Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Chunky No-Name

My first experience ever with Morgan horses was when I was working at a huge Thoroughbred farm as a teenager. A friend of the owner sent her little, chestnut Morgan gelding to be trained, or retrained, as the case actually was. You see, she’d been bucked off, broken her arm and ended up afraid to ride her sweet gelding. Now, I wasn’t there to see what had happened, if he’d actually bucked, or she’d simply come off as some are apt to do. What I do know is this. He stood around for at least a month, doing nothing at all, before the head trainer told me to take him out of the pasture and play with him. A horse like that had no place on a farm that was a veterinary clinic, racing stable and breeding farm. He was like a tiny whippet amongst a hundred greyhounds, he was that out of place there. I understood that friends do things for friends, yet this wasn’t the place for the kind of training he needed. Then again, maybe it was.
This was before I had a horse of my own and when I was told to take that little gelding out and work with him, I was tickled pink. I had ridden for years and years, all kinds of naughty nonsense, too. Could I deal with a horse that bucked? No problem at all. I was absolutely keen on the idea. After working with horses and doing regular chores all day, I was going to get to have some real fun. He wasn’t a big horse, maybe all of thirteen hands or so, but he was solid and lovely. There weren’t anything but racing saddles kicking around, so I rode him bareback. As round as a barrel, he wasn’t the easiest to stick to, but stick I did. I was reprimanded for taking him around the training track at a little gallop. All I can say is, it was a good thing they didn’t catch me breaking out of the gate. Despite of what I did with the little guy, all that riding, all those miles, made him a better horse. He was so much fun.
Eventually, his owner came to pick him up. I clearly remember his owner, a woman in her forties or fifties (I was a teen, everyone looked old) came to the farm. She walked around him, her expression reflective and full of doubt as she checked him over. I could tell that she wasn’t too sure about him, yet I couldn’t say a word. No one mentioned that I was the one who had put on the riding. No one asked me to put in my two cents worth. The head trainer and foreman chatted with her about him, while everyone looked on and that was the end of that. I never did know his name, but he did make a big impression on me. The famous Morgan horse of the book and movie had come to life for me, in that chestnut gelding.

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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