It is believed that every little girl wants a horse. I was no exception to this belief. Growing up on a Georgia farm, horses were a part of life. Alas, we moved to the city and my hopes of being a horsewoman were dashed. My horse life consisted of pony rides at the fair, the state park, and summer camp. Some of the girls at camp were picky about the horses they rode, they must be beautiful; I was not so choosey. Stable feet and easy to follow dirctions from the reins, not too spooky; was all I asked from my all terrain vehicle. At age thirteen, to me they were all beautiful. I even rode the mule , " Joseph of Marantha" , enjoying every second of our trail ride, including the short stop in the creek. Joseph decided he would not cross, I was determined he would. I don't recall excactly who won, I would like to think we both did in some way.
During the course of time, I would ride many horses at camp, and always on family vacation. My daddy never let us go on vacation that did not include some kind of equestrian event for me . I even owned a pony. Champ, cute little thing, we kept him a long time and I rode bare back.
Fast forward several years, several children and light years from being a little girl going to camp. Into my life, quite unexpected, came one of the loves of my life--Sonny.
A friend had horses, would I like to go see them? Would I ? I was out the door , and on my way in zero seconds. Once in the pasture, I was met with several of the horses, but one stood out. A sorrell horse, white face, three white socks; he was a sight to behold. I learned his name was Sonny, and he would be taken to the sale barn. NO ! NO! I would buy him ! A deal was made and Sonny finally became mine that year at Christmas. I put a photo of him on my Christmas tree. FINALLY, I had my Christmas horse.
Sonny came with his own set of issues. a history of being abused. I was told, at best I could consider him a lawn ornament. Well, if that was the case then so be it, but I had other plans for Sonny and myself.
A lot of patience, a lot of repetition, a lot of trust earning, a lot of sweat on hot days, a lot of haltering, leading, eventually led to bankets and saddling. Then the day came , the moment of truth. Me in the saddle? In the saddle I went and my friend led us up and down the road. I felt we had made giant leaps . Over the course of time, Sonny would stand for farrier, get his halter on without issues and saddle up. I was invited on a trail ride. Were we ready? That is a question most riders ask , and the answer isnt easy. You can practice and walk and gear up all you want to, but until you get out of the pasture and onto the trail , you really wont know.
True to that part about never really knowing exactly how the horse is going to act on a given moment--- loading was a tiny issue, but load we did. Then off to the trail , Sonny unloaded and saddled. I am not sure whose heart was beating faster, mine or his .
He followed the other horses as if he had done this all his life. We rode through meadows and woods, calling stops at the wooden bridge. ( we would work on this later) He didn't mind going through the water, and so on we went.
On the way back, I decided the open meadow was perfect to see what my horse could do. So, I told him, " Let's go Sonny!" He turned his head to me as if to say " Are you sure?" My reassurance was a gentle nudge in the sides and off went.
In those glorious moments, nothing existed except me and Sonny. Rider and horse, galloping across the meadow, lost in our own time. The sun, the wind and the perfect harmony of being one. Perfect peace, perfect trust and perfect love.
I have riden many times since, but none compare to that magical moment with Sonny.