Friday’s Ride

It was Trudy’s turn to run freely yesterday, but it didn’t exactly work out. She is the one most in need of conditioning, as her tendency toward obesity has led to problems already this year. She has separation anxiety, so she never lets Cliffy get out of sight.

However, yesterday she lollygagged, uncharacteristically gorging on grass as Clifford and I trotted down the road. Clifford was feeling great; trotting along without hesitation and even looking suspiciously at things and snorting as we passed. We got farther and farther away from the chubby mare, who seemed completely unconcerned that we were disappearing. I suddenly realized that she was content enough to stay by the neighbor horses across the road. She was snubbing Cliffy for the tall roadside grass, safely in the company of the three pasture pals up the hill.

Cliffy and I turned around and trotted back. I attempted to motivate Trudy by chasing her. Clifford was into that! He broke into a canter, cutting horse style. I yelled and hollered. “Git moving mare! Yaahhhh! Get up!”

She would jerk her head irritably, run in a circle, and then go right back to grazing. I started remembering what my friend, Hollywood horse trainer Rex Peterson, had said about why he never uses mares on a movie set.

To her credit, though, she did stand quietly while I got off Clifford, removed his saddle and bridle, and put them on her. I climbed aboard and rode her at a trot toward home.

Clifford had dropped his head to graze. I called back to him. “Come on, Cliffy! You want to run up the hill?” Suddenly liberated, Clifford was giddy! He jumped straight up into the air, kicking and snorting and bucking, and came running after us with his tail up. He went galloping up the hill toward home.

If there is anything more beautiful than a horse running and playing with its tail up, rolling its eyes and shaking its mane, I can’t think of what that could be. And the joy it carries is contagious.


About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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3 Responses to Friday’s Ride

  1. You are right! There is nothing I love watching more than a horse running with her/his head high and tail flying like a flag. Willow tends to hold the tail up but she tucks her head into her chest, making the arched neck. Gimme A Dream holds his head very high while he runs but not so much his tail. Frilly does both but her scrawny neck definitely reduces the overall picture, lol.
    Gimme A Dream from twitter.


  2. Delightful mental image of your beloved equines! Trudy looks so lovely in her slicked out summer coat. Thanks Nancy, for bringing us along for the ride.


  3. Will you be selling any autographs?


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