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Blue's Biography

Take a Mile

Blue had several names in his lifetime, several homes and several careers, unlike Lexxie and Fritz. He is a Thoroughbred Gelding, horse.

Like the Arabian breed, Thoroughbreds are categorized as “hotbloods” and are derived directly from Arabian bloodlines. In Blues’ case, his breeding resulted in refined features and a good conformation marked by balance and proportion, with a large chest and powerful hindquarters. His exceptional feet and legs gave him the soundness needed to endure an athletic career which spanned a quarter century, and the ability to recover from injuries and continue to run. The Arabian influence is obvious.

Take A Mile was born on April 14, 1982, at Stonethorn Stud Farm, at Carrowdore Castle, Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland, a 300 acre stud farm with 40 stalls. His breeder and first owner was Gerald Jennings who named him “Take A Mile”. His parents were both racehorses. The Father (sire) was the racer "Try My Best", and his mother’s name was Inch.

His coat was dark gray in color and in typical fashion for a gray horse, it lightened slowly until it appeared white, with the dark speckles that are evidence of his original color. He is called a “flea- bitten” grey and has 4 dark hooves which also reflect the original coloring.

Blue with Anna

Since the goal of his breeding primarily for the business of producing a racehorse and making a profit, he was handled accordingly and his training and career was planned. He was also given a tattoo on the inside of his upper lip with the inscription P26534, indicating his native birthplace of Ireland. He began his racing career as a 2 year old colt, running in Ireland and England and after a few races, was sold to a party in the U.S. for an undisclosed amount.

Take A Mile was “shipped” by air to his new owner in the U.S. who subsequently sold him to the person who would race him until he was 10 years old, the father and son team of Peter and Paul Cimini from Rhode Island. As part of the racehorse protocol, "Take A Mile" was subsequently registered with the Jockey Association of the United States, where his lineage can be tracked for generations.

As a racehorse he lived a typical life that includes the high stress associated with competition and travel. He endured long race seasons throughout New England and the East Coast, with social contact and companionship limited to routine exercise and handling. It is due to his owners care and vigilance that “Take A Mile” did not receive abusive treatment from trainers or handlers.

Take A Mile had several jockeys, many trainer and many handlers. One of his jockeys was a woman named Linda Anderson who gave him consistency in the track and with care. She continued to be in touch throughout his life and credited his personality and will for his continuing soundness. She recalled that despite efforts taken to win a race, Take A Mile would not perform if his instincts and intelligence alerted him to self preservation. His racehorse career ended when he ran his last race at 10, and was sold again to a horse “broker” who renamed him “Think Blue”.

In sad shape

Re-training an “off the track” Thoroughbred is a delicate process because the signals and aids used are opposite of the “new” rules, and can be very confusing to a horse. Racehorses must also be taught not fear crops and whips, as well as learn the fundamentals of stopping and making downward transitions in gaits rather than transitioning into a gallop every time they run. Essentially the racehorse must be re-made into a safe, pleasure horse.

After his training, the broker sold him to his new owner Anna Berghede from Rhode Island. His sale price was $3000.00, which was thousands of dollars less than what he had been “worth”. Despite the additional training, his age, known and unknown injuries, and disposition as a “crazy Thoroughbred” were all factors that weighed into a reduction of his worth.

He began a life as a “pleasure” and riding horse and for the first time learned to develop a relationship with a person. He lived at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, R.I. and enjoyed the benefits of good care, stability and kindness and for the first time developed relationships with another horse at the facility. With Anna he continued his training and learned the sports of 3 day eventing, which includes dressage, stadium jumping and cross country.

After 2 years, due to unexpected circumstances, Anna had to make the difficult decision to sell him. Her priority was his welfare with the money secondary, so the sale price of $2000.00 afforded him to someone who would be a responsible owner and give him a good home. In addition, Think Blue would remain at the same facility where Anna was able to “lease” him from the owner and continue to be a part of his life for another 2 ½ years.

Unfortunately this owner also had to sell him, and Anna was not able to take him back, so instead he was purchased for the 7th time, for the purpose of a riding/showing/leased lesson horse. By this time, Blue was 15 years old and injuries incurred from his racing career would begin to show. Blue left the facility that was his home for several years and was shipped to Maine. There he was boarded at a local facility where his work began.

At a show

The new facility was less than desirable, and Think Blue was kept tied in a dirty, standing stall with several inches of manure, where he could not move or lay down. When he was outside, he shared a paddock with many horses, all hungry and competing for hay and leadership of the herd. He had no protection from the elements and was tormented by insects and the large number of flies that inhabited the facility in the summers.

The winters were difficult and cold. He frequently had no water to drink, was not blanketed for warmth and had insufficient hay for the Thoroughbred metabolism and their ability to stay warm in the freezing temperatures. The lack of care took its toll and Think Blue was found in a state of “colic” or profound pain associated with digestive system upset on several occasions. He was able to recover but was not given support or veterinary care.

The environment was unhealthy for both animals and people, housing sick and injured horses, harboring viruses and carrying infections that were a result of neglect and ignorance. The horses received little care with the exception of bathing and grooming as preparation for horseshows. Since the primary purpose of the showbarn was the business of lessons and showing, riding and showing was paramount, and left care by the wayside. During his time at the facility Blue worked very hard as a lesson horse, in addition to being leased on occasion, by more than 1 person at a time, and participated in the seasonal show circuit from April through October, where he showed every week-end. His life changed from what it had been and transitioned into a life of abuse, neglect and overuse.

After enduring 2 physically difficult years and a broken spirit, he was purchased for the last time on October 1999 for $1500.00. The sale however was complicated by the fact that the current owner was not aware that her horse had been sold. When the owner of the facility was informed by the most recent owner of Think Blue, that he would be leaving the barn, she became upset and refused to allow the horse to leave the premises. These circumstances forced the new owner, who was not aware that her horse did not belong to the person who sold him to her, to devise a plan to remove him. She sought the assistance of several people who helped her with the transition.

Once a race horse, always a race horse

In his new home at Riverhurst Farm in Kennebunk, Blue was coined “death on 4 legs” by the manager, because of his deteriorated condition, but with time and care he gained several hundred pounds and recovered physically. His mental state however was more challenging, as Blue was distrustful of people, was protective and had become hard to handle.

As he gained strength, he also became more difficult to manage and even simple tasks like feeding became a struggle because he was accustomed to fighting for food or not being fed at all. He also remained suspicious of handlers, anticipating abuse on a regular basis, which in turn made his handlers fearful. His new owner persevered despite strong opinions from the professionals to “get rid of him” because he was dangerous and unmanageable.

Since the owners experience was limited to dogs, she instinctively gave the horse the same care in terms of continuity and kindness. She spent time with him every day, sometimes giving to him rather than asking him to do for her, and with time he slowly began to respond to the care and eventually learned to trust.

Enjoying life

In October of 2000, he was introduced to the horse that would be his companion for the rest of his life, Lexxie. Though Blue, as he was now called, lived in a succession of boarding facilities for the next several years, he had consistency in the care and vigilance that his owners provided. Due to that, his safety and well being was never compromised. He recovered from the negative experiences of his past, and became a happy, willing and trusting horse. He learned to be respectful of people despite his suspicious and protective nature.

Although Blue will always have a history and carry the scars of his ill treatment, he has learned to trust and respect which has resulted in co-operation. He is an Ambassador for Blixx and enjoys the attention he is given by people who appreciate his journey.

Blue’s story shows that horses like him are capable of being transformed, if people are willing to give care, companionship and a commitment for life, while considering the horses’ best interest. He went from being what 'horsepeople' considered a lost cause, to a Horse Ambassador.

Lexxie's Biography

Lexxie taking a break

Lexxie is a Polish Arabian Mare, horse. Her registered name is Bint Ali Alexxis. The Arabian breed originated in what used to be Eurasia, Africa and North America, thousands of years ago, and is thought by some, to be the purest blood in horses, and the breed from which all horses have had a genetic influence. The Polish background refers to the region where this particular line originated.

The Arabian breed is considered a “hotblood”, a distinction that is shared with only 2 other breeds, the Thoroughbred and possibly, the Barb from Africa, which is considered to be the 2nd of the worlds foundation breeds. Hotblood refers to the uniqueness and purity of the line that no other breed possesses. It can further define the mental sensitivity of the horse and the physical characteristic of being a “light” horse of a certain stature and proportions used under saddle or as a “carriage” horse.

Lexxie was born at Riverhurst Farm in Kennebunk, Maine on April 23, 2000, an Easter Sunday afternoon. Through the age of 2, she was considered a filly, and is a purebred, due to the Arab lineage beyond her parents. Unlike Lexxie, both parents’ line were from different regions. Her grandfather, owned by Lady Wentworth, came from the Russian line Muscat, and her great Grandfather was of the silver variety from England, the Crabbit. This line produces a sturdier, heavier horse and lacks the definition and refinement of the Muscat. Her registration makes it possible to trace her parentage and get details of the line.

Run!

She resembles both of her parents to a degree. Her mother Jasmine, is a grey horse with a white coat, and Bint Ali Meleek is chestnut with 3 white socks and a blaze. Lexxie has her fathers chestnut coat with 3 white socks and a blaze, however there is evidence of the genes that produced Jasmines coloring in some individual white hairs dispersed on her coat.

Lexxie is a small Arab, like her mother with a stature of 14’2 H, and unlike her father who’s stature was 15 hands. She weighs about 950 pounds and has a beautiful, thick mane and tail with hues of red, flaxen and gold. Her mane is full with no bridlepath, a long forelock, like her father, and all her facial hair is present, including whiskers, eye and ear hairs. She is not clipped due to the protection that the hair provides.

Instinctively, Lexxie exhibits the behavior of an “alpha” or “lead” mare which is an “unspayed” female horse. If she were a wild horse living in a herd, she would instinctively be in charge of making decisions for the herd. This is important information to have when working with a horse with this type of personality, so that she can look to people for leadership rather instinctively acting as leader in the human relationship. Lexxie has learned respect, trust and co-operation, which her owners reciprocate resulting in a balanced relationship.

Alexxis is a unique horse. She has never been “backed” or ridden by the owners’, however she has had a saddle on her back routinely, and the weight of a person. In horse circles, having a horse that is capable of being ridden and choosing not to, is highly unusual, and can be intimidating. Her unique situation has allowed alternative exercise and training to be the focus of her routine. This has resulted in enormous amounts of ground work, which she demonstrates to groups during presentations, and individually in “Horse Therapy”.

Lexxie in training

Lexxie gets companionship and exercise daily. She has a football field size paddock in which to run, and routinely works in the ring or roundpen doing a variety of exercises including free lungeing, shoulder work, dressage movements and jumping. Sometimes she works alongside Fritz when the 2 are exercised together. Her regular outings to the beach where she enjoys other type of work including ponying with Fritz as she used to with her original companion, Blue.

Her exceptional abilities to communicate and co-operate have been the result of years of training to trust, focus and take direction, despite distractions and frightening situations. Through Horse Therapy she is able to help people learn about themselves, become more confident, and learn to handle situations quickly but calmly.

Alexxis’ handling began when she was born and has continued on a daily basis by her owners since she was 6 months. She has lived in different settings, however she has had consistency in areas that are lacking in many horse’s lives. This includes companionship with the same horse, and continued care by the same owners. The consistency and continuity in her training and handling, has enabled her to enjoy the companionship of people other than her owners, even though she is sensitive to her environment and the space around her, and takes time to accept new people into her space of which she is protective.

showing in Skowhegan with Allison

Her safety and well being have never been compromised, which has made her secure and confident. This factor has influenced her behavior, as her breeding and personality makes her a challenging horse. Her intelligence and ability to learn quickly, requires that her mental stimulation be diversified and consistent, so that her willing and enthusiastic disposition is not ruined by boredom, which leads to bad habits.

Lexxie continues to enjoy being part of a family who loves her, and to be a part of the work of Blixx. She has many siblings produced by her parents and has a relative, Naborr, co-owned by entertainer, Wayne Newton, who also owns Naborrs’ son, Aramus for which his ranch is named.

The care, consistency and vigilance that she has received in her life have made her secure, confident and a joy to have. Though she is challenging and intelligent, she has developed into a safe horse with a good disposition when in capable and experienced hands.

Certificate of Registration

Fritz's Biography

Fritz having fun!

Fritz's given name is “Another Fritz”. His breeder and original owner named him Fritz when she saw the similarities between him and his brother Fritz.

The original Fritz had been sent to Germany to be trained as a Dressage horse and sadly, was killed in an electrical fire at the stable where he lived. His father, or stud, Solomon is a Hanoverian Dressage horse well known in some Dressage circles.

Fritz is considered to be a mixed breed and is not registered. He is considered a “Warmblood” horse and is part Hanoverian and part Thoroughbred. Warmbloods are the combination of the Draft Coldblood and the Hotblood. In addition, he has Thoroughbred genes from his mother. The Hanoverian breed is originally from Hanover, Germany. Fritz was bred in New York and born in Maysville, Georgia, on November 29, 1994.

Fritz is a bay color with black markings. He has black stockings that end in 4 dark hooves. His mane and tail are black with red highlights and a dark stripe runs the length of his back, ending in the head of the tail.

Around the age of 2, his owner shipped him to the Western part of the U.S. to begin his training. A scar on the front of his right rear leg is believed to be the result of a trailering injury he received during this time. There is very little information on his experiences from this part of his life, however the training he received did not include being backed or ridden.

Upon his return to Georgia, he was purchased at 4 years old, by his former owner Ron Levesque, and was subsequently “backed” for the first time. Since his growth plates had closed by this age, Fritz did not receive injuries that are caused by being ridden too soon and too hard, as is common with many horses. His training continued under saddle as well as “on the ground” freely, and in a roundpen which is used to develop communication, trust and respect between the horse and person. The roundpen allows both to work together in close proximity at slow gaits, rather than tire or force to work. Fritz has performed dressage and stadium jumping and enjoyed a variety of pleasure outings on trails and beaches.

Fritz & Lexxie on the beach

In September of 2008, Fritz was given to us as a gift for Lexxie and our family. The level of care that he has received throughout his life continues as well as his training. He is ridden bareback, ponies Lexxie at the beach, and is being prepared for more work under saddle, in dressage and some easy jumping, as well as showing “in hand” and “under saddle”.

He is an intelligent horse with an easygoing personality and enjoys his role as Ambassador for Blixx. The years of training and care from Ron, who continues to be a part of our family as a friend and trainer, have given Fritz consistency. Unlike many horses, he is not confused from having many owners and variables in training and handling, and in some instances, abuse.

The results of the companionship, care and commitment that Ron gave Fritz for so many years, have produced a horse that does not fear people, is confident, secure and willing to co-operate. It also is reflected in his health and physical soundness, whereas many horses begin to physically break down by this age. Fritz is a fortunate horse.