it was decided that, Sally would be given some time to consider her snitty attitude. Into a pen she went, to live by herself. A few days of reflection, might change her behaviour a bit. If nothing else, it gave the other horses, a bit of time to establish ownership of the winter pen. It’s a trick that often works really well. Change friendships and you can change herd dynamics.
To say that Sally is a character, wouldn’t be an exaggeration. She loves humans, as much as she loves being bossy with other horses. She’s the sort of horse that’ll come a-running when called. Never mind when called, she comes running, if she sees people doing anything at all. She can’t help herself. She simply has to see what’s going on. A naturally gaited mare, she has an amazing running walk as well as all the regular gaits of walk, trot and canter, but that super smooth gait, is extra wonderful. Somehow, being gaited suits Sally. Having something a little extra, suits her forward, ‘all about me’ disposition. Ultimately, she’s friendly towards people, and a sassy, red snit to other horses. She’s super loveable and frustratingly annoying, all at the same time. Was she at all pleased, with being removed from the little group? She certainly wasn’t. The noise that came from that back pen was desperately imploring, but we’re no fools and didn’t fall for the many lies.
“Please, please come and get me. I promise I’ll behave. I won’t start any fights. I promise. ”
Like I said, we didn’t fall for the ever so plaintive calls. Sally stayed where she was, and we waited out the days. Funnily enough, when we finally decided it was time for Sally to be reintroduced, the darling girlchild had a better idea. Instead of putting Sally back with Raven and Donni, why not take Spirit out of the pen she shared with the new horse, Max and put Sally in with him instead? The love affair Spirit and Max had shared before he left us, had cooled right off. She wasn’t all that nice to the poor boy anymore. Spirit could go in with Donni and Raven. Being Boss horse, she’d keep the nonsense to a bare minimum. I barely had a yes out, before the girlchild had another bright idea. Why not put Sally in with Spirit and Raven instead? She would be firmly at the bottom of the hierarchy, without any chance of moving up the ladder. Donni could live with Max. He needed company and as he’s non aggressive and doesn’t have an assertive bone in his body, they’d be perfect together.
It was decided. With no time like the present, we decided to move horses around, again. Sally could hardly believe her good luck. The second she caught sight of the halter, she became incredibly excited. That halter meant freedom. If not freedom, at least back to her buddies. It was all she’d been begging for. It took a bit of chiding from sweetpea, before Sally would settle down, but rules are rules and she knows what’s expected of her.
A few minutes later, she was with Raven and Spirit. She’s pretty pleased now, but soon enough, the red horse may be in a snit again. It can be lonely at the bottom. Who knows, she may be wishing that she’d been a whole lot nicer to Donni.

  1. Damn it, Trudy. A naturally gaited mare. You only posted that to torture me. And a character to boot.
    I am getting a passport now.

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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