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.
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.