Sunday November 16, 2008

What a difference a few days make.   It was cold today!  We’ve had rain too, so the ground is soft and muddy.  Boy, do the horses love this.  Every single horse was running, bucking, rearing and cavorting today.  Ruhlmann came over for carrots at a brisk trot, and that set Bull off, so he came at a run.  Kiri felt so good he ran the width of his paddock, and then started bucking and rearing straight up on his back legs.  The tour group oohed and ahhed over Kiri–he looked seriously gorgeous.   Awad couldn’t stand that, so he started rearing as well.  Talk about children!   And we won’t even get into how wound up Pops and Ring were….

Swannie is the most active, I suppose.  He bucked and ran constantly this morning, neighing and snorting the entire time.  We had a photographer on the morning tour and I think she got some great shots.   Swannie got Sunshine going, and then Dan ran and bucked and slid in the mud.  Will’s Way ran up and down his fence, racing Marley back and forth.   The Wicked North cantered over for carrots and that got Creator started.   Creator is wearing the special sneakers that Velcro onto his feet.  They give him front leg action like a saddlebred—high and exaggerated.  Funny!   But really, the whole day was something to see.  Everywhere you turned there was a view to savor.  Anyone who wonders if the old guys still have it—they surely do. 

The down side of the cooler, wetter weather—mud.   Only two horses weren’t muddy.  Will’s Way was show-horse clean.  (I hate to call him prissy.  Perhaps fastidious would be a better word!)   Norty was the other clean horse, at least to start.   By the end of the afternoon, everyone was covered from head to toe.   Of course, no one can pack more dirt onto a 15-hand frame than Swannie, but you’ve heard that before. 

We had die-hard tours today.  And for the poor folks from Florida—there was a bit of climate shock!   We had a little red-headed boy who was a perfect hair match for Norty.   He and his little brother kept asking me questions, and they called me “ma’am” each time.  So polite!   

This was a special day for Michael and Diane.  Michael’s son Dylan, his daughter-in-law and 3-year-old grandson Dash arrived today from Australia.  Michael has never looked as thrilled as he did today, and that is saying something.  They are going to have a great visit.

I’ve been home for a couple of hours now and I am finally starting to warm up.  Guess I better get used to it, since winter is clearly on its way.   The schedule tends to be a little less busy at this time of year, yet it’s a great time to come to the farm.  Tour groups are smaller, the horses are more active and no one has a fly mask on!  Just remember –it’s always windy, so dress warmly, wear a hat or ear muffs, and come to see us.  We’ll be looking forward to your visit.  In the meantime, thanks for spending another Sunday with Old Friends!

-Val

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Sunday November 16, 2008

  1. Viv from Ivytree

    Hi Val – heard Dan is going to have a new job! What’s the latest with him? I got the impression he was not quite as settled into retirement as most of the Old Friends and missed having a day job? I assume he will return to OF at some point? What a neat experience for those that will get to ride him…Hope this finds you well. Always enjoy reading the latest. Doggie all around to your faithful tour companions. As ever, Vivien

  2. Viv from Ivytree

    That should have been DOGGIE TREATS! Sorry!

  3. oldfriendsblog

    Hi Viv.

    yep, it appears that Dan may be taking on some part-time work. You know how some retirees (human and equine) are: they miss the job! And now that tour season is slowing down, I think he misses the people. He is pretty young for a career as pasture ornamentation…. 😉

    Anyway, Dan may be going to work for Chris McCarron’s jockey school, teaching new students how to ride. He’ll work the school year and have his vacation time as any teacher would. We’ll see how it goes but he is such a nice horse that I think he’ll be a fabulous teacher!

    -Val

  4. Viv

    That’s pretty cool. What a thrill to learn your craft on a former Derby hopeful. Lucky students, indeed. Thanks for the update! Hope to see you next time we’re down. As ever, Viv

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