Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Kid Tails

How Quickly They Grow

Whenever one of the kidlets has a birthday, it makes me reflect on life and some of the memorable times.  Like when the boychild was about two, and wanted to go horse riding with me.  I usually dropped the pair of them off at Oma and Opa’s when I wanted to go out on a ride, but he was really insistent.  The boy wanted to ride.  What could be better than, a kid who wanted to ride horses with his mom?  In my opinion … very little.  Of course, he would go riding with me.  At the time, I had one of Del’s horses on the farm.  Wrangler was a big, flea-bitten grey.  A cross between an Arab and Standardbred, he was a long, rangy horse, but he was sweet, gentle and incredibly trustworthy.  Trained to ride and drive, the gelding was completely unflappable.  There was no such thing as making a mistake with him, as he simply didn’t react badly to anything.  He was one of those rare horses that never spooked … ever.

Sweetpea was dropped off with her grandparents, to be spoiled as every child deserved, and the boychild was thrilled to stay with me.  He was sooo excited.  The typical chatter never stopped as he helped me catch Wrangler.  Of course, he had to lead him, which was incredibly sweet as the gentle gelding walked along, his big head hanging down, even with the tot’s shoulder.  We brushed him together, or I brushed everything above the belly, and he brushed everything below.  He held Wrangler while I saddled up, then we were ready to go.  I lifted him onto the saddle, then climbed on behind.

Away we went.  It was an incredibly beautiful, sunny Manitoba day and just perfect for a casual ride.  The boychild wanted to trot, we trotted (not an easy feat, as despite being the gentlest horse around, Wrangler was beyond rough).  He laughed and laughed, as if it was the funniest thing ever.  After a bit, we walked again, walked and talked.  That child was full of questions as bright as could be.  At about a mile and a half, he wanted to trot again, so we crossed the train tracks and away we went.  Wrangler moved into his ground-covering, incredibly bone and tooth-jarring trot to the amazing sound of the child’s abandoned laughter.  He simply loved it.  Thank goodness for quiet, dirt roads.  Devoid of traffic, we were able to enjoy ourselves without having to worry about anything, but the occasional rabbit or bird. About the same time his chatter suddenly stopped, I noticed how heavy he suddenly felt in my arms.  He was always a big boy.  Born about a month past his due date, he was always big for his age and was often mistaken for older than he was.  It was kind of nice to have such a robust, strong baby for a first child, as he was never one of those fragile, delicate looking babies.  Slowing to a ground-covering walk, I took a peak under the brim of the cap that protected him from the sun, only to find that my child had actually fallen asleep.  I don’t know how he managed it when Wrangler was so rough, but he did.  Not only did he fall asleep, but he stayed that way.  It didn’t matter what I did, that child of mine was out like a light.  Yup, I had to ride another two miles to get home, the dead-weight of my giant two-year old, on my arm.  My little chatterbox may have gone silent, but I had a good conversation with Wrangler.  I talked.  He listened and responded with ears that flipped back and forth as well as, the occasional snort.

The rest of the two miles, the boychild never woke.  Not only did he not wake up or even stir, he didn’t waken when we arrived at home either.  I had to move off the saddle onto Wrangle’s rump, then lay my child like a sack of spuds, across the saddle.  I slipped off the horse while keeping a hand on my kidlet.  After all, now was not the time to lose hold of him, and have him fall.

Thank goodness for a great horse.  Wrangler never moved an inch, not one.  He stood while I lifted the boychild off the saddle and into my arms.  He stayed put and waited, while I carried the child to a soft patch of grass and left him sleeping there.  After seeing to Wrangler, putting away the tack and seeing to everything that I had to, I finally was ready to take my tot up to the house, where I lay him down for a nap.  Yup, he slept through two miles of riding, slept on the grass then finished his nap in the house.  It was the cutest thing ever, and one, I never let him forget.  That boy could sleep through anything.

Leave a Reply

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.
All rights reserved. No part of this website or book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic or mechanical – without the prior written permission of the author.


 Oakbank, MB