Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Trail of Painted Ponies: Sonny

By now most of you probably expected this post following the news about Sonny. I had his pony a couple days after, but wanted everything to settle before writing his post.

Sonny came into my life about 17yrs ago when my high school friend purchased him sight unseen. He was at least the third horse she had tried and stuck the longest. We would go on trail with him and Barry and switch horses during the ride. Sonny, an anglo arab, was always full of energy. The rides were never boring. He and I jumped the cross country course and had a great time with my friend on Barry. Barry and Sonny loved to play together in the turn out too. But when Sherman was added to the mix, it turned into a National Geographic moment looking at two stud-dy geldings. They made quite the picture both being bay and posturing.
Eventually my friend sold Sonny to Peggy, some drama included. In the end it all worked out great and Sonny ended up exactly where he needed to be. Peggy and Sonny had some interesting rides that may not have always been deemed successes, but they always kept a strong relationship. When Sonny let you in and dropped the company manners, it was truly a honor. Under saddle he was a free spirit and loved to move. Sometimes his rider would end up on the ground due to his "movements" and he would stop and look down like "What are you doing there?" He never tried to get you off, he just thought we were suppose to stay on.
When it was discovered he had a level 4 out of 5 heart murmur, he was retired from work. The night he died the vet mentioned she thought it involved both sides of his heart and it sounded musical. Sonny settled into retirement, playing with Bingo, Comrade, Addie and Mickey. When Rosemary came he mooned after her until Comrade freed him from the stall and he could take action. It was quite the surprise to my Dad to find Sonny and Rosemary engaged in hmm... well you know, with Roscoe looking on. No wonder Roscoe always looked up to and conferred with Sonny.
Of course Sonny transferred his affections to Dottie when we moved there with our herd. Despite Rosemary chasing him, he loved having a bunch of horses around. He watched them come and go, and made sure we stayed on track for feeding. He was special and he took full advantage of it.
Sonny always charged a toll tax to be paid before or after taking another horse for a ride in the form of sugar. And since his stall shared a wall with the hay stall, he always stole bites when he could. More than once we found the hay net pile tumbled with quids next to the nets. Sonny was a character.
So when I went looking for his Painted Pony, I worried about finding the right one. Then I came across Butterflies Run Free.

If you remember the day he died, when I arrived and Peggy told me what was happening a butterfly landed right over my heart. I knew then whatever happened, would be right. This Painted Pony features Monarch butterflies on a dark horse which is the same color of the butterfly who landed on me. Plus running free is exactly how we think of Sonny. And the true personality of Sonny was beautiful once he released it to share. In the days since we lost him, we see the butterflies everywhere. I felt that this Pony was the one. I checked with Mom and she agreed. I hoped Peggy would understand the significance of the butterfly since that day was so emotional. When I gave it to her, she knew right away.

Sonny 1984-2016
And so Butterflies Run Free joins the growing herd of Painted Ponies we have as memorials, while Sonny joins the herd waiting for us above.