We didn’t have any tours scheduled when I arrived at the farm this morning, so I was able to take some time for my own mini tour. One of my favorite things, it is a lot of fun to be able to walk around by myself and talk to all the boys on a beautiful sunny morning. I didn’t have the usual bucket of carrots in hand but that didn’t matter. I started in the barn with my “big horse” Wallenda. Janet says he is like a college kid—he parties all night when he goes outside, then sleeps all day. Janet can even go into his stall and clean his feet while he is lying down! But he got up when I opened his stall door today, so I spent a few minutes patting him, then pulled a burr out of his forelock. I just adore that horse. He doesn’t have great social skills, but he sure loves attention! From there, I went over to the small barn to say hi to The Wicked North. Norty is such a kind horse. He is a rare stallion in that you can wrap your arms around his neck and give him a hug—most of them really aren’t hug material! But Norty loves being patted and he would hug you back if he could.
Next on my walk was Flying Pidgeon. Pidge was nosing through the remains of his breakfast grain. He is not an especially huggable kind but in his own way he enjoys attention. And if you can find and scratch an itchy spot….he’s your friend! Ogygian was on the far side of his paddock, so I headed over to see Cowboy and Monday. They are both white-faced chestnuts who love treats. Even though I didn’t have any in hand, they both came over to say hello. Cowboy likes to have his face rubbed, so I obliged him. Silver Charm trotted over to say hello, but as soon as he saw I was empty-handed he walked away in a huff. No treats, no Charmie!
I headed over toward Williamstown, who jogged over to say hi. He got to the fence, stretched out his neck and clicked his teeth together. An unusual kind of hello, but hello it was. Willy likes to push his nose into my palm to lick and slobber on my hand. All the stallions want to know who else I have been patting, and between the slobber and the drool they figure it out.
Pops and Ring were happily grazing down at the bottom of their field, and Leave Seattle was dozing in the sun. Kiri was absorbed with the horse across the road from him, so Awad was next on my tour. He was dozing too, but opened an eye when I walked up. Awad is a picky guy when it comes to treats. He loves carrots, hates mints, doesn’t like apples and takes horse cookies only as a last resort. But as a result he is just as happy to get his nose rubbed and hold a conversation. After a few minutes I headed across the way to see Swannie, who was nickering and pawing the ground in anticipation. Swannie is the opposite of Awad—he never met a treat he doesn’t like! But even without treats he loves attention. He eagerly awaited his turn for a face rub, and he had to slobber all over me as well. Will’s Way was napping, stretched out on his side in the middle of his paddock, and Sunshine was snoozing as well. So I headed to see my last horse for the day, Ruhlmann. Ruhlmann loves his treats, but even though I didn’t have anything for him to eat he said hello, let me rub his face and clean a bit of dirt off his eye. Then he gave me a mildly disgusted look (for the lack of treats I’m sure) and trotted off.
Danthebluegrassman and Easy Ellis are in the middle of their new job interviews—14 days with Chris McCarron’s jockey school. If Dan and Easy fit in, they will be instructing young men and women in the art of being a jockey. Both horses are great choices, being friendly and kind. I can see them both becoming great equine professors!
Creator, Bull and Gramps were all in the middle of their fields grazing or snoozing, so I packed Marley and Jake and headed out. Michael said he would handle any tours that showed up today, so Greg and I headed over the Churchill Downs in Louisville to see some racing.
Ruthann, Mercer and Janet recently formed Won Horse Racing, and own a horse that Janet’s husband Kent trains. Bootco is a beautiful four-year-old gelding by Storm Boot, and he was scheduled to run today. This was his first race back after a pretty long vacation and unfortunately he didn’t finish in the money. But we had a great time, hanging out on the backside and watching the pre-race preparations and post-race cool-out. We were able to be in the saddling paddock before the race and we watched the race from the trainer’s box. What fun, and a real treat for both of us. Before and after the race, along the shedrow where Bootco was stabled today, we really got a sense of how much care and pride trainers and grooms can take in their horses. Thanks to Won Horse Racing for letting us join their fun!
That’s all my news for today. I wanted to pass along a couple of notes—a reminder from Sylvia that if you’ve been to Old Friends, be sure to log on to www.tripadvisor.com and leave your comments. Also, as we go into the winter months we highly appreciate you making reservations a day or so in advance if you would like a tour, so we can make sure we have a tour guide “in the house”!
Thanks for spending another Sunday with Old Friends. We hope to see you soon!