Once Upon a Pony

Old Bill and me

Once upon a time, a long time ago, my dad got us kids (well, me) (my brother had a quarter horse) a pony.  If you know anything at all about the equine world, you know that ponies are mean little you-know-whats and stubborn.  My dad had a sense of humor, and I can only imagine he bought this pony so he could laugh his buhiney off at the things it did to me.  That’s him sitting on the porch with my little sister on his lap, getting ready for a big guffaw no doubt.

I was six or seven in this picture.  Back then kids had more freedom to move about and play, and were allowed to do all sorts of dangerous (in the eyes of today’s world) activities.  We didn’t have Wii or other games like that, and television wasn’t nearly as interesting as going exploring or playing with friends.   Today, kids think it’s dangerous to walk or ride their bike down the street, even in our little rural town (one of the effects of instant news).  And truthfully, I would have a cow if my grandgirls did half what I did when I was growing up.

My dad had a small farm about a mile or a little more out of town.  Down the dirt road to the north from our house, past the horse show arena, on out toward pee curve, turn to the west and go up a sloping, steep hill (especially on a bicycle in the hot summer), then breeze on down the other side to the farm.  We had a great time on that place.  That’s where Mom had her garden, where Dad had animals of all sorts through the years, and where the barn with the horses was.

Some days I would drive out to the farm with Dad (back then we could sit in the truck bed) and ride Old Bill.  This particular day I was going to ride him back into town to the house, following Dad’s truck.  We did just fine till we got to the top of that steep hill.  It was summer, and I guess Old Bill just didn’t like to be pushed that hard.  We were in the part of the road that had shade trees on either side, and Dad’s truck was waaaaaay down the road turning pee curve to head on to the house.  He was gone.  And I have to admit, I felt just a bit more than a smidgen of panic.

I don’t know if Old Bill sensed I was scared to be there all by myself or if he had it planned the minute he saw Dad’s truck make the curve, but he started to lie down in the road… with me on him.  I pulled on the reins and kicked the fat, stubborn thing with all my little years had in me to no avail.  It was either jump or get squashed.  So I jumped off just as he did the full lie-down.

Oh, I got Old Bill to the house.  I led him the rest of the way home.  Every time I tried to get back on him, he would lie down in the road.  As soon as I quit, he got up and would start plodding along.  I know I couldn’t have felt any heavier than a mosquito on his back.  By the time we got home, I was spitting mad… at Old Bill, at Dad, and at me for my inability to control that stubborn pony.

Now, though, I give myself a little credit.   I suppose at the age of 7 or 8 that I had some control… or he would have bucked me off and ran away.

But that’s another Old Bill tale.

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17 thoughts on “Once Upon a Pony

  1. Oh yea…….she does……I love the story. I can see you coming down the dirt road that it use to be..Bill knew how to tame you down…..lol

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  2. Oh Brenda wat a cute story finally figured out how to comment on my phone I just love all your stories Glad to know someone else collects a zillion recipes and procrastinates on the cookin part lol Keep up the good writing !!!!!!

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  3. Old Bill was just the first stubborn pony that layed down on you girl…trouble is you gotta just let them lie…and quit trying to lead them home… Unless, of course, the ride is so great you have to go again! 🙂

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  4. Loved your blog Brenda…….rem. the route to your dad’s farm well ! And riding in the back of your dad’s pickup……and the dust!As for riding ponies,that was Terry’s “thing”.I was always(and still am)the “scaredy-cat” of the bunch!

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  5. OMG! I had forgotten about Old Bill!!! He was a persnickity thing!! When we were small we had a pony named Patsy. She was a good pony though. Don’t remember to much about her. Except for all the kids lined up to ride! David says when he was young he remembers this kid up on the hill that had a pony. And he wanted to ride so bad, but never was invited! hahaha

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  6. My grandfather got me a pinto pony and a white saddle and bridle when I was four. That was one of the highlights of my life. He had a pinto mare and we would ride from the farm to Rosiclare together. I was a queen bee ha. Have lots of memories of the pony and many many misadventures . 30 years later, we buy 2 ponies( 1 a pinto, 1 a dun) for our sons when they were 4 and 5. I would watch them ride over the hill from our house and then watch 2 ponies returning to the barn about 30 min.later. I would wait about 20 min. and then see the tops of the boys heads coming over the hill walking. They never learned that when you get off your pony don”t drop the reins because they will come back to the barn haha

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