The Diva that is Misty Mystique

Today’s Guest Post is from Laurie Dudek Berglie, who has a total diva for an OTTB… and the name to prove it. Laurie writes The Sassy Grey, and is also the Baltimore Horse Examiner for Examiner.com. 

grey thoroughbred mare

Misty Mystique, Diva face ON


With a name like Misty Mystique, you could be a stripper, a show girl, or… a racehorse. Regardless, you’re always a diva.

My mare, Misty, is feisty and silly. She is an 8 year old off-the-track Thoroughbred that I adopted as a 4 year old after a less-than-stellar racing record. Ready for a new career, Misty came into my life and changed everything.

A friendly, playful girl, Misty wears her emotions on her sleeve, (figuratively, of course). She’s always looking for a good time…whether it’s knocking over my wheelbarrow full of manure and then looking at me haughtily like, “Ha! I gotcha!,” stealing my brushes out of my tote and indignantly throwing them on the other side of the fence, or just sniffing / sneezing in my hair, Misty is something else.

A dappled grey, long-legged, slender beauty, Misty is a head-turner. The other boarders at my farm refer to her as the “Homecoming Queen” because she’s gorgeous and she knows it. And while my heart swells with pride for my pretty little girl, what I love most about Misty is her personality and zest of life.

Misty possesses the characteristics as a horse that I wish I possessed as a human, and I try to emulate her. As the leader of her herd, she’s in charge – if she doesn’t like you, she lets you know it and you drink from the water bucket last. And though she comes across as a little pushy, (and my friends and family could argue that I have that quality nailed down already), she’s strong; she’s independent. If something is amiss, the other horses look to her for answers. I do too.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. It was a sultry Saturday afternoon in July and I had been horse-shopping for a few weeks. A friend of a friend called me about a grey OTTB mare who was to be re-homed, so off I went.

I must admit that I was more than skeptical about this encounter. While I had ridden and owned horses for my entire life, I didn’t have any experience with ex-racers, and, embarrassingly, I was guilty of thinking Thoroughbreds were crazy and on drugs and hard to train. I envisioned a wild lightning bolt of grey, streaking through the stables, fire in her eyes, my head on a silver platter… but I was curious.

When I arrived at Misty’s training facility, my fears were quickly proved unfounded as out of the stall walked a calm, gentle, adorable grey mare. She greeted me with ears pricked forward and an inquisitive, mischievous look. I could tell right away that this mare was a sweetheart… and sassy. I knew I had to have her.

grey thoroughbred, dressage

Halt at X, salute the judge, give a sassy smile on the way out?

Three and a half years later, Misty and I are inseparable. Her retraining as a riding horse was a breeze, and she quickly proved herself a worthy, trusting partner. Though she does have a lazy side to her and doesn’t like to go faster than a trot, she is a beautiful mover with a sound mind and steady, albeit spunky, demeanor.

True to form, since Misty was a racehorse and racked up the miles traveling to east coast racetracks, she is rarely nervous in new locations. I can take her to lessons or shows and she takes it all in stride. Hunters or dressage, Misty is versatile.

I’ll never forget the first time I trailered into my dressage instructor’s farm for a lesson. Misty had never been there before, yet there she was, walking around the indoor ring on a loose rein with her head low and relaxed. Before we got down to business, my instructor said, “I just have to give this mare some props; she’s never been in here, and here she is walking around like she owns the place.”

Yep, divas are like that.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Diva that is Misty Mystique

  1. I also have OTTB and totally relate to your story. My guy, Sun Hunter is also one class act. I have had him since June and today is his 7th birthday. Thank you for inspiring me to write a blog about him today.