I was told that there was a little girl of 4 or 5 that was a great little horse girl.
That in the early Spring when show horses are taken out for practice, she could
handle any barn rat. A barn rat was a horse that went from point A, which is where you were riding, at a full gallop, straight across the ring to point B, which was the barn/stable. This little girl didn’t have enough strength I guess, to turn these horses as they went for a full gallop across the ring, and over the short gate and into the barn. Yet within 5 seconds later, she and that said horse came flying back out that barn, across the corral and over the short gate and back to the ring. I was told that.
This was NOT the same 8-year-old girl who later, after not riding for 2 years, was given a pony to ride in shows. A couple of practices and off they went to the horse show. His show name was Mighty Mouse because he was gray like a mouse, with black mane and tail and a black stripe from that mane to the tail. Also had black legs with a couple of white stockings. (for those who are not horse owners, that is the white on the lower part of the leg, going to the hoof.) Mighty Mouse and said young 8-year-old girl, were taken into the ring and let go. Now neither the pony, (who was about 14 hands high, taller than a Shetland, yet smaller than the average horse) nor the girl were fond of being here with a bunch of people standing and sitting around this big ring… with no short gate. After a few rounds of the ring Mighty Mouse lived up to his barn name. Which was Bucky. And he earn this name well. After a few attempts of trying to handle this little dynamite of a guy, to no avail… the girl started to cry, “I want out of here”. After the 3 times, the judges signaled the mother to take the child and pony out. The look on my mother’s face reminded me of the words of Jim McKay on Wild World of Sports, the agony of defeat. See my mother was a great horsewoman. Riding American Saddle Breds, 5 Gaited horses, and Jumpers. So her head hung low. And I was banished from ever riding in a show again.
The summer went by and Bucky and I became friends. Leading to my mother’s hope that maybe there was a chance yet. Especially after seeing the Spring come and go, with Bucky and I having a few times of disagreements of who was going to win the barn rat race. And my coming out on the topside 99% of the time.
So by the age of 10, she decided that Bucky and I would become jumpers together. She would have us practicing over and over. First with the regular routine of times around walking, two times around the ring, trotting, and then two times around cantering… then reverse and the same again. After we had that down pat, she brought out the jumps. First starting with the cross section ones, which was about 18 inches high… Bucky and I thought this was fun and we did well. There were 4 of them around the ring… So then it came to the straight cross bars. They were about 2 feet for starters. As the days went by, we were doing pretty well, until she got to the 3 foot 6 inches ones… then Bucky and I were not always on the same page. As we gallop towards the jump, I would lean into the mane and rise up a bit on to the wither area. About 2 feet from the jump, Bucky decided he didn’t want any part of this, so skidded to a stop. Some how, it is a little harder for the rider, who thinks we are going over, to stop too, and thus, goes over the pony’s head and in to the jumps. Of which the horsewoman’s commands come swift, of “get back on that horse now!”
Bucky and I went thru this process over and over, days and days, mostly going over the jumps. Then they were raised to 4 feet. Bucky took one look at that, and he knew he wasn’t going over…. We galloped towards it, and I knew I wasn’t going over it, if Bucky wasn’t, as that jump sure looked awful high. So Bucky swerve and I was glad. The horsewoman was not amused. After trying about 4 times, she decided she would show us how to do it. She board Bucky, galloped around the ring, coming around the curve and headed down to that jump. I don’t know if I wanted Bucky to do it or not. Because if he did, that meant I was going to have to. He didn’t. He swerved… and the horsewoman almost went off.
Back around, whip in hand this time, full gallop, towards the jump, and at the last second, Bucky decided he had enough, he bucked and then stopped. The horsewoman flew across the jump. I did not laugh… because I didn’t want the results of that. She got back on, rode him around, brought him back to me, jumped off, handed me the reins, and told me that we (Bucky and I) would never make it in shows. Bucky and I were glad…
Bucky and I got along great. We use to go out to the backfields, and he would graze on the grass, I would lie back on him and watch the clouds go by. We rode over in the tree nursery, and sit by the creek. We had great times together.
But showing was never one of them. Mom gave up on us.
Mom sold Bucky, and I did show a couple times. I rode for some people on their horse, in western pleasure classes. Much to my mother’s disgust, as she hated western style.