Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Joy of Life

Now and again, one gets lulled into a false sense of the impossible. Winters on the Canadian prairies aren’t likely to be without freezing cold, windy stretches, they just aren’t. No matter how practically balmy it may be for weeks upon weeks, without a doubt, it most assuredly will get colder. There will be days, where bare skin can freeze in seconds. Strong, icy wind will blow, and with an intense fierceness that snatches breath away and makes eyes water. It’s an absolute given. Boxing day brought changes, rather unwelcome ones after such a beautiful fall and beginning to winter. The somewhat moderate temperatures, where the thermometer hung in single minus digits, dropped to minus double digits. Of course, there was the inevitable accompanying wind. This isn’t a surprise, as we flatlanders expect it to be windy. It’s a part of life on the prairies. Still, it’s a bit of a shock to the system, when it’s suddenly much colder than it was. Step away from the shelter of the trees, and the blast of cold, feels like it goes right through you.
It always amazes me how the horses don’t seem to be affected the same as we are. Most will come running to the gate to meet us. Some stand behind their shelters, some have their faces stuck in a big, round bale, and some seem oblivious to the cold. Just like people, they have their likes and dislikes. The day after Boxing day we learned what, Lucky Jim thinks of cold weather. Sweetpea and I were doing chores. The wind was howling, making hearing anything other than what was going on directly around us, more than a little difficult. I was finished my work, so went to where Sweetpea was just finishing watering horses.
“I called to you, but I guess you didn’t hear me,” she said with a wry smile, “You should’ve seen Jim. He was bucking and hopping around like crazy, and you missed it.”
“Aw,” truly disappointed, I laughingly pouted as I settled into the warmth of the pickup truck, we use to haul water to the horses. We get a great deal of joy from seeing Jim act like a normal horse, and I wished I hadn’t missed seeing him bucking with complete abandon. Those are the kinds of things that tell us he’s feeling comfortable in his space, and that he’s happy. “I wish I’d seen that,” I sighed as we sat there in the truck and looked across at Jim, who was standing intently listening and clearly hoping for more Senior horse feed. That horse loves his feed. Just then, right when sweetpea wasn’t looking, Jim leapt into the air like a Lipizzaner stallion in a show. It was an incredibly impressive display of pure exuberance and joy. One that made me laugh out loud, and wish I had caught it on camera. This time, it was sweetpea who had missed out on seeing Jim’s joy. My oh my, how life has changed for that spotty horse, and he’s obviously loving where he’s at. Jim’s a happy horse, and that’s good enough for us.

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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