I’ve tried multiple times to write a tribute to my gelding, Blue, on my blog. Whenever I try to write anything I end up bursting into tears and then I completely scrap the idea. Blue shaped who I am as a horsewoman (and probably a human being) and I’m determined to write him a proper tribute today. :)
In March 2008 I put down my saintly/quirky thoroughbred gelding, Blue, after 8 years together. He was 22 years old and had an inoperable tear in his colon. He carefully carried me through pony club, jumping & dressage lessons. Many of my teenage secrets were whispered into his ears and many teenage tears were cried into his mane. I jumped my biggest jumps on him and galloped my fastest gallops.
After some mysterious lameness issues he was diagnosed with navicular at age 18. I was eventually able to get him 100% sound at age 20 but I decided not to jump him again. I learned a lot about lameness care/management during his “off” years.
He was kind of a crabby dude (ie you couldn’t touch him when he was eating or he would stop eating altogether) and he was the world’s hardest keeper. He also was definitely was handled unkindly in his life. But he had a heart of gold. I have never met a horse with such a sense of try. He was a wonderful gentleman under saddle and I think in our two years of jumping he only refused twice (both times when he was at the beginning of the navicular onset). He was sometimes a bit of a “hot” ride and liked to be speedy around the jump course. At first it scared me but once I trusted him we had a lot of fun together.
High quality high school cell phone pic!
When I put him down I was completely devastated. My boyfriend at the time (not my current husband) recommended I see a grief counsellor. I agreed. I went once and she recommended a write a letter to Blue to say goodbye. I never did. When I read other blogs and the wonderful tributes to beloved equines who have passed on - I wish I did. So here goes.
If there is a horse heaven I know you are there. Recently your good friend Nova joined you. He stood next to you in your final moments and the idea of you two being together again makes my heart a bit happier. I’m sure in horse heaven that no one touches you or looks at you when you’re eating. :P
I feel so lucky that I got to be your person. I wish we had more time together but I cherish the time that we did have. Every teenage girl should have a Blue. I had so much fun with you, seeing you was always my favourite part of the day. It wasn't always fun to be a teenager, riding was my escape.
Thank you for always taking care of me. Even when I didn’t deserve it. Even when I was being a reckless moron. There are not enough words express how grateful I am. You had a heart of gold.
I know that humans were not always kind to you. I saw the whites in your eyes every time I pulled the broom off the hook on the wall and saw scars on your body inflicted by poorly fitting saddles. I did my best to take care of you. I know I wasn’t perfect but I hope you know that I tried my hardest to make you happy. I hope that your last 8 years were your happiest years. You were so fiercely loved by a weird teenage girl/weird adult lady. I hope you know how much you were loved. I had a few strands of your mane in my wedding bouquet. So I met the “old, borrowed, and Blue” requirements pretty easily! I hoped that I would be able to ride you down the aisle but I know you were there in spirit.
I think about you every day and especially when I handle my young horses. I try to remember to be kind and patient with them, even when they are driving me crazy. I try to treat them the way I wish you were treated. I try to show them the kindness and patience that you always showed me.
Mom and I still talk about you all the time. We sure miss you.
I hope you heard me in your last few moments telling you what a good boy you were. Thank you for everything.
Thanks for reading this post! Definitely a few tears fell as I wrote, I hope it makes sense.
I hope I was able to share a little bit about how wonderful my Blueboy was. I have added his picture to the sidebar of my blog also. :) Hopefully I will scan some more photos onto the computer of him soon. I know my mom took a million jumping pics of us!