First Horse Horror Story: Sandy Ardoin

Nicole here: Today’s post is from Sandy Ardoin – one of my fabulous critique partners and fellow horse lover. Check out her blog to learn about her writing journey. 

Grace. That’s what my dad called him. When I got him, his name was Sonny, plain and simple—and dull. So I changed it to Sunny, short for Sundance. This nine-year-old, stocky white gelding with pink skin that sunburned and big feet that tended to skim the ground and trip him up was my “baby” for almost eighteen years.

Most of the time, he was patient and plodding, content to do what I asked. Every once in a while, though, he’d get a wild hair and exert his independence. During those times, I’d push one way and Sunny would push back harder. (He did out weigh me by a few hundred pounds.)

On one beautiful day, I saddled him and we rode around the stable—a pretty large Texas boarding stable with a couple of small stock ponds. When we reached one of these ponds, I drew in a deep breath of fresh air, dropped the reins on his neck, and crossed one leg over the saddle, taking in my surroundings in a relaxed manner.

Big mistake.

While I sat in the saddle daydreaming, Sunny decided he needed a drink of water. And he wanted it from the middle of the pond. Before I could grab the reins, he waded into the water—hoof high, then knee high. In a panic, I jumped off, but he kept going until the water covered a good portion of the saddle.

I called. I cajoled. I ranted. What more could I do except go in after him?

By the time that embarrassing adventure was over, not only were we both soaked, but my tack needed a good drying out.

Moral of the story? Never take for granted what your horse will do—not even one called Grace.

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Oh, Nicole, thank you so much for letting me post about my baby! It was so cool seeing his photo online. He took a pretty good one, didn’t he? Sunny’s been gone for twenty years now–a possible heart attack–and I still miss him. But the Lord is awesome because, at the time, I was pregnant with my daughter, so I soon had another “baby” to care for.

    (BTW, the dark spot at the bottom of my right arm is my husband. This was our 1989 Christmas card photo.)

  • It is a great picture and he is so handsome! Thank you for sharing this story. I still can’t stop smiling. 🙂

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