BLUE Gelding/Blue Roan/Mustang-Companion NonRiding


If  you are interested in adopting this horse, please submit an Adoption Inquiry via AAE’s website; No texts please:  https://www.allaboutequine.org/how-to-adopt.html.  Adoption fee subject to change based on training; see website for all current information.

Blue is a 2010 Virginia Range (NV) mustang gelding who came to AAE March of 2017 after a request for assistance from the Virginia Range Wild Horse Sanctuary and Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. Blue had been carrying around a large seven pound mass of proud flesh (granulation tissue) over his left rear fetlock/pastern area for some time.  Although he had been haltered and handled some previously, he was not halterable when he arrived at AAE.  We knew we had a big job ahead in helping Blue.

Before we could evaluate the mass, he had to be gentled, haltered, and readily halterable, and his legs/hooves had to be readily handleable for frequent bandage changes after surgery.  With a straightforward mustang, it’s usually not a big deal, but Blue had some substantial fear/trust issues.  Initial efforts with befriending and haltering him were lukewarm.  Thanks to Dr. Stolba and Team at LBEMC (throughout Blue’s journey), he had made enough progress that we were able to sedate him, radiograph the bony area beneath the mass, and collect tissue samples for biopsy.  We wanted to make sure there was not an underlying reason for the mass other than an old injury before getting too deep into corrective measures if they would be for naught.  It was not an easy feat.  Even with sedation, he kicked quickly and with purpose. 

Radiographs and biopsy detected no obvious issues, so the work continued.  Weeks in, Blue seemed to have had a reaction to something and developed a mysterious condition that turned out to be a form of vasculitis.  He developed sores/ulcers throughout his entire mouth.  The first layer of tissue pulled off with any type of pressure.  They were horribly painful.  Though his history and symptoms didn’t suggest it, we had to quarantine him and test him for vesicular stomatitis.  Thankfully, it was negative.  We scaled back our efforts to reduce his stress and allow him to heal.   But, the mass was growing and oozing, and flies and yellow jackets swarmed the oozy mass. 

After several weeks, he improved and we’ve resumed course.  He would take a few steps forward, then a couple steps back.  Finally, after many weeks with nominal results, we had a marathon day.  We worked until we broke through.  After six hours, he accepted handling and touching all over, and we practiced bandaging and removing bandages, over and over.  The next day, our learning curve was much shorter, and the next and the next, until finally, we could halter, touch all over, and pick up his left hind and handle it all over.  We practiced with bandaging materials again and wrapped it up, and he was a gem!

We scheduled surgery, and in late August 2017, he lost nearly seven pounds in a matter of minutes.  The mass had a narrow base and truly looked like a big brain.  Imagine what that must have felt like with every move.  Needless to say, it was done!

However, the mouth lesions returned.  There were more and they were worse this time.  They were on his body, around his anus, and on his sheath.  Poor guy, these things were awful, and they appeared to be an autoimmune issue.  At one point, we questioned his prognosis and quality of life, but before jumping to conclusions, we biopsied the tissue.  We ended up with the vasculitis diagnosis.  The best thing was, we changed up his meds and the sores began to heal.  The area where the mass was removed was beginning to heal.  In the meantime, the next test came when it was time to change his first bandage.  With a bit of sedation, it went fairly smooth, but cleaning the lesion was a little challenging.  But wow, it looked amazing!  Such a tremendous improvement.  It was like a victory in and of itself, even though not healed.  

Healing progressed nicely!  After several bandage changes, Blue was getting resentful of the needle for sedation, so we tried without.  It went well with cleaning a few times, but oddly, after a few times, he didn’t like it when placing the medicated bandage over the lesion. It seems he was healing, and he could feel the area again.  He stomped the bandage off, over and over.  The stomp was a little intimidating, but really, he was only trying to get the “big white bug” off his leg.  He didn’t kick out or kick at.  His stomp was purposeful in knocking the bandage off his leg.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep the bandage on, so we had to go back to sedation for a bit.  Eventually, we could remove the bandage, clean the lesion, and replace the bandage without issue, without sedation, thankfully.  Healing continued.

By November 2017, the lesion was almost healed, but there was a small area where the granulation tissue was persisting, so it was trimmed off.  By January 2018, the lesion had nearly healed again.  Blue made tremendous progress.  However, as the months went on, the small area persisted and started to grow again.  We lasered the area and biopsied for a third time, and this time the biopsy revealed a sarcoid. They are persistent little buggers!!!  

​We tried some different medications over the months, but nothing resulted in complete healing, and by Fall, we decided to laser again; however, by November 2018, the sarcoid was growing, it was removed, and another course of treatment began with new medications. Blue stood quietly for bandage changes every two to three days.  

As of mid-February 2019, Blue’s lesion appeared to have healed, we continued applying an antiviral cream daily for several weeks, maybe months.  So far, so good.  The lesion is scarred (about a silver dollar-sized area with no hair growth), and his fetlock remains enlarged from lymphatic scarring.  He’s sound, just a bit awkward looking with the swelling above his hoof. Over time, it has reduced and looks only slightly swollen.

He’s healthy, happy, and in much better shape than when he arrived.  He continues to have challenges with trust, mostly when introducing new things, but he continues to show progress, one baby step at a time; though he has a pull away issue that comes and goes.  He has had this from the beginning when in big space. Blue is always looking for his Plan B escape.  He loves his carrots, and he will respectfully do almost anything for a bite of carrot.  He also enjoys being “Uncle Blue” to the youngsters, a job he does well!

​Like we have said before, Blue’s story is not an uncommon story in terms of the hurdles we cross with any intake with special needs.  We have unexpected bumps in the road that require more than anticipated.  For Blue, it was the bouts of vasculitis and later, the discovery of the sarcoid.  For some, it’s colic; for others, abscesses, lacerations from tree branches or scuffles with others.  We can’t plan for these things, but need the resources to handle them when confronted.  We are grateful to have had the support of our AAE community to assure we can manage most any unexpected issue along the way.

Blue is available for adoption only to the perfect, forever home.  He needs a person that is mustang experienced, extremely patient, and has no expectations other than providing a safe, caring home.  Keep in mind, he lived on the open range for years, and he does not enjoy confinement. At AAE, he lived mostly in a herd environment on acreage until 2021, when he developed laminitis in pasture.  Now he’s housed in a smaller pasture/paddock where we can bring him in for hoof and dental care, as well as all the other basic needs.  He is somewhat social, but still skeptical of humans.  Given the choice, he’d prefer a free-roaming life with occasional visits to two-leggers.  Blue gives his feet for cleaning, and he is ok with the farrier when trimmed in a small paddock.  Blue has learned very basic groundwork.  He is still always looking for Plan B, an escape.  He can be touched and handled all over, but continues to have a difficult time relaxing and enjoying it.  He’s pretty good with his hooves, but the front right can be an effort for whatever reason.  His leg is checked regularly for any recurrence of his sarcoid.  Fortunately, we are still sarcoid free, and his scar is about the size of a quarter.  Blue needs much more confidence before moving forward with any saddle training.  Continuity and consistency will be key in building his confidence and advancing his skills.

Blue is up to date with dental and hoof care, vaccines, and deworming, and he has a microchip. He’s laminitis prone, so he will need controlled housing where he won’t be on green grass 24/7.  Blue is current with dental and hoof care, vaccines, & deworming, and has a microchip.

In general, there is a lot of activity around AAE including foot traffic in and out of paddock/pasture areas, mucking with wheelbarrows, grooming and care activities, and weekly farrier visits.  There are various resident animals, as well as various wildlife  in and around paddock/pasture areas.  AAE is on a  busy road with high speed vehicles, trucks, and sirens.  Tractors and trucks are used in and around pasture/paddock areas.  Therefore, horses at AAE are accustomed to a more active environment as opposed to a quiet/sterile environment.

  • Height: 14.0
  • Weight: 9900
  • Registered: No
  • Date Foaled: 01/01/2010
  • Color: Roan
  • Gender: Gelding
  • Is this a rescue?: No
  • Rescue's Name: All About Equine Animal Rescue