Tales from the NEIGH-borhood

"Tales from the NEIGH-borhood" is a bi-weekly kid's column that I write for our local paper, The Citizen News. Each of my five horses takes turns telling the reader a little bit about what it's like to be a horse: why they wear shoes, how they sleep, what they eat and what frightens them. They also share a story about some of their exploits and give a bit of advice to help the reader solve their own problems. After being sold to new owners several times, Platinum shares his hopes of finding "a forever home". Cherokee reminds kids to always take care of their pets. It doesn't feel good at all to be hungry, thirsty or feel unloved. With his zest for life and bold attitude, Trinity is always interested in learning something new. Sonny is so sweet you could get a cavity just looking at him. Too bad he isn't as brave as he is lovable. Beau means "beautiful" or "handsome" in French and he deserves the name. Sometimes he needs to be reminded that: "Beauty is, as beauty does".

My name is Generally Sonny

scnewer_sonny_0001I’m a 26 year-old, registered Quarter horse. I live with four other horses, Cherokee, Trinity, Platinum Decision and Beau Geste, who are like brothers to me.  I guess you could call us step-brothers. Each week, one of us will teach you something about horses.

What’s a Quarter horse? Horses, like dogs, come in many breeds. Collies, German Shepherds and Dachshunds are three dog breeds. Quarter horses, thoroughbreds and Arabians are only a few of the many breeds of horses. I am a “registered” Quarter horse because all of my ancestors were also Quarter horses.

We are the most popular American breed. When the colonists came to this country and settled in Virginia, they brought thoroughbred horses with them. Virginia was inhabited by Chickasaw Indians who had tough little ponies. When the thoroughbreds had babies with these Indian ponies, a new kind of horse was created – us! Although the thoroughbreds were very fast, they discovered that this new breed was even faster in a short race.

Do you know how long these races were? One quarter of a mile – and that’s how we got our name. Although a thoroughbred will probably beat us in a longer race, we can instantly burst into full speed and beat him in the first quarter mile. A Quarter horse holds the record for a short sprint; 55 miles an hour - the speed limit on many of our highways.

Read more: My name is Generally Sonny
 
 

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