"Through The Years"
On March 26, Blue will be turning sixteen. Time flies. I can remember when we first met him; he was a handsome four-year-old horse with his own unique personality. I should have known then how much I would admire this guy and come to love him. On the ride across L.I. Sound which took over an hour he was on a rocking ferry in a trailer with people he didn’t know and he never blinked an eye or made a fuss, but took it all in stride. Typical Blue, of course--never expend more energy than absolutely necessary.
Blue is the most distinctive horse in the herd and not because of his paint coloring or his blue eye. Paint horses have always had a special place in my heart because of our first horse Lifeguard and his very individual personality. Lifeguard is the horse who taught me how to ride, to be gentle and think for myself while giving cues; he would not tolerate it any other way. We still miss him and remember him fondly.
Blue has always had the capacity to make me laugh. He is one of those rare horses who knows who he is and is very comfortable with himself. Being one of the smartest horses I’ve ever known, his antics are nonetheless very comedic. I sometimes wonder if he pulls these stunts to make us laugh. He may not think so, but any horse who will climb into the manure dumpster and stand on top of the pile surveying his kingdom majestically is just downright funny. One time he was at a show and needed to be braided. Unfortunately for the girl who did the braiding, Blue was taking a nap and refused to get up. She pulled up a chair and braided his mane while he stayed lying down. Blue has been known to actually hide behind the run-in shed when he knew he was going to be ridden, occasionally peeking around to see if he was spotted. He’s very seldom bothered or upset by any disruption to his day even while being ridden. It brings to mind the time I was starting back riding after months off for knee surgery and took him for a walk along the fence line. Halfway to the backfield, no less than seventy-five or so very loud motorcycles rode past on the road right next to us. I was a little apprehensive but he never even looked at them. Now that’s a horse you can trust.
Just last week the rest of the herd decided it was a good idea to spend the night outside. Not Blue. He came to the gate and insisted on being brought in. It was cold, his feed, hay and warm stall were calling to him. Blue likes his comforts and his sleep time. He will often be seen grazing off in the distance alone. So you can never accuse him of being herd bound. Though, as our resident locksmith, if he feels like opening a random gate, like, say the gate out on the trails, and exploring the neighborhood, and some friends are willing to join him for the escape, he's also happy to take them along for the ride, as we found out one morning this winter when my daughter looked out the window to see some of the herd galloping gracefully over the neighbor's hayfield and across the street.
Some of the herd might crowd the gate waiting to be first to go in at nighttime. If that happens he bides his time and comes in when it’s all clear so he doesn’t have to deal with the riff-raff. But if he looks around and sees no one is heading for the gate he’ll make eye contact with you and almost nod his head as if to say, “I got this, do you?” and he’ll trot up to the gate to be first. What can I say? He's a complex guy. There’s no way to put all of his personality quirks in a short post so this will have to do for now. Suffice it to say Mr. Blue is one very cool horse.
Until next time
Quote for Today
The love for a horse is just as complicated as the love for another human being...If you never love a horse, you will never understand.