Ugly. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-23-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,732
• Horses: 2

Soooooo... thanks to all the ponies I've ever met, worked with, heard about, read about, owned, etc. I made Ugly.

Note to Readers

This book is written for those of you who hate to love your ponies. Ponies fill our lives with laughter, frustration, love and fun. If you, the reader, have ever owned or worked with a pony before, you know they can really be little pests. You know they are lazy, bratty, fat, and annoying. You also know they get away with being those because they’re just too cute. You love them no matter what, and curse yourself for doing so. Sometimes it seems like your pony is the worst pony in the world and that everyone else’s pony is better behaved than him. But in truth, no ponies are perfect; most have funny, annoying, or awful quirks that make them who they are. Of course, when your pony is acting more like a jackass, you sometimes forget all the good things about him, and how lucky you are to have him.

While some have bad tempered little fiends, others are luckier and are blessed with perfect little angels. You know, the kind of pony you could trust with a toddler, ride bridle less in the field without a helmet, take anywhere and know he’ll be good. Unfortunately for some of those little cherubs, they weren’t so lucky in the beauty department. Wherever you go, you hear some sort of comment about your pony’s not-so-great conformation, his jug head, his swayed back, his ugly Roman nose, etc. You get tired of it after a while, but you feel better when your pony sits politely in the lineup while “pretty pony” over there is flipping over backwards.

No matter what kind of pony you have, how he looks or how he acts, deep down you love him and deep, deep, deep, waaaayyyyy down deep you know probably your pony might love you a little back, too.
Your Fellow Pony Lover,

Chapter One: Meeting Ugly

I was driving back from another job interview on my way to the barn on a Friday afternoon when I saw there was an auction going on at the live stock market. Usually I don’t like going to auctions. They’re just too loud, too crowded and there aren’t ever any good horses there. For some reason which I’ll never know, I decided to go check it out.

I turned into the long graveled driveway lined with black painted fences and pulled into the crammed parking lot and parked my car next to an old red and blue ’53 Chevy. I got out of my car and pulled down the hem of my shirt concealing my stomach (God forbid if anyone saw that). I shoved my calloused fingers into my loose (weaver?) jeans pocket and pulled out a pack of bubble mint gum and popped a piece into my mouth. I walked towards the big (metal) barn where I could hear the swift voice of the auctioneer inside. I opened the side door and realized it was way more packed than I thought it’d be. After I bought a ticket, I somehow managed to squeeze through enough people to see what was being auctioned.

For the first half hour I was there, all they auctioned were a bunch of goats and a few pigs. When they actually started selling the horses, all that was there were old and crippled horses. I was about to leave when someone herded this skittish little appy pony into the pen. The bid started at $20! I couldn’t understand it, even the lame horses were getting auctioned in the hundreds! The place went quiet; everyone was “awkward coughing” and glancing around. No one wanted this little pony, who I later found was destined for slaughter. The auctioneer was about to have the pony drove out when I raised my number.
As soon as I heard the gavel pound, I regretted it. What the hell was I going to do with an unbroken, jumpy little appaloosa pony? I hated appies and I couldn’t afford board or training! I sat down, dumb struck. When I finally snapped out of my trance, I thought about what I could do with the little guy… or girl. I remembered my trainer saying something about needing a lesson pony. Surely she’d be grateful to get one for free, right? After the auction was over, I went to the stables to find my new pony. As I passed the horses in the stalls, I noticed they all had little tags on their halters with their names on them: Blacky, Blaze, Lightning, Dancer, Star, Pepper, Candy, Lady, Thunder, most of them very cliché horse names.

When I came to my pony’s stall, I saw him standing awkwardly in the corner… licking the wall? Great, I thought to myself, a bright one. I couldn’t see his name tag from the angle he was standing so I tried to call him over to me by making a kissing noise and clucking my tongue. I guess that startled him because he flew his head up and tried to wheel around, causing his rear to crash into the wall with a loud thump! He scared himself, and started making small circles in his stall, randomly stopping and snorting or looking around frightfully, showing the whites of his eyes (which, since he’s an appy, already shown, making it look like his eyes were about to bulge out of his head.) I was really embarrassed for him.

Finally, he stopped freaking out and looked over at me. At last, I could see the name tag on his halter: Ugly. Well, that name really did fit him. He was a brownish grey roan color with appaloosa and pinto markings. His rather large head was sprinkled with pink and white speckles and crowned with a meager feathery flaxen forelock. He had one bright blue eye and one amber color, both unflattering to his face. From where I was, I couldn’t see his tail, which undoubtedly was very thin and short, I noticed how slight his frame was. He didn’t look to be much older than two. After a while of staring at me, I suppose he figured I wasn’t going to eat him so he turned and faced the side wall and tried to look over to the horse on the other side. That’s when I saw how disproportionate he was. His head was as long, if not longer than his neck, his shoulders were wide enough for a draft horse, he was very severely “built downhill” and yes, his tail, if one could call it that, was very, very short. When he lowered his head, he looked over at me, cocking his colossal head slightly. He would have been almost sort of cute if he wasn’t so ugly.

It was then I realized, I had no way to get him home and my parents would be furious with me for buying a horse without asking or even telling them about it first. I thought about who would have a trailer and a place to keep a pony for a few nights, no charge. That would have ruled everyone out except for friends, and the only friends with farms I knew of were Holly and Paul AND since Holly’s trailer didn’t work, that left Paul. I dialed Paul’s number; it rang a few times, and then went straight to voicemail. I dialed again and glanced over to Ugly while it was ringing. He was standing right next to the stall door looking at me. He was so funny looking it made me laugh. His mulish ears were flopping all around, warding off flies while his fat hairy lips wiggled in an effort to reach me. I had to admit, he was kinda cute.

With one hand holding my cell phone, I touched his nose with my other one. He grunted in surprise and his head flinched away. I heard Paul’s voice on the other line say hello and I asked if he could come pick up my new horse and if he could stay at his barn for a little bit.

“You didn’t ask your parents before you bought yourself a horse, Evie?” He asked in shock amusement.
“I paid for him all by myself,” I said in an effort to dignify myself.
“Yeah, but can you pay for his board?” he asked sardonically.
“Ugh. Just would you mind keeping him for a couple days before I can find him a new home?” I asked, annoyed with his mocking tone.
“Yeah, I’ll be over there in a few, bye,” he said, then hung up before I could say anymore.

I heard a weird sloshing noise coming from inside Ugly’s stall. His face was all the way in the bucket playing around in the water, or drowning. I panicked and kicked the stall, hoping to freak him out of the water. It worked. He took a large, extremely audible breath, and then commenced making circles again.

When Paul arrived, we had one huge issue: getting Ugly onto the trailer. He was terrified of people and was probably never halter broke. Not wanting to burden Paul any further, I told him to wait outside while I went to go get the little angel. I took the cheap lead rope that was hanging on the front of his stall, opened the door and braced myself. His was eating when I stepped inside and jerked his head up quickly when he saw me. I halfway crouched down and slowly put out my hand for him to sniff. He perked one ear towards me while the other hung out to the side. They looked like bunny ears.

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-23-2009, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,732
• Horses: 2
I opened the hook of the lead rope and quickly and quietly tried to fasten it onto his halter. He didn’t like the movement and shied away from me, bringing me to the ground. I was thankful that in that instant, I was able to get the lead rope latched on, even if it was no longer in my hands. Before I had time to get up, I felt slight pressure on my feet. I peeked over my shoulder behind me and saw Ugly licking the bottom of my paddock boots. 'Weird horse,' I thought.

I caught sight of the end of the lead rope and snatched it before he could drag it out of reach. He started a bit, but my grip was firm and he couldn’t escape. I carefully made my way to the stall door and opened it just enough so I could exit, still holding on tightly to the rope. I wondered how he would fair walking down the hall and into the trailer.

Finally, thinking there’s only one way to find out, I opened the door up all the way to let him out. He just stood there with all of his feet together as if he was standing on a small platform. I think he was waiting for the right moment because all of a sudden, he leaped forward and took off toward outside, pulling the lead rope out of my hands. I was glad he wasn’t very fast, or smart, because Paul was able to catch him as soon as he got outside. I brushed the sawdust off my clothes and winced as I noticed my hands were burned from the rope.

I met Paul outside, slightly embarrassed I couldn’t lead Ugly out. Paul had him somewhat calm and was petting his forehead.
“Jumpy little guy, huh? What’s his name?” Even more embarrassed I answered,
“Ugly. It’s on his name tag on his halter,” I said pointing to his name tag.
“Ugly? Really? Aren’t you going to rename him?” He asked, raising an eye brow. I shook my head.
“Na, I think it suits him. I mean he is ugly,” I said, looking him over. “Plus I’m not keeping him so there’s no use in renaming him,” I pointed out. Paul just shook his head and laughed.
“’Kay, whatever. Help me get him in the trailer, will ye? Get another rope from the back of my truck an’ wave it behind ‘im,” he said, pulling Ugly hard in the direction of the trailer. I grabbed a dark green rope and swung it fast behind Ugly’s butt. After a couple swings, the rope made contact with Ugly’s colorful hide making him lunge forward onto the trailer. Paul jumped inside and hastily tied Ugly in place as I closed the butt bar(?) in behind. After closing up the trailer and making sure everything was secure, Paul got into the truck and headed to his house with me driving close behind.

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"
LoveTheSaddlebreds is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 11-23-2009, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,732
• Horses: 2
Chapter Two: First Impressions (not finished)

When I got out of my car at in front of the barn at Paul’s, the first thing I heard was thump, thump, thump! I sighed. I waited for Paul to get out of his truck before opening up the back of the trailer. There was crap everywhere and Ugly was shaking like a Chihuahua. Paul hopped into the front to untie and back Ugly out when I heard him say,
“I think it’s safe to say he’s afraid of trailer rides; he chewed up all the padding off the (chest bar) up here!” he said, angrily.
“Sorry, I owe you,” I said apologetically.
“Heads up, he’s comin’ out,” He told me as Ugly swiftly backed out, tripping as he reached the ground. He was still shaking and sweaty; with nostrils flared, he looked alertly at his surroundings, his ears sill lopsided. I decided to wipe him off (since hosing was definitely not a sane option) and went to let him out with Caper, a friendly and handsome older bay welsh pony gelding.

I lead Ugly in the direction of the fence while Paul swung the lead rope close behind. As I opened the gate and tried to lead Ugly in, he planted all four feet in the ground and threw his head up defiantly away from the field. No matter how hard I pulled or how fast Paul swung the rope, Ugly wouldn’t move.

“He won’t go in the dang field! Ugh! I hate this stupid horse!” I exclaimed. Paul stopped swinging the rope and raked his fingers through his tawny blonde hair, looked at me and shrugged. I thought about where we could put Ugly. While we were talking, Caper walked around the trees, out of sight. I felt the lead tug slightly as Ugly grazed his way into the paddock. As the rest of his weird body passed the entrance to the field, Paul and I hurriedly shut the gate. Before he could run away, I reached over the fence and unhooked the lead rope. I let out a sigh.

“Hah! Give a pony food and he’ll do whatever you want!” he said laughing. I smiled at that; I was glad I didn’t have to deal with a bad pony for the rest of the day. I opened my phone to call my mom and tell her I’d be late (I still hadn’t been to the barn to ride) when I noticed all the missed calls. There were two from the barn, four from dad and seven from mom! I closed my eyes and imagined how angry and worried everyone was. I quickly dialed the number 10 on my phone, my mother’s speed dial, and listened while it rang. I wasn’t listening long before I heard my mom’s rushed hello.

“Where have you been, Evie? No one’s been able to get a hold of you all afternoon!” I turned the phone on mute as she nagged on and on about responsibilities and other stuff moms talk about. After a few minutes, I turned the phone off mute and told her I was hanging out at Holly’s house –because she’d freak if I was at Paul’s– and that I’d be home soon. After I hung up, I noticed Caper had left the trees and was heading for Ugly. I glanced over at Ugly, who’s ears were back and was backing towards caper, an obvious sign of aggression. Caper, the affable little pony he was, had his ears perked forward and was completely oblivious to Ugly’s bad temper.

Suddenly, Ugly started viciously kicking out at Caper with bad aim. He bared his teeth and reared then lunged at Caper. Caper turned on his heels and galloped quickly away from Ugly. My jaw dropped without my knowing. This horse is impossible I thought.

“Hey, Paul? I don’t think Ugly likes Caper. Maybe we should put him by himself,” I suggested.
“Really? Ev’ryone likes Caper. I guess just go put ‘im in the small field next to Remy’s field. I’ll take some hay and feed over there, too so he doesn’t do anything funny,” Paul said, shaking his head in frustration. I was sorry I was putting him through all this. He was being really nice about letting Ugly stay, especially since I couldn’t pay him for any of this.
“Ugly!” I called; I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch him, but I was trying anyway. To my amazement, Ugly walked right up to me. I pat him on the neck, then reached around and got the rope. The moment he saw the rope, ugly wheeled around and took off away from me. I clutched the rope tightly, mad and aggravated beyond reason.

After two hours of running around, Ugly finally gave up and let me lead him out. I put him into the small field next to Remy, picked up the hay and grain on the outside of the fence and pushed it under to Ugly. I helped Paul park the trailer, and then I got into my car and drove home before Ugly could do anything else.

* * * *
The next day, I was at the barn riding Fonzie, a pretty three year old chestnut warmblood gelding, when I got a text from Paul: “evie get ovr here now! Ur pony is ruining everything!”

I let out a sigh. I was starting to get really fed up with that pony. What the hell had he done this time? I thought to myself. I hurried cooling Fonzie down, put him away, got in the car and made my way towards Paul.

When I pulled into the barn, I saw Paul outside waiting for me. He looked annoyed. Before getting out, I glanced over to where Ugly was. All of the top boards on the fence were either chewed to bits or taken down! The red metal gate was bent, and Ugly was sitting there, happy as can be, scratching his butt on the fence. I got out of my car, utterly embarrassed and sorry.

“Oh my gosh, Paul, I’m so incredibly sorry! I didn’t know he’d do all that! I can help fix everything, and I could even save up money, after I get a job, and help buy and electric fence around the top. That way he couldn’t chew th–,”
“No! I don’t want you to pay for anything, I don’t want you to make it up to me, all I want is for you to get that animal out of here! Now!” he yelled, interrupting me, I might add.

*the random stuff in parenthesis are stuff I'm not sure the names of.

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"

Last edited by LoveTheSaddlebreds; 11-23-2009 at 09:23 PM.
LoveTheSaddlebreds is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 11-23-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,732
• Horses: 2
Critique and advice and ideas are welcome!! Message me or reply with funny stories about your ponies and they could end up in the story, credited to you!

I also Need help on where to go from here, as I am slightly stuck. :P

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"
LoveTheSaddlebreds is offline  

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