A quick apology for this one. It was very hard to write, which is why it has taken so long. It's probably equally as hard to read. As light as I try to keep things for you all, sometimes the cold truth of reality seeps in.
Blue was in our life so long it is hard to remember life before her. She was around so long, there is almost no video of her as cell phones did not even take pictures, let alone video. She was around more than half my life and I am getting old. We entered three decades with her.
Blue was relatively active and my main horse for several years until her early teens. We did not show much, but she attended some warm up days and some in-house things. After her hocks fused in her early teens she was relegated to trail rides. She was an amazing trail horse. On the buckle walking but happy to gallop and jump random things as well.
One memorable trip was when we were invited along to spend a weekend in a cabin in Merritt. We trail rode all weekend, it was amazing.
Blue in her mid teen years, strutting her stuff in the round pen. If I knew then what I know now, she would have been a kick-ass dressage horse. But I did not know, so she was a trail horse.
In her mid teens, Blue started falling down. We think it was sleep deprivation from having a hard time getting up and down for sleep, or always being on watch (Blue, like myself, is always in charge of group safety). She would be standing one minute then on the ground, get up shaking, fall again then be fine. At this point I decided riding her was no longer in the cards. Now that I know more about sleep issues I could maybe help her, but back then I did not and could not. The decision was made to completely retire her from riding. Just in case it was something that may cause her to fall with a person on her.
She went to the first of her series of retirement homes before landing where she is now, with one of my great friends. At her first retirement home I also met a friend who continues to be a great friend and was Amazing Rider for Mav when I needed help! Everything is connected. When one door closes, another always opens. It is just not always apparent at the time.
It was there Blue learned to be a nanny. She was great with young horses, kept them in their place but did not try to injure them.
Unfortunately that property was eventually sold and Blue moved around a bit
She had a few retirement homes over the years. Some were good, some not so good. Some I do not have pictures of. Sometimes places would sell, or change, or she was too skinny or it just did not work. One place we paid for a paddock/shed and she was only out in a big field so weight was an issue. Some places were too wet, or too hard, or too whatever.
At one barn she never settled. I tried putting her out in the field and she jumped back into her paddock. She hated that property so we moved her after a couple of months. I had decided at that point if she did not settle she would be put down, but thankfully she did! That was almost 10 years ago now. Something weird about that property clearly! The barn used to house pigs. I have heard some horses hate pigs? That is the only thing I can think of. Or maybe it was haunted. Hauntings are always a possibility. Or aliens. Never count out them.
A few years ago now, a good friend bought some property and Blue went with her mare right after they moved in. I am so grateful for the care she got. I did not have to worry about her there! I also knew when her time came, my friend would be honest and let me know.
Blue very recently. Still a beautiful old lady.
I did not get to visit her often, she was about 90 min away, but got constant updates. Excellent groundcrew member also had a retiree there so we occasionally trekked out there together to feed them cookies. She was always there in the background, being Blue and living her life.
As one last adventure for the old lady, my friends place was evacuated for a wildfire. A fire started by a person living in the forest several kilometers away. Unfortunately, wind direction brought the fire to their doorstep and she had a nice vacation to a nearby farm.
Happily, everyone was safe and once the fire danger lifted, they returned to the home they knew. Pieces of burned tree were found in paddocks so it was likely the fire crews responsible for saving the property and not the weather. The fire was very close.
However, it was to be her last great adventure.
Sadly, the day finally came and my friend called as I knew she would.
On a beautiful day in September, Blue passed away peacefully. It was time for her to go across the bridge and greet Miss H and other loved ones who have gone before her. I am pretty sure my Father-in-Law was there with an orange waiting.
It is funny how looking back now, I realize how much Blue brought to the table. She has long been the retiree we just sent money for, but in reality, she was a cherished member of the family for almost as long as we have been a family. She outlived many who came after her and really was remarkably hardy. She taught me to not give up and that time, and persistence, makes a trail horse out of almost any horse. She also taught me that kindness goes a long way. Her kindness won over people everywhere she went.
Sometimes in life we make promises that are hard to keep. Sometimes we are able to keep the ones we make. The ones made to a bay mare we promised we would have for her whole life, so she would never have to worry. A promise kept to the Matriarch, the gentle, kind old lady Blue.
Blue, you will be missed.