Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Jim’s Disgust

With the arrival of a Canadian, prairie winter, we decided it would be a good idea to feed Aurora and Lucky Jim a lovely, warm mash. It made good sense. After getting some weight on Jim, there was no reason to have him lose any. Besides that, a delicious, warm meal has got to be nice on a cold, winter’s day. Comprised of beet pulp pellets that have been soaked in hot water for several hours to turn it into a completely soft pulp, porridge style rolled oats and Senior feed, it’s always been a big hit. Though ingredients may change a bit now and again, the horses have always loved it. A horse may take a bit of time,to get used to the warm mash, but they all soon grow to love it. None ever completely refuse it.
With some horses, we’ll add carrot and apple to the mix, but not this time. Jim has no use for either. He’s made it very clear that carrots are disgusting. As for apples, don’t even ask. Because of this, the mash was kept simple. The ultra soaked beet pulp, a handful of rolled porridge oats and the regular ration of Senior feed mixed together in a tasty mess. At least, the horses have always been pretty crazy about it. None has ever been sent back to the kitchen, until now.
I’m getting ahead of myself. We never had returns or turned up noses before, because we never had a horse like Jim. He’s very clear about what he likes and what he doesn’t. Never for a single, solitary second, had we considered that he wouldn’t like a delicious mash.
Sweetpea and I, entered the pen together. She carrying the tub of prepared mash while I held back Aurora. She was extremely excited by the prospect of a nice mash and we wanted Jim to get in there first. Setting down the tub before Jim, sweetpea edged it towards the soft muzzle as he cast about like a dog hunting a scent. He located the tub and dismissed it immediately. There was nothing in it that he wanted. Aurora was happily lipping it up, like there would be no tomorrow.
“Jim,” sweetpea encouragingly beckoned, “come try this. It’s really good.”
Scooping a little handful out of the tub, without disturbing Aurora at all, the girlchild tickled Jim’s whiskers with her free hand to get his attention, then put the handful of mash to his mouth. His response was instantaneous and dramatic. He can’t speak with words, yet we heard him loud and clear.
“What,” he asked with obvious disdain, “is this? What have you done, with my Senior feed?”
That spotty horse ‘stared’ at sweetpea with such disgust, such blatant disapproval that there was no mistaking what he was thinking. ‘Get rid of this crap, and get me my Senior … now.’
We couldn’t help ourselves. We burst out laughing. Jim didn’t care about our laughter as he stood there, not three feet from sweetpea, willing her, to do what he wanted. It worked, because she did.

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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