Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

The Process of Learning

So, I learned not to wrap any sort of binder twine or rope, around my hands or fingers. It’s a lesson I learned well, as I’ve never done so again. Those amazing horses also taught me a lot. They were so well-behaved, so willing and forgiving that I was always safe with them. They allowed me to climb onto them from atop fences and off trees, without making any sort of fuss or moving away. Even when I did stupid things, I didn’t pay for it like I probably should have. I didn’t get dragged. I didn’t get trampled or kicked, and I had so much fun. I did however make a few more mistakes, yet only one was a big one. I had gotten pretty good at jogging and cantering around, even around corners, trees and up and over rises. It was more fun than I could ever have imagined, and better than anything, I’d ever dreamed. Kids will be kids though, and mistakes will be made. Well, in my case, it was more forgetting to do something, until I was already on the horse. The barn had Dutch doors and for some strange reason, I hadn’t closed the bottom door. Picture it. The bottom was wide open. The top was closed, and I was riding around on dear Dinah. It was a recipe for disaster. Dinah was a big girl, very round, very muscular and stocky, with a very wide, flat back. In fact, if I remember correctly, she had a bit of a channel running down the middle of her back. She was what could be described as, well-cared for and robust. Now, remember that she was a very good horse. She had no vices, but she was still a normal horse. When I was learning to canter, I would hold a big handful of thick, black mane and do my best to stay on the horse. I didn’t always hang onto the reins or binder twine, as it were, as I should have. I was too busy remaining perched atop that wide, muscular back. We cantered over the little rises and ended up facing the barn and that open, well partially open, Dutch door. In the wink of an eye, Dinah ducked under the top and happily went into the barn. As for me, I didn’t fair quite as well. I was left sitting on the ground. The whack against the top of the door had been considerable, the drop to the hard ground, barely noticeable. I certainly learned my lesson though. If I forgot something, I made it right, whether I was on the horse already, or not. Of course, my bike took the blame for that one as well. I was ever so lucky that the family who owned the horses, were as kind as they were. I don’t know if I would’ve been very pleased, to come home after a summer at the lake, to find out my father had been allowing kids to ride my precious horses. The summer had come to an end, and the family came home. So ended the very special summer, well almost, for we were quite a bit luckier than that. The eldest daughter, Kathryn took us out for one last ride. Not around the farm, or just up the road either. She took us for a real trail ride of several miles. I got to have one last ride on the lovely Dinah. My friend rode Marigold, and Kathryn rode Nugget, Marigold’s brother and a feisty horse, she was still training. That ride still remains in my memory of one the best of my life. It was the perfect culmination of a perfect summer, and I doubt I’ll ever forget it. It’s funny how life works at times. Many years later, Kathryn came to own a horse that I found and saved. She ended up with Happy, the Appaloosa I had found starved and neglected when I was still a teenager. He’d lived most of his short life in a tie stall, standing on several feet of manure. He was a wonderful horse, and it was so good to know that he got to spend many wonderful years with Kathryn. Somehow, it was fitting that she ended up with a horse that had been special to me, as her horses had been so special in my life as well.

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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