Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Kids Can Be Crazy

The summer of horses is one, I’ll never forget. There was of course, Dinah the big buckskin mare I so loved. There were the palomino siblings, Marigold and Nugget as well as mother and daughter, Music and Minuet. I loved them all. One would think I’d give riding a break, after going off so dramatically, but not so. I couldn’t stay away from them, especially since I only had that short summer, to enjoy them.
Galloping had been such a thrill that, I had to do it again. Well, maybe not gallop all out, but cantering, certainly was high on the agenda. I had to experience that thrill again. In my child’s mind, I decided that I should give it a try, on Marigold. It made sense. Dinah was incredibly fast, incredibly powerful. It was probably a good idea to try with a somewhat smaller, slightly less muscular horse. I rode her a short way out into the pasture, because though I now knew that a horse doesn’t need a quarter mile to run, it still needed some room. I was really prepared this time. This time, I had the twine I’d used for reins, wrapped around my hand. I was going to stay on, no matter what. We turned back towards the stable and I clucked to her, just like they did in the movies and books. Away we went. It was, in a word, exhilarating. It wasn’t the mad gallop that I’d experienced with Dinah, but it was still fast. Certainly much faster than what I later learned, was a canter. We covered ground with that wonderful, rocking chair sensation I instantly loved. In fact, we covered ground so quickly, I was soon facing a few of the turns I’d done with Dinah. No problem. I wasn’t going nearly as fast I had before. The turns were fine. I didn’t even come close to going off. As we cantered right by the three-point tree, I experienced a special sort of thrill. I’d done it. I’d made it past the scene of my unexpected dismount, or launch, whichever the case may be.
I suppose I got a bit, too cocky. Up and over a bit of a hill we cantered. A path split away from the main one I was on, yet for some reason, Marigold didn’t carry on in a straight line, as I expected her to. Instead, she suddenly veered off. Unfortunately for me, I carried on the main path. That twine I’d wrapped around my hand? Well, fortunately, it unwound from all my fingers but one. For a few feet, I was dragged by my little finger on my right hand. Only a few feet though, as lovely Marigold immediately stopped. They were the best horses ever, truly the best. I used her leg to pull myself up then freed my poor pinky. Oops, my parents were not going to be impressed. I could actually see the bone. This wasn’t good, not good at all. Funnily enough, I can’t remember it hurting, and of course, there was this morbid bit of fascination, as I’d never hurt myself quite that badly before. Still, it was going to be a tough one to explain. After brushing Marigold and letting her loose in the pasture, I got on my bike and rode home. Oh, I washed my wound in the water trough, of course. After all, there was manure around. I couldn’t leave it dirty.
All the way home, I stressed about what mom would say when she saw it. Luckily for me, she was busy in the greenhouse when I got home. Straight into the house I went, and into the bathroom. I washed it again, slathered it with some sort of salve I found in a can, then hid it under a bandage. Just like that, the problem was solved. My parents never did find out how I’d come close to taking off my finger, but I carried a rather interesting scar for many decades. In fact, it’s probably only faded away in the last five years or so. Mom did, however notice my scraped knees and elbows. That darn bike of mine, it was such a problem.

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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