In 2006, my "empty nest" syndrome was really settling in. I had gobs of free time and I was basically just spending my "disposable income" on stupid things. I had friends who had a 5 acre horse ranch near Indio, CA and I was spending time with them. I was also visiting horse rescues such as United Pegasus, which was in Hemet, about 45 minutes away from my home. After 4 visits there with huge bags of carrots, I knew I had to rescue a horse. I even drove up to their Tehachipi ranch, which is about 2 1/2 hours away!!! Each way! I checked out the horses there, too. Instead of just disposing my income on junk, I would feed a horse. I was even thinking about adopting one! After talking to my friends, and hanging out with them at THEIR ranch, and visiting my cousin Valerie at HER ranch and visiting her horses, I KNEW I was ready to adopt a horse. Little did I know that Sunni, my first horse, was one of the horses at UPegasus that I was feeding! Of course, I took my camera with me every visit, so I have some very early photos of him with the other yearlings. My friends had adopted 4 Percherons from UPF and they highly recommended them, so they finally said, "OKAY, let's hook up the trailer and go git her a horse!" They offered to board my horse at their ranch. When we got to UPF, (I had called ahead), they let me look at all the horses, but I wanted a young one. I had picked out a little chestnut filly, and then they brought out Sunni. I immediately fell for him! He had a crooked lightning strike on his nose and he was a quarter horse from a PMU farm up in Michigan. Actually, he was the "unwanted" byproduct from a PMU mare. Their story is so sad. He was a little larger than the filly and I really bonded with him. He was barely halter broke, but we loaded him into their trailer and he didn't move at all on the way back to their ranch. When we got him there, they immediately hosed him off (he was VERY dirty) and we discovered that he had a white front foot! We never saw that before! Apparently it was his first bath, too! We got him settled in his own pen and I began showing up after school, since it was right on my way home. I'd take a chair and just sit next to him and let him sniff my shoes. He would untie them! Finally, I was able to walk into the pen and halter him. They showed me how to lead him and how to work him in their round pen, so I began working him by myself.
Then, when hubby and our son went on their "boys" vacation in September of 2006, I adopted (online) both Beauty and Gigondas. My friends informed me that they didn't have room for 2 more horses (even though they had empty pens) and I was stuck trying to figure out where to put the two mares who would be coming down from WA. Eventually, I found a boarding place way up in Lancaster (over 2 1/2 hours away) and that worked out for about 6 months, until hubby and I wore ourselves out just driving up there every other weekend. So, finally, we moved the whole herd back down to the desert, but up in our nearby mountains.
Sunni is my only gelding, he is a quarter horse PMU "baby" (HA! He's not a baby anymore!), and the love of my life! We've had our "moments"...he's stepped on my foot several times and he threw his saddle twice last weekend, but that was my fault. I just wasn't strong enough or well enough to be messing with him at this point in time. Now I put a saddle pad with a cinch on him and I'll do that next weekend, too. Anyway, here are some early photos of Sunni, my first horse. Can you spot him among the other horses I was feeding carrots to at UPF? They have since closed down their Hemet ranch and are only operating out of their Tehachipi one now.