Good Day SunshineMar 08, 2022
Yep, that’s a Beatles song. It was also the name of a horse I had in the the late 60’s and early 70’s - crikey, that was a long time ago! Please don’t tell me it was 50 years - no, no, NO!
Good Day Sunshine was too much of a mouthful for a kid, so I called him Sunny. He was a chestnut, bright red, and perfect for me. He had just enough go and whoa to make a cowardly rider like me happy. We had a lot of fun together.
I think I bought Sunny for $150. I don’t even remember where I got him from; I just know I bought him with my own money, and we had a blast together. He was one of those horses you could hop on after not doing anything with him for a month and he’d still be your steady Eddie.
I am seriously a very conservative rider, and I used to ride this guy in from the pasture bareback and with a halter, that’s how much I trusted him. I never realized how special our relationship was until right now.
One time, a couple of our horses broke out of their pasture and were cavorting around in a field across the street. Somehow, Sunny was still in, so I saddled him up and off we went, Roy Rogers style, to round up the herd. The big thing was to keep the other horses from wandering out onto the busy road that was on edge of the field they were in. So Sunny and I held court down on that end of the field, pushing them back when needed, until the rest of the family could arrive with halters and buckets of grain to capture our escapees. He was a rockstar. And I never thought twice about doing that with him.
We went for a few trail rides with friends, too, and he was always well-behaved and willing. After I got married, I boarded him at a barn not far from where I was living, and we got to ride out onto this huge open space - acres and acres and acres of land. I remember going out one time with some people who boarded there. As you can see by the photos, Sunny wasn’t a fancy horse, but he was calm and steady. The other people had these fancy horses who were all lathered up and prancing around while on our trail ride, and Sunny just looked at them like “Dude. Chill.”
The other people told me how “cute” my horse was. They weren’t being admiring. But my horse gave me an awesome ride, and I didn’t have to worry about falling off or being run away with.
Sunny could pick ‘em up and put ‘em down when necessary. We were out riding by ourselves one day, strolling along a path bordered on one side by trees. Suddenly, it sounded like bees were flying by us. This was October, though - smart bees were sleeping. Wait a minute. It was bullets!
I yelled out that we were there, and I mean I was screaming at the top of my voice, and I asked Sunny to make tracks. Having a screaming person on his back probably helped his impetus, but we got out of there pronto, and returned unscathed to the barn. Never did figure out where the hunters were. But - brown horse, deer season. Yeah, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Sunny was a very special horse. When I moved to California, I sold him to my parents and he stayed with them for a few years, then retired to a farm not far from them. When I was young, I didn’t realize what a special boy I had. Hallelujah, we grow up and reflect! Thank you, Sunny, for giving me the best of your life, and for being my friend. I didn’t appreciate you nearly as much as I should have. I hope you’ll forgive me.
(“Of course!” He says. “And it’s about time. I love you, too.”)
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