Monday, November 16, 2009

Mouthy Mondays


I had taken lessons for nearly 3 years, I had begged my parents for a pony since I could talk, I spent my weekends scanning the classifieds for a potential mount and I had begun trail riding with my cousin who owned Buttercup’s sire. My grandmother was mired in a battle with cancer. I was 13.

I met Buttercup on a blustery winter day, we were trail riding in a state park. My cousin was riding her, he said she was one of John's babies and she was 5 years old. She would toss her head, sometimes step into a smooth jog, other times prance sideways- always her head high. More horse than I had ever sat on... she made my trail mount, an ancient chestnut Quarter Horse named Jay Boy look like an absolute dud. My cousin asked if I wanted to ride her... I stared at Jay Boy's mane and shook my head "no" I was terrified of her...
And yet strangely fascinated...

She had been passed around. I heard she was a Christmas gift for a girl as a weanling and was eventually broke to ride but was too much horse, so she was sold to a couple who rode her for 30 days, despised her and tossed her into the pasture. Then my cousin came across her, always interested in John's foals, he bought her with me in mind.He never said a word.

The wheels of fate were turning... I ran home to tell my parents and grandmother about the horse my cousin had... her name was Buttercup, she was blonde colored, she was 5, she was AWESOME.

My parents went to look at her, my Dad patted her neck and said "Yup, she's a horse. All I know is they can kick you and bite you." My cousin asked if I wanted to ride and I dug my toe into the ground and again shook my head no... I was almost too scared to hold her lead rope, no way could I ride her.

She was too much horse I told myself... she'll be like the others, no use getting your hopes up.

Then the letter arrived...

The doctors had told her the cancer was terminal... she had fought it for many years but nothing else could be done. My grandmother set out to make sure her grandkids got what they had always wished for.

In the time she had left she wanted to see her grandkids' dreams come true... So she wrote a letter to her cousin, the one who bought Buttercup. What was said in the letter we'll never know. My cousin to this day has never said what she wrote, says that was between him and her. My grandmother would always say "It's a secret" when we inquired about it and she kept that secret to the day she died.

Fast forward a month or two... it's early on a Saturday. The phone rings. My Mom answers, chats and then runs into my room...

"Get up! Get up! They're bringing your horse down!!"

I sit up and glare... "That's cruel," I say, "if you wanted me to get up, just tell me to..."

Mom stares at me, half laughing, a grin on her face. "I'm SERIOUS. You need to get up now... they'll be here in an hour and you need to figure out where you are going to put her! Wait till your father finds out!!!"

OMG... I, me, Daphne... has... a... HORSE... A real, live HORSE! And she'll be here in like, an HOUR! An HOUR?!

I bolt out of bed, throw on jeans and my boots and head for the barn. We have a 10 stall barn... once a horse barn, recently it had only housed our bottle fed calves.

Today, it would be a horse barn again.

I picked the first stall on the right, it used to belong to Poke, the pony of the former manager's daughter. From here on out it would be Buttercup's... MY HORSE.

There was a flurry of cleaning, there were cobwebs to sweep, a stall to bed down, there was dust in the manger, she would need a water bucket, hay... everything must be perfect.

After all... this was going to be her new home! She would be here any minute...Right then I heard the trailer, I was grinning from ear to ear. My horse was here. MY horse, nobody else’s...

The rest of the story can be found on my blog: or my second blog


Half Dozen Farm said...

I loved it! I totally caught the excitement and could feel the anticipation. Good excerpt! I'll have to go read the rest. :)

RuckusButt said...

I felt all giddy too! I've had that daydream many, many times.

SquirrelGurl said...

Thanks so much for posting my story!!

Buttercup means the world to me... we've been though a lot together.

If you wanna read the rest of the story you can start here on Buttercup's blog:

Sydney said...

Wonderful story.

AareneX said...

Great story--and now I'm off to read the rest!

autumnblaze said...

Totally got into the anticipation... :) I'm also singing this in my head...

'WHY do you build me up (Build me up), Buttercup baby just to
let me down (Let me down)
And mess me around
And then worst of all (Worst of all)
You never call baby
When you say you will (Say you will)
But I love you still
I need YOU (I need you)
More than anyone darlin'
You know that I have from the start ...'

Anyone else? No? Just me?

HorseOfCourse said...

So build me up
don't break my he-a-a-rt.

I'm off.
Gotta read the rest!

SquirrelGurl said...


I always sing that to her! I think she thinks I'm insane


Thanks everyone for your kind words about my girl

Shanster said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

Jayke said...

I love the writing style! So expressive.Definitely going to take a pass at the rest!

lopinon4 said...

Lovely writing style, and it sure brought back the excitement of getting that first horse at a young age! :) I enjoyed dropping in on your blog to read the rest, and will make sure to visit often.

gtyyup said...

Oh how exciting!! There's nothing better than a girl and a horse...her first horse!

KD said...

When I saw the name Buttercup, I wondered if it was SquirrelGurl. I have read all of the Buttercup story on her blog previously. Great story to read again!!

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