Although I didn't know it until several years later, one of the best days of my life was May 15, 1994. Because that's when Boogey Midnight Rhythm Blues was born. That's the fancy-schmancy registered name of my bay Missouri Foxtrotter, Blue.
I've had other horses. I even had another foxtrotter, years ago, who would probably have been as good as Blue if he'd had a little more maturity on him. But I didn't give him time to develop.
My horse, Blue, at age twelve-going-on-thirteen, is, I suppose, middle-aged. Some horses live well into their thirties, and if he could do so comfortably, I'd love for him to live that long. I'd be in my 80's then, so he might even outlive me. I'm not sure I want that for him, because who knows what would become of him.
I've owned him for over three years: It's the best $1,000 I ever spent.
Blue doesn't come when I call, but he does stand and wait for me when he sees me approaching with halter in hand. Many horses don't. They find a perverse pleasure in making a game of catch-me-if-you-can.
Blue has gotten used to my picture-taking from his back, and no longer grows impatient with me as I take shots of different views from his back. If I dismount to get closeups or pictures at new angles, he stands patiently waiting... probably glad for the break.
You can see him in the background of this picture, during my exploration of a very old graveyard yesterday. And below, when I was getting to mount up and head home.
Down the highway to the west, about a mile from here, there's a mobile home where a family with several children lives. The first time I rode by and heard their exclamations of "A horse, a horse!" I crossed the road and told them they could pet Blue. That day about eight kids came running toward us full-speed, and Blue jumped back with a start, not knowing what to make of such an onslaught. So I told the kids, "Back up, and come close one at a time to pet him."
That worked, and now any time I ride past when kids are playing outside, I cross over the road and they line up like school-children getting ready to go to recess; I don't have to tell them what to do. Each one pats Blue's nose or his neck and then runs excitedly away.
Yesterday there were only three kids in evidence. Getting so close to a horse seems to make their day; their dad appreciates that I take the time to put a smile on his kids' faces, and always thanks me. Yesterday he also wished me "Happy Easter". You can see him in the background at the barbecue grill. Blue wasn't concerned with the children; he had his eye on a couple of penned-up dogs.
Next to my husband, Blue is my best friend.
(Click on pictures to see them larger.)