Four years ago, on New Year’s Eve, I brought home a little palomino mutt of a horse that I intended to use for trail riding. He had a few bad habits that I thought I could deal with, and he was known to be a truly solid, bombproof horse outside, which is what I was looking for. In the past four years we have been on hundreds of rides—I kept track the first year I owned him and came up with 175—for that year alone. We’ve ridden through the hills and on the beach, alone and with friends, we’ve gathered cattle and plodded through mud, crossed creeks and waded in the surf, and scrambled up some pretty tricky bits of steep, tangled, brushy trail. We’ve had a blast together and I’ve grown to love my opinionated, intelligent, sensible, lazy, and very reliable little yellow horse. Today I’m going to post some photos in honor of our partnership, showing our life together (including some from a recent winter ride on the beach). I hope you enjoy them.
Below you see Sunny at his best—mid-summer.
Sunny in his winter color. I think this horse’s personality shows perfectly in this photo.
From Sunny’s back—going through the sand dunes toward Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay to our left.
Headed down the beach towards Monterey with my son on Henry and our friend Wally on Twister.
The end of a good ride.
Going down our nearby trail through the woods.
That same trail, from a different perspective—Sunny and Henry carrying me and my son through the green world.
Below I am gazing at the Monterey Bay from Sunny’s back, looking north towards Santa Cruz. We call this place the Lookout—it is about a two mile ride from my front gate, and one of my favorite spots. The ride to the Lookout and back is the one I take most often (we did it yesterday). The trail through the woods in the previous two photos leads to this place. This is the photo we used for the new Equestrian Ink banner, but unfortunately the view of the Monterey Bay had to be cropped out to make the picture fit the banner.
Sunny turned loose to graze.
Eating breakfast in his corral.
A ride through the autumn hills.
Sunny and me in very non PC garb.
My little yellow mule.
Here’s to you, Sunny. You’ve been a great horse for me, enabling me to do just those things I really wanted to do right now. I will always be grateful to you for the gift you’ve given me. You have a forever home.