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Blue, the White Beauty

Linda with Take A Mile

From the “POOCHES OF GOOCHES” DOGBOOK
... from the horse's mouth

April 14, 1982 – May 4, 2008

My name is Blue and my owners have always seen me as their “white beauty”. I was born on April 12, 1982, at a castle on Stonethorn Stud Farm in Ireland, where many horses like me are bred to race. I stayed with my mother for a short time until I was taken to prepare for my career as a racehorse.

As a Thoroughbred, I am technically a “grey” horse and distinguished by the term “flea bitten” grey. When I was born, my coat was the same color as my spots which are almost black. I gradually turned white over the years, with some hints of my dark coloring remaining throughout my coat. All my hooves are black and I am told that I have wonderful feet and no longer wear shoes. As is customary for horses like me, I had a tattoo placed inside my upper lip. That tells people who I am and where I was born.

I spent most of my 1st year in training which included doing some things that I did not understand. I had to wear a saddle that was uncomfortable when it was secured and a bit in my mouth that was used to steer me and make go faster. Metal shoes were put on my feet so that I could grip the ground and run faster. One day a person got on my back and although I resisted, I was told that I would had no choice but to obey. My life as a racehorse began.

Patriotic Blue

When I was 2, I ran my first race in Ireland. I tried to do what I was told, but I would get very nervous when I was led into the starting gate. It was a scary place to be especially since I am claustrophobic by nature and I couldn’t get out until it opened. When the bell rang, and the gate opened, it was my job to run as fast as I could to beat all of the other horses. I tried to do my best but sometimes I couldn’t win. When I won though, people were very happy with me.

In my 2nd year, I was sold and sent to my new owner in the United States. Everything was new to me, and I was afraid and confused, but arrived at my destination and eventually met my new owner. He named me Take A Mile. I would race and remain with him until I was 10.

My racing career was a long one by racing standards, and I am told that I must have taken care of myself so that I would not get hurt like some of the other horses. I also had a habit of jumping over shadows if I thought they were holes, so I had to wear blinders when I ran.

After I stopped racing, I had to be retrained because as an “off the track” Thoroughbred I sometimes forget that I am no longer racing. Sometimes things still remind me of the track and my instinct tells me to run. I don’t mean to be scary or disobey, but sometimes I can’t help it. Along the way in my career, I was renamed Think Blue. No one knows why, but people have guessed that perhaps it is due to the undertone of white, which is blue, or perhaps because of the blue ribbons they hoped I would win.

Blue & Linda - '02, Independance

I have had many owners and I have participated in many sports like 3 day eventing, hunting, lots of jumping and even polo. One of my last jobs was as a “lesson horse” to teach many children and adults how to ride. I have lived in many barns, under many circumstances and met many horses. I have had many people care for me. Some people have been nice to me, and some have not.

Along the way, I know there were some people who tried to watch over me, and I appreciate that. A few people that I knew in my past like one of my jockeys, Linda are still in touch with me. I have met many horses, and I would remember them if I saw them again. I have had so many experiences, and seen so many things that my owners think that I could write a book.

It was in one of my last “homes” that my current owners met me. One day they realized that the reason that I looked strange was because I was sick, tired and overused. They understood that my disposition was the result of my treatment. At that point in my life, I was hungry, had lost my enthusiasm, did not like being touched and no longer trusted people. Even though they were scared of me, they realized that I needed help. They didn’t think that taking care of me would be that much different from the dogs. That is the day that our lives changed.

My owners decided that riding would be the best type of exercise for me because I had always been ridden, so despite her fear, one of my owners learned to ride. At first, the saddle pinched my back and she had no balance so that didn’t feel good, and she hurt my mouth by pulling on the reins every time she got scared, which was often. She did not know that the bit felt like a nutcracker and that the saddle didn’t fit. She had only done what people had suggested but it didn’t work. She found a trainer and we began riding lessons. She also learned about horses by reading and learning from people she trusted. Sometimes they took me for walks just as if I was a dog and let me graze and roll. Now we have a lot of fun.

Unlike Lexxie, when I was young, I never did things with people without being ridden, so I am still afraid of people and the world, especially loud sounds and things that look scary. Some people say that I am dumb to be “spooky”, but they don’t realize that I am actually very smart, and sensitive to things because of my experiences. My owners are careful not to put me in jeopardy and understand that because I was bred to run, I may forget to listen when I panic or get confused with signals that used to mean one thing and now I’m supposed to do the opposite. They are patient with me.

Blue and Lexxie being frisky

Now I am just called Blue. One of the best days of my life was when my owners found a companion for me so that I would not be alone. When I met Lexxie I knew she was young and inexperienced about the horse life, so I became her teacher. I also became the boss and our relationship has made me feel secure. My owners say that I have a girlfriend which is fine by me.

I like to run on the beach but I don’t always like to “pony” Lexxie. Sometimes I want to be on my own and watch the ocean quietly. Although I am required to get a certain amount of exercise, my owners says it’s ok if I don’t always want to work because I have worked so hard already. They think I should enjoy my life as much as people have enjoyed watching what I have done. I still go to horse shows and even win ribbons. My owners say that it is important for me to show people that although I am considered to be old, I am still useful, productive and happy. The care that I have received has helped me to feel young.

I have lots of friends, many of them I have met on Goochs Beach where we spend lots of time. Many people visit and like to be around me and find out about my life. They say I am beautiful even though white may not be their favorite color. I like it when people talk to me softly and when they pat me gently. I have been told that some people can relate to me because I am “older” and have similar needs.

I have a trainer that helps my owners keep me in shape. I have learned to trust him because he is kind and does not hit or yell at me or make me work too hard. He knows that I am very smart and appreciates that I have served so many people. He is surprised that I look so good for my age and that I can move so well. He has not seen many horses like me. My owners say that horses are like human athletes and that they also “break down” if they overdo it, but unlike people, horses also have the weight a person on their backs. My owners say I am very lucky.

So peaceful

Since I have moved home, I see my owners and the dogs many times every day and I am happy to always have good hay to eat, a clean place to live and room to run and gallop. I have companionship and protection from the elements because it is hard to live outside even if you’re just a horse. Some people say I am pampered, but my owners disagree and say that all horses are unique, and that I get the care that I need, and that’s how it should be for all horses.

I know that I am safe. My owners think this is good because I have worked so hard for so many, and I should enjoy my life. They know that I could live for a very long time and they need to be in shape to take care of me. I have no plans to slow down. If I could talk, I would say that I am grateful to everyone who has cared for me and treated me with kindness. Mostly I am happy that despite my older age, I have people that still love and value me.

Blue died peacefully on May 4, 2008