Monday, October 15, 2012

For the Love of a Pony

Fourty four inches tall and a belly to make Santa envious, a sassy chestnut mare marches to the beat of a song that plays, "the bane of my existence." I've got two daughters and really, it was only a matter of time before a pony ended up on this place.


This post is dedicated entirely to Karen, who is gracious enough to ask about some of the animal's around here. In my daughter's eyes, Nugget, or commonly referred to as Nuggy, is the only one that matters. I take my stroller to town and find tiny horse brushes in the bottom, that are only a few inches long, remnants of a day with this horse end up everywhere. 

You bring ponies up in conversation and everyone is bound to have a story. Whether it's the fat little thing they rode at their Uncle's farm, or their very own Chubs to claim as their love, we've all got a special place for them.

As an adult, that special place for them isn't so much my heart.  Secretly, in my mind,  I'd like it to be the end of my boot.

Nugget, my three year old's passion, can smell my flamin' frustration coming all the way from the house. I think she prepares herself for me and let's the other horses know that some games will be played. Walking through the corals, halter in hand, I will get so close to that little pest, and she'll flip her tail in the air and run far enough away to just burn my britches.

As my Uncle would say, over lamenting about the rottenness of these creatures, "small horse syndrome".
Oh yeah, I'm fast. I'm not gonna' give you two eyes,  because I'm gonna' drive you crazy! Nugget, fastest pony in the west.

With a skinny legged little girl, feet cranked forward thinking she's a bronc rider, this pony encompasses the patience of Job. We amble along, exploring the yard, hooting and hollering with the wildness of a three year old imagination. With children, it seems the thinkers come alive on the backs of these four legged animals that don't just transport you across the yard, but into a whole new world. The small knoll on the plains of the prairies soon becomes 'Gopher Mountain' and my oldest daughter is bellowing to me from the "ridge", that she can see for miles! Across non existent creeks, through the woods and off on a bear hunt, I knew the apple fell a few generations down the family tree. My Dad would ride the pony out at the farm when he was young, and spoke of the old washing machine lid. I directly assumed it would have been used as sled, but this thought was scoffed at, and stories were relayed of it being a shield atop their war pony, all the while hucking clumps of dirt at brothers or other passers-bys. 

While my sister and I were busy learning to ride on Queenie, as youngsters, I can clearly recall if the stubborn beast responded well to what I asked her, I would let her have two free passes of doing whatever she wanted around the pasture. It's a wonder that horse never amounted to too much.

While flaky girls like me, thought it was the finest thing to reward ponies with freedom, my girlfriend and her siblings were busy riding ponies for neighbours. This was serious business. While we are used to ponies with names like Rosie, Queenie, and Nugget-Gonegan was a real winner in the east country. At this families home, the young boy, probably about 10, was hired on to ride this horse to comfortably break it for some little blondie down the road. Gonegan achieved his status in his name, as the pony would constantly take off and little legs would bring the boy to the house, "Dad, he's GONE again!"
I've come to realize photographing animal's is harder than photographing babies or herding cats. 

We all have stories like these to recollect on, and sometimes when you bring the blessed P word up, a head will shake and stories will be regaled about that pony purposely walking under low branches to knock the kid off. We all might sort of want to hate everything about them, but when those three year old eyes bat, and you can hear the absolute joy in the kids hopping on their back off the old pail, you know memories are being made.

If life were only as simple as the joy, in a little girl's heart, atop a critter named Nugget, we'd all be a bit better off.

19 comments:

Rachel said...

That is as sweet as can be. The love a little girl and a horse can have is awesome.
Boys love horses too, or so these boys do, they love on their horses when ever they have the chance, and especially after riding. But I think little girls just give horses more lovin' than they ever need, it's so precious! :)

Love the pictures!

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

totally agree with you...we would all be better off :) Love the pictures!

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...

I love it! I was literally laughing out loud on my front porch here, so I am glad no one is around to shake their head at me and mumble something about insanity. We call horses and ponies "hay burners" but with four girls, we hear a lot of begging. I am glad for the solitude of this porch swing, because I can NEVER let my girls see your cute little pony!

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...

UGH! I didn't hit "Post" fast enough and now I am hearing "Horsies! Horsies!"

Karen said...


Our Nuggets name was Willie.. we had him for many years, bless his little runaway heart. He was a little white chub, not unlike your Nugget. My daughter loved him so... and when in his 30's he could no longer swallow his food and we had to put him down. years later now, my daughter believes our little white fluffball Bailey is reincarnated Willie. I'll take that!...

LOVE your pony post, thank you Cheyenne....

Gumbo Lily said...

As always, Cheyenne, you bring back memories of my own kids learning to ride our little black pony, Sparky. That lil fella taught all our kids to hang on, to rein hard, and be determined to make Sparky take them where they needed to/wanted to go. Sparky knew exactly what they wanted out of him, but he also would canter right back to the barn if he sensed any waning of determination from the rider.

Now that my grandgirls are around, it's time to be looking for another pony. The stories start all over again!

Jody

Cathy Brian said...

I love the imagination. The bear hunts and the seeing forever. I miss escaping to a perfect imaginative world of beautiful countryside, overcome-able opposition and beautiful steeds.
Yes, life is joy on the backs of those precious little creatures.

quintuplicatemom said...

I think there's a tear in my eye but I'm trying not to feel it. Our pony was Timbit... nothing like it, ever.

fernvalley01 said...

that smile is worth all of it!! Got something in my eye now, probably dust from that fast pony

LeAnna said...

Adorable! We had a Sassy (little bay mustang mix) and Queen Esther (a white pony who was far from the grace the real Esther possessed, haha!) and oh boy, do I have some memories of them! We gave Sassy to a little girl in town, and I still get to see her from time to time. That's fun!

Jennifer said...

I had a Navajo.. he was about 13-14 hands, brown and white paint. Oh the adventures he and I had!! But hard headed as a kid horse can be!
My kids now have their Rocky, and he's another jewel, an ornery jewel, as a kid horse has to be!
I want a mini though, I think Miss P would be so adorable with a mini horse.. haven't talked my husband into that yet! ;)

Vicky said...

Ahh so true. How I wish I had a pony... somehow a rabbit just doesn't compare :) Books were my discovery into a whole new world, but I love the perspective you've given me of how a horse can do the same. How cute is your Nugget rider? Oh my cuteness!

LindaG said...

What a great post. Have a wonderful week!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

The cute-i-tude in those pictures overflows the meters and jams the entire experience in to the red zone of loving it. Many thanks.

Crystal said...

Awww how cute!!! All kids should have a pony, and somehow they know just how to annoy an adult but be wonderful for a child!!! I grew up without a pony, but almost have one now, my Kali is only 14.2 so officially she is a pony, lol

Elizabeth Martin said...

How sweet!!! What a lucky bunch of little girls!! :)

Meghan said...

we didn't have a nugget. at least when i was a kid. but my parents ended up paying for my "horse mania" (the book i wrote in first grade) later in life:) my dad was the best horse show dad in town. never a complaint. fast forward to today. my sweet baby boy has that heart just like i did. he is a horse person to the core. he is five. will my son get a pony (a horse, mom. a horse) or will history repeat itself? will i make the same mistakes as my parents? stay tuned...

sleepy headed mom said...

what a sweet post.
I'm sitting here wishing that I had a pony.

Amy Sullivan said...

Ohh, girl. I am jealous of your snow (former northern Michigan girl turned Southern girl, here).

And I am jealous of Nugget too.

Consider riding him down to NC, perhaps? Hee, hee.

Beautiful space here.

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