The View from the Mountains: Reminiscing on life in the hills

On the way to the doctor the other day, we passed a farm with beautiful horses grazing in the field. It immediately made me recall one of our horses.

Does the name Finga Busta mean anything to you?

If you followed horse racing back in the 1990s, she did pretty well so just maybe her name rings a bell.

She was one of the first horses we bought when we moved to the Kentucky farm in 1990.

She was silver gray,  more than 17 hands high and had a thoroughbred heritage.

We fell in love with her and had high hopes for her.

However, she had a couple of little problems which didn’t show up at first.

If she was practicing on the track, and saw a particularly lovely flower or especially a bird, she would often slow down and admire it.

But her biggest problem about being a race horse was she flat out did not like to race or even to run.

If one of the competing horses was her friend, she would run like crazy until she reached her buddy. Then she would slow down and, I swear, catch up on track gossip and break stride. The riders were helpless.

And that’s not all.

She adored butterflies. She turned to melted butter every time she saw one of those beautiful creatures.

The last thing she wanted to do was to run her brains out to try to win a race or impress us in a track workout when just by quietly observing the silent gliding from bush to bush, she could adore the grace and the color of the butterfly.

I understand her attitude perfectly but I knew it wasn’t the ideal thinking of a champion race horse.

As much as I didn’t want to, we finally found a woman who wanted to show her and jump her. Sadly, we sold her. I knew that would make Finga Busta a happier horse.

Several years went by and we received a long distance telephone call from a woman who wanted to speak to me.

She told me the person who bought her from us was ill and had to sell Finga Busta so this lady had bought her.

“Tell me about this beautiful horse,” she asked me.

Well, I started and couldn’t stop. I missed my baby horse so much I told her how incredibly sweet she was and how she laid her big old head on my shoulder.

Then I said, “But I must tell you, she can run but she really doesn’t like to race especially if a bird or butterfly flies by.”

The lady stopped me.

“Oh,” she answered, “I’d never want to race her. I’m going to show her. She’s perfect.”

I almost cried for joy, “You know, I want to tell you something else about her. I don’t think Finga Busta wants to win. She just wants to run alongside another horse she likes and just be friends. Do you understand what I mean?”

The lady answered sweetly, “Well, she found the right home. And, by the way, she has such an interesting name. How did she get a name like Finga Busta?”

Well, here’s what happened right on our farm.

My husband Gene’s finger got stuck in her halter. She jerked her head up and did exactly what her name said, she busted his finger. From then on, his middle finger sat wanky-jawed.

He said it reminded him of two things every time he tried to use his hand. Of course, it reminded him the next thoroughbred he bought, he’d make sure she liked to run and race more than she liked butterflies.

It also reminded him never to get his finger or any other protruding part of his body stuck in the halter while it still was on the horse.

Oh, how I miss the view from the hill.

The view from the mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.