In the summer of 2000, I saw a pony in the paper (remember paper ads?) and decided the boys needed a pony. The real story – even unbeknownst to me – I wanted a horse. I was dealing with some fear issues having not been on a horse for some 30 years. When we found Blue, his owner said “if you have problems with him, it’s you, not him!” I took that as a challenge.
Blue gave me back my confidence and because he was a such a good boy, he really became McCain’s horse more than mine. And the only horse my sister, Ann, would ride after a not so good experience on our Ginger.
He had some lameness issues and when the boys no longer rode with us regularly, he was semi-retired to become the guest horse or the horse we would let the “city folk” ride. He loved kids, always putting his head down to greet them. My great niece, Morgan, sat on him a year ago – the last rider to throw a leg over him and he loved it.
Blue was a good herd boss, welcoming in new horses with ease. He was never aggressive but ran the herd with quiet strength. He wasn’t a tall guy – in his youth probably stood just shy of 15 hands. But he made up for it in girth. Someone once asked if he was part Percheron. No. He was our first registered quarter horse and had a butt to make all quarter horses proud. We used to always say “when he hauls ass, it takes two loads!”
He was born in Canada – we were told on a PMU farm. He was registered blue roan, but his ears were the only thing that gave that away. He was all black and would shine like a patent leather shoe in the springtime.
When we were still learning to ride, Blue would throw in a spook every now and then to keep us on our toes, I think. He would spook at the weirdest things – some we saw and some we didn’t. He photographed much better than he actually looked (don't we all). He had a big head and a slightly Roman nose. But all part of his charm. I always said if he could talk, he would sound like Elvis, but might resemble a beaten up Rocky Balboa.
I give McCain credit because he had the roughest trot of any horse I have ever rode. It was a little better at a lope, but he would crossfire often and then that would be a challenge to ride. But he made up for it in kindness. There was nothing he liked better than to be groomed. He would try to push the other horses out of the way to get his turn again and again.
This morning he had carrots and had his winter coat and mane brushed out. It's so much better to let them go on a good day.
God Speed, Blue. Rest in peace. You earned it.
Reggie Blue 1996-2023