April 2009 Story Contest


Remembering Buttercup by  ilyx


"Buttercup, Buttercup, Nooo!" I wailed.
"Lucy, Lucy. Wake up.” I sat up and had a look around. I wasn't at the stables, I was on my bed at home trembling. My mothers hand on my shoulder. "It happened again. Why Mummy? Why did it happen to me? Why did it happen to Buttercup? WHY?" I screamed and then proceeded to shove my head under my pillow and sob. My mother sat with me for a while and then I heard her footsteps walking slowly out of my room. I have had the same dream of my accident for weeks now. It was all becoming too much. I should never have done it. Why didn't I think before I acted? Now it’s just too late.

 3 months earlier
The happiest time in my life it was the week before my birthday and I was also getting ready for a jumping show. I was due to compete Buttercup. The most gorgeous school pony ever. I loved her to pieces, she was a bay pony of about 14.2h.h. with a gorgeous blaze and a stunning black mane. Nobody liked her not even I did until I was forced to ride her. I don't see how I couldn't have loved her though as she is just pure amazing. After weeks of training we taught this green 7yo pony to work well on the bit and use her hindquarters, together we won many dressage shows. We then taught her slowly how to jump, it took ages. Poor Buttercup kept forgetting she had front AND back legs. With pole work and cavalettis finally Buttercup was ready to compete in her first jumping show. We had done loads of practice and I never went clear in practice but I didn't mind, I was just so proud of how far we got together! I wanted her so badly, but my mother told me I wasn't ready for a pony, and that was final.

The show.
I woke up to the blare of the alarm clock. It was 6 o'clock and I was excited. Not was I now officially 12 but it was time for Buttercups first jumping show! I got dressed super fast and scoffed down my breakfast. It was finally time to go, I was expecting the yard to be as busy as it usually is on a show morning. There were a few cars but I couldn't see any people walking about the yard. So I decided to go over to Buttercup and see how she was doing. As I rounded the corner I saw banners and balloons ribbons and party hats decorating her stall. It may be pretty obvious now but I wasn't really thinking straight, I new mummy wouldn't buy her. Just then a string of people rounded the corner laughing and dancing screaming "you just got a pony, you just got a pony" I was in a state of shock, I opened her stall and ran in. Buttercup was now mine, to add the icing to the cake. We came third in a show, the first clear round me and her have ever done, I was overjoyed riding the lap of honour!

The clinic.
A little while later I went to a jumping clinic where we were taught all about style and technique over fences, the clinic went fab and the instructor seemed to really like me and Buttercup so he asked to stay over at the end and he set up a line for us two, the last fence at 1m25cm, sure I had jumped higher, but she hadn't. I somewhere read that if I put trust in my horse she will help me do anything. I went down the line in a perfect stride and came to that last oxer I whispered "Babe I trust you, you know what’s right, if you aren't ready don't worry about it" and sure enough she jumped it, cleared it. To my surprise I heard a roar of applause, my friends had been watching. I was so excited. Life for us went extremely well following that day until I outgrew her. It was the horrible time of life where I had to sell Buttercup. I was devastated, the weekend before she was due to go, I took her on a leisurely hack, it ended in disaster.

The hack.
I gave her one last pat before swinging on her back and heading out the gate with some friends, it was her last week before she was due to go and I wanted to have as much fun as possible, we followed the trail until we got to a large open field, nobody said a word we all automatically rose into half seat and let them canter. Upon reaching the end of the field we all slowed them to a walk to let them catch their breath, all of us smiling and excited. We kept going along the trail until Buttercup halted, I squeezed her on. She was rooted to the spot I tried everything and I started getting annoyed, all the other ponies were being so good and she just wouldn't go, I gave her one finally squeeze and she went up on her hind legs lashing out her forelegs squealing and spinning in tight circles upon touching the ground, I didn't get it, I got off and started walking away, I was shaking. I couldn't deal with it. I was scared, I heard a whinny behind me, she was following me, I walked the next part of the track with her following close behind. Why did she lash out? I kept thinking. My Friends thought she wanted to be with me but I don't know something didn't seem right.

To our left a pig far appeared, it all made sense, she was scared of pigs, just like many horses are, and she put all her trust in me to get her past them! I told my instructor when we got to the yard and Buttercup was still fizzy. One of the girls at the yard told me to gallop her round the track, I asked my instructor and she said I could if I was sure it wouldn't be to hard on her. I knew it probably was so I took her back to her stall when that girl came back again, this time saying " are you scared to go round the track? Even my 6 year old brother has done it, talk about pathetic" I didn't know what I was thinking, I screamed back "I'm not chicken, I'm just checking her boots before I go" I jumped back on and it was time, I trotted round part of the track until I reached the home stretch, it wasn't as long as a real home stretch but its good enough for training purposes, I rose in my stirrups and she just took off hears pricked. Coming towards the end she stopped, and I went flying, landing with a sickening thud.

I knew something wasn't right, Buttercup limped towards me, what had happened? I screamed and cried and called for help. I got taken to the hospital while Buttercup was getting checked by a vet. I had broken my shoulder and was in shock but I still said I had to go see my pony. My mum couldn't resist the glare I was giving her so she took me to the yard, there was commotion around her and she was squealing I rushed forward nausea hitting me in the face, but I didn't stop. I threw my good arm around her and looked at the vet. He asked me what happened and I burst into tears explaining in full detail the accident. He said she has been restless until I returned, she knew I was hurt. Now that she was calm he did an ultrasound of her tendon and gasped in shock. She had a hole through her tendon, a big hole. He looked at me and apologised before telling me she was going to have to be put down. I screamed in shock, I couldn't believe what was happening. I couldn't bear it. I went home and I haven't been to the stables since. I couldn't believe how my whole life could be taken away in just 5 minutes. How one stupid mistake ended her career. It was all my fault!