In a previous blog I shared my love of all things equine and my first meeting with Kate. Today, I will tell you about another equine I truly wanted to love but alas the sentiment was not reciprocated.
After I met Kate, I became obsessed with horses and drew picture after picture of horses. In school, my teachers came to expect that every illustrative assignment of mine would include a horse or two. I requested stuffed horse toys, farm sets and wagons. Let’s just say my requests were not the average little girl’s! I wore the badge of tomboy with pride!
When I was around 8 my Dad surprised me with the gift of Andre. I vividly recall getting off the school bus and seeing this shaggy brown pony tied to a tree in the pasture. At first, I thought I was seeing things and literally pinched myself to make sure the scene was real! My Dad worked nights at the mill so he was home and confirmed the pony was real and he was mine! Oh my, I was in heaven!
Andre was a medium sized pony and when I walked up he looked at me with a wary eye. I should have noted the mistrust! I immediately stroked his head and mane which he appeared to enjoy. As I walked to his side, he sidestepped and attempted to kick me. Not a welcoming first meeting with Andre!
Andre came complete with a lovely blue saddle and bridle. My attempts to ride him were futile as I had no experience with anything but plow horses. Unfortunately neither did my Dad who coached me to pull on the reins like you would a plow horse. Not good! In response, Andre went from ornery to downright mean. He would kick any time you got near his rear end. If you turned your back on him, he would bite you in the back.
After a few months, he was relegated to the Grandma Lillie’s pasture with the cows. That arrangement did not last long after he bit Grandma Lillie and began to chase the cows. She put her foot down and said that devil pony was running all the meat off the cows and would sour the milk!
It was time for Andre to go. In spite of everything, I still loved Andre in my own way. I cried the day he was loaded into a trailer and moved to live with another little girl. My love for horses was crushed but not broken. Thankfully, my faith was restored and it turns out Andre was not all bad! His new owner knew how to ride and neck rein him which is the method used for riding horses. He quit kicking and biting to become a proper little pony. I learned gee and haw work fine for work horses, but you need more reining finesse for riding. So at the end of the day all Andre needed was someone who understood him. But isn’t that true for all of us? Sorry I misunderstood you Andre!