Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

The Perfect Horse

Over the years, I met many people who were looking for, the perfect horse. They’re out there, yet unfortunately, many don’t buy the perfect horse for them. They buy the pretty horse, the snorty, flashy horse, not the one that suits their needs. So many people require a horse that’s sweet, quiet, sensible. Yet they often buy too young, too hot, too spooky and way more horse, than they can handle.
Though, I did my best to match people with horses, it didn’t always work out. Often, the reason a horse didn’t work out was because, the owner put all sorts of problems onto the horse. Problems that didn’t exist. A horse could behave, in a perfectly normal manner. Yet the owner, would perceive whatever action, as misbehaving. A very common problem with people without confidence, it takes a lot of working with a person like this, to alleviate this ‘looking for trouble’ sort of problem. Then there’s the other side of the problem, people who don’t recognize problems. Too many people who own animals, can’t read their body language. It see this all the time, and it’s frustrating. Animals communicate their intentions, if we’re astute enough to pay attention and listen. It’s all about body language.
A perfect example of this is when, a middle-aged couple came to the farm. They were looking for a quiet, companion horse, for their off the track, Thoroughbred. After feeling out their experience, or lack thereof, I decided I didn’t have a horse to sell them. Sure, I had some super sweet, incredibly reliable horses, but they weren’t for sale. They asked me to come and meet their horse, and I agreed to do so.
So, I drove out to visit this horse at its home, only to find, exactly what I expected. There before me was an unruly, high energy horse that was way too much animal, for them.
“Wait until you see what he does,” the husband said with excitement, “he plays with us, watch this.”
He went to the door of the barn to open it, the big gelding, right behind him. As he began to unlatch the door, the gelding began half-rearing, bobbing its head up and down, snaking that long neck at the man. As the behaviour increased, it added weaving back and forth to the picture.
“Isn’t this cute?” he asked, a huge grin on his face, even as his horse threatened to eat him alive, “he does this all the time. He started it, just after we got him. I think he’s really getting to know us, and likes to play.”
“Um,” slowly shaking my head, I decided that this was a time to be blunt, “he’s not playing, he’s threatening you, and he’s making it, extremely clear. He doesn’t like or respect you, not at all. If this is escalating, he’s going to jump on you, or bite you, or both. I can’t be clear enough on this, he’s not playing. This is not the horse for you. This is what’s called being over-horsed. I never do this, but I’m going to loan you one of my very quiet, very trustworthy horses. You’ll learn what a good horse should be like, and that this isn’t a horse that’s good for you.”
Sometimes, even being blunt doesn’t help. I loaned them Misty, a very sweet mare. I picked her up, a couple of weeks later. Though Misty was everything I said she was, they were determined to keep their ‘way too much for them’ horse. Some people, just won’t take good advice, or listen to reason, to their detriment. I advised they find an older, been there, done that many times over, type of horse. Alas, they didn’t listen. Did the horse end up hurting someone? Of course, it did. The moral of this story is, advice is only good, if someone is willing to accept 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