Sunday August 31, 2008

August officially comes to an end today.  It’s hard to believe that summer is over.  Labor Day tomorrow, and then it’ll seem like fall.   

The horses will be happy when the weather cools off and we get some rain.  We had some scattered thunderstorms this week but not nearly enough to soften our parched ground.  Most of the horses prefer to just hang out, not much action or movement to be seen.    The exceptions, of course, are Pops and Ring.  I looked up from Kiri’s paddock today and the boys were silhouetted against the sky at the top of the hill, running and bucking.   It was a single moment of perfect beauty.  It seemed to me the entire group was silent for an instant, caught up in the same spell.

It was a pretty quiet morning with only 6 people at 10 am.  But we made up for that with about 30 folks at 3 o’clock.  They just kept showing up and it turned out to be a great, albeit large, group.   All the kids got a chance to feed some carrots, but the champ had to be a tiny little toddler named Lucy.  Barely old enough to talk, she might be the youngest “horse nut” I have ever met.    At first, I held her hand while she fed Awad a carrot.   After that, Lucy fussed each time we stopped at a horse until she could hand out a carrot and a pat on the nose.  It never fails to amaze me how gentle those big stallion teeth are when a tiny little hand holds the carrot.  They may try to bite me, or take a shot at mom and dad, but never the little ones.  There is a noticeable difference in how the horses interact with little kids, and people never fail to comment on it.  (I think the horses know who has the potential to hurt them, and who doesn’t.)  My apologies to Lucy’s mom and dad, because I bet she is now a horse fan for life!  I foresee riding lessons in eight years or so….

I can’t say there is much happening to report on this week.  The horses are all doing well.  Like I said, they will all be happy when cooler, wetter weather hits.  The ground is so dry, and I think it must be sort of tiring to stand on the all hard ground all day.  The grass is pretty dry too, and doesn’t seem all that appetizing to me!   Carrots and mints are still good, though, and all the boys love their treats and the attention that goes along with them.  

On a sadder note, Old Friends will hold a public memorial service for Ballindaggin on Saturday, September 6 at 5:30 pm at the farm.  Ballindaggin was euthanized in July due to complications from degenerative arthritis.  He was a beautiful, kind stallion and tours are not same without him.  If you are in the area, please join us.   Ballindaggin loved people and we would love for his friends to come and help us remember him one more time.

-Val

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