|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.