Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Feeling Springy

Spring has been slow in coming this year. We finally got a good rain, which brings the frost out of the ground and gets grass growing. All this meant, it was time to get the horses out onto pasture. It’s particularly important for foundered horses like Aurora, as they can’t overeat. They pick away at the tiny shoots of grass that dare peek above the ground. In this way, we don’t have to worry about new grass setting off their founder issues. Of course, they still get hay so the transition is gradual and smooth. All the horses are eager to have the gates opened, including our Lucky Jim. How do we know that Jim wanted out? Well, he told us. We caught him digging long trenches in the winter pen, clearly looking for those tender shoots of grass. No doubt about it. He was looking for visible signs of spring. It was time to shuffle horses. So many times, there are discussions about what horses remember. Here’s one to contemplate. Lucky Jim hasn’t even been with us for a year. He arrived wary and distrustful of humans because of mistreatment. His first home was our round pen, so we had a shot at catching him. From there, he went into the riding ring then a pen beside Spirit and Aurora. In the space of a few months, he spent time in multiple pens, ending grazing season in our front pasture. Over the winter, he and Aurora lived in a smaller, very sheltered and secure pen. With the arrival of spring, we shuffled horses. Sweetpea led him to the summer pen and walked him around it, so he would know where the fence was. The second she released him, it became obvious that the walk hadn’t been necessary. Consider this, a completely blind horse that spent time in multiple pastures, is moved back into one of them and heads straight to the gate. After six months, he knew what pen he was suddenly in and immediately wants out. The expression on that horse’s face was priceless. He was dismayed and annoyed to find, the gate closed. “I guess, we’d better open the gate,” the girlchild chuckled, “Jim wants out.” My big plan had been to allow him time to figure out where he was. Apparently, this wasn’t needed. That darn spotty horse knew exactly where he was. As soon as I entered the pen, he was at my elbow and following. His nose kept touching my back as I unchained the gate. Aurora of course, was head butting me to hurry it up. When the gate opened, out they went. Blind or not, he moves all over those acres with complete confidence, including going back and forth through the gate. I have to say, it’s pretty impressive stuff. Do horses remember? Absolutely.

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