Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails


Trouble Times Three

It seems trouble, often comes in threes. I don’t know why, but more often than not, this is what happens. I break my hand, saving a gelding from Mordecai’s decision to take out perceived competition. Then he takes a round out of poor Pat and fights with his sire, Charco. You would think that was enough drama, for a good while. Unfortunately, what can go wrong wasn’t done with me yet. The very next day, I went out to do chores, only to find an injured horse. Tom, the big Belgian that had somehow managed to escape Mordecai’s rampage unscathed, had a wicked injury on his chest. There were no signs, of any sort of fight. No bite marks, no kicks, nothing that would explain the clean cut injury. The shape of an upside down vee, there was a significant flap of skin hanging down. It was fresh, it was clean and it was inexplicable. There weren’t trees to snag on, no nails sticking out, nothing. Yet, somehow, in the manner horses have, Tom had managed to wound himself, quite seriously.

Looking at hubby, I began to slowly shake my head, “We’re not doing this again. We can’t afford, another vet bill. Not just a vet bill, but a Sunday one. We’re taking care of this, ourselves.”

“What are we going to do?” fully aware of the expense of getting the vet out, he was all for treating Tom on our own.

“We’re going to get warm water, betadine wash, clean, sterile bandages, towels and crazy glue.”

“Crazy glue?” he asked with a puzzled expression, on his face.

“Yup, Crazy glue,” I repeated, “I can’t stitch, but I can glue. They use glue in all sorts of injuries nowadays. We’ll wash him really well. We’ll dry the wound then you’ll hold the skin together, while I put a bead of glue, on the edges.”

He wasn’t all that keen on the idea, but we had to take care of the wound. This wasn’t the time to be queasy. I have to give him credit. He did exactly as I instructed and we were able to clean and prep the wound for gluing. Amazingly, Tom simply stood there, seemingly oblivious to the pain. There certainly had to be pain, yet he obediently tolerated all that was done to him. Bit by bit, the flap of skin was glued back into place. I left a tiny hole at the bottom, so the wound could drain if it needed to. Well satisfied with the result, I put him on antibiotics and was grateful for the sunny, dry days. The wound needed to remain dry, in order to heal well.

Over the next little while, Tom healed without even a scar, to show where he’d been hurt. We never did figure out, what he’d cut himself on, and the rowdy Mordecai was gelded. Gelding that incredibly, beautiful stallion, created an amazing gelding. He lost all of his testosterone driven behaviour, all of it, completely. He became the easiest going, most tractable horse a person could want. He still carried himself with that ‘look at me’ air, but he behaved ever so well. He was to all intents and purposes, a pussy cat and as sweet as could be.

Charco never lost his mojo, ever again. Kicking his son’s arrogant butt, restored his sense of greatness, which was wonderful to see. Neither of the drafts had any lasting effects of the to-do that Mordecai had created that day. The gelding, you ask? Well, he was fine the second I took him out of the pen. Always a big baby, he was happy to be with a person, and had fully expected me, to make things right. Breeding horses, or any animal, carries an expectation of responsibility. One must breed to standard, and strive to create animals that fit that standard in every way, including temperament. In Mordecai’s case, he had it all, except for the tractable personality that one needs to expect from a stallion. Good stallions make great geldings. Great stallions make even better geldings. I never had another colt as full of himself, as overloaded with testosterone, as Mordecai had been. Thank goodness for that.

Oh, my hand? Well, it’s healed and changed over the years. The bump that looks much like an extra knuckle, has faded over the years. The memory is still clear, but the result not so visible any longer. Well, if nothing else, it certainly made for a good story. One of many I’ve acquired, over the years.

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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