This is Blue. Born to trouble, crazy as a blue jay, flighty as one too and died the sweetest, most loving friend anyone could want.
When Blue was born he slipped under a fence and was separated from Momma for several hours. He was discovered lying on the ground, surrounded by six other horses. It’s a wonder he wasn’t trampled. Poor baby was too weak to get up and had to be carried back to Momma and then helped to stand so he could nurse.
That set the tune for his next few years. At 12 days old and going at top speed, he ran head-first into a tree. Nearly knocked himself out. It’s a wonder he didn’t kill himself. After that, Momma decided I was the enemy and ran Blue out into the field every time I came out of the house. This wasn’t going to help me gentle him down any. Indeed, it had the opposite effect.
At three weeks old he tangled with an old wagon, cutting his leg nearly to the bone. This was a major problem. Believe me, three weeks old may sound small and defenseless, but when you’re talking skittish, half wild colt, it can be dangerous. Now, a cut that deep was nothing to mess with. It had to be cleaned and dressed twice a day, and antibiotic shots given.
But how do you give shots to a colt you can’t catch? Very carefully. First, I locked Momma and Blue in the barn lot. Then twice a day I either tricked or herded Blue into the holding pen. So far, so good. Unfortunately, you were taking your life into your own hands if you tried to enter that holding pen with Blue. So the gate was out; I had to find another approach. Up and over the top, and half-way down the inside of the fence. This is where it gets interesting. I still had to catch Blue. The first thing you do is toss a lead-line out and hope it lands over his neck, with enough hanging down the other side that you can grab it. With both ends of the rope in hand, you’ve got him and can fashion a halter to hold him, administer the shot and clean his leg. It didn’t take me long to discover that if that lead-line landed anywhere on Blue, he thought he was caught and gave up the fight. Funniest thing to see, a wild colt suddenly going docile because a loose lead is lying on his back.
You might think that this would be the beginning of our friendship. You’d be wrong. As soon as his leg was healed up, Momma started running him out into the field again when I appeared. Now I wasn’t just the enemy, I was evil. Definitely a monster, out to kill her baby. It wasn’t until he was weaned that I was able to successfully court Blue.