Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

A Simple Thing

Our Lucky Jim, did an amazing thing.  Well, it was amazing to us. He ate a carrot, not just one piece, two!  The horse that wouldn’t eat carrots, wasn’t at all crazy about them, finally tried one, and has decided that he likes them. What’s the big deal, one might ask? Well, when you’ve been working with a horse like our Jim, it’s rather a big deal indeed. He has serious trust issues, not that we blame him. After all, he comes by his wariness honestly. A blind horse should never have to experience the craziness of an auction ring, and he went through it five times in seven weeks. If he doesn’t trust people, and is concerned about what they might do to him, he’s earned that right, poor boy.

We’ve had him for quite a while now, and have witnessed many changes in him. Instead of avoiding us, he comes when called, even to strangers, which is huge. It’s easy to catch him, easy to put a halter on, and he absolutely loves, senior horse feed. We’ve watched him let loose and play, and boy can that spotty fella get some height. He truly hasn’t been a challenge to own. We just wish he’d come to us, before he suffered at so many hands, and developed so much distrust. Still, he’s truly come a long way, and he’s changed so much.

My buddy, Del dropped by a while back, and when I was telling him Jim’s story, at least as much as we knew, he suddenly stopped in mid-stride, to give him a second look. He knew Jim.  Well, not really knew, but knew of him. When I told Del the story, of how he’d been sent through the auction because his owner wanted as much as she could get for him, and who that person was, Del connected the dots. Our Lucky Jim, used to be a pony-horse at the Assiniboine Downs, right here in Winnipeg.  We had to shake our heads at the chances and misfortunes, poor Jim had suffered, and how he ended up to be with us.

We haven’t had a moment of regret, nor have we had any problems with Jim, other than slowly gaining his trust. We wish we’d had the opportunity to know him, to spend time with him, before he suffered so many letdowns by humans. We know of several other blind horses. Bambino, the sweet Appaloosa who lives a mile down the road from us, as well as the ones the girlchild’s friend owns. Unlike Jim, they haven’t experienced as much fear and weren’t so traumatized, so their reactions are far different.  Bambino doesn’t spook or shy away from people at all, and is completely trusting.  One of the others has been trail ridden and has gone in a parade. I bet our Jim would’ve been like that, and maybe will be again. His character has been coming to the surface, and he’s learned how to play again. Life for our Jim, is good. At least, we think it is.

So, besides all the changes we’ve seen in him, how relaxed he’s becoming, there are still things that amaze us. For example, he’s not afraid of the big machine when it comes into his pen with a bale. After the first time, he figured out what that noise means. When sweetpea’s beau came beside the pens with his snowmobile, Jim was somewhat wary of the noise, but when Aurora was excited to see it and went to the fence, so did he, not once, but twice.

The biggest, most exciting thing that just happened lately? Well, after offering him a chunk of carrot every day for months, Jim finally took one. Not only did he take one, he ate it and looked for another. We’ve been working very hard on getting him to think of a human touch as a good thing, instead of something to dread, and it’s finally happened. Jim is finally seeking with anticipation, instead of expecting something awful to happen. Yup, it’s amazing how such a simple thing, as a horse accepting a carrot can be worthy of celebration, but it’s huge. So, so huge.  Our Lucky Jim, has stepped further into our world, and we’re so happy with it.


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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