Tickled On The Trail

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Here’s Sunni starting to pull our friend, Julie, and me along a country path east of town. A thunderstorm with some rain on Thursday evening lowered Friday morning’s temperature. Thus, in the hottest part of August our ride felt pleasantly cool. And could there be even more good to say about Sunni? As usual, she was wonderful. Upon being asked, she walked or trotted, or slowed her steps to near-halts in order to thread our cart through occasional rockiness.

It was almost 10 years ago that Julie traveled with me across the state to meet Sunni and to help assess if this mare might be a “right horse” for me, a novice rider. Julie, who rides a Morgan, loves the breed and was eager to meet Sunni. Me, too, for my dream horse had to be the “real deal”–a foundation Morgan, old-fashioned, Calvary-style, and favorite horse of olden-day Americans. Foundation Morgans were popular for riding, plowing, driving, and (sadly) warring.

My new horse had to be sized for a shortie and pony Sunni fit the bill. Plus, her owner-trainer, Jean, a lifelong expert with horses, had trained the little mare impeccably and genuinely loved her. Yesterday, remembering this, Julie reminded me that, in those days, once in Sunni’s saddle I couldn’t stop smiling.

(2010) Meeting Sunni and Merry Leggs (with owner/trainer Jean Kornblum)

That wasn’t all. During that visit I fell in love with another pony, too, a little Welsh beauty, Merry Leggs. Jean assured me she’d be available to provide help to assist me with the two, and thus, began a new chapter in my adventures with horses.

Afterwards for years, Sunni carried me all over Central Oregon–its mountains, BLMs, and National Wilderness areas. She couldn’t have been a more perfect companion. Sadly along the way, I lost Merry Leggs during a severe colic episode. Later, Sunni’s big sister Rosie, a previously-experienced driving horse, joined us. Whereupon, I began thinking about learning to drive.

I had never in my entire life been a bit outdoorsy. Everything about having horses was new. Yesterday, Julie and I reflected on those days of anticipation, excitement, and adventure. We enjoyed recalling that trip to find the perfect horse for a novice rider.

Julie with Jean’s “Jackson” (2012)

Dear Friends: A bit back in time, none of this could have been predicted! Diana

2 thoughts on “Tickled On The Trail

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