Sunday January 4, 2009

After a kind of whirlwind weekend, things settled down at the farm today.  The weather likely contributed to the quiet day, for while it was warm -nearly 60-it was cloudy and drizzly all day. 

Kristin and Rodney, who rescued Clever Allemont and drove him to Kentucky, left for their long drive back to Kansas shortly after 11am.  They left with lots of Old Friends gifts, calendars and t-shirts.  I saw Kristin stop for one last photo as they pulled out of the drive.  I bet they’ll be back!

Speaking of our newest celebrity, I went over to visit Clever Allemont this morning in his paddock.  He is still entirely enamored with his alfalfa, but I tried to get him to come over to say hello.  I tried calling his old nickname, “Allers.”  No response.   I tried “Clever.”  Not even an ear flick.  I even went with “Old Man,” which he answered to in Kansas.  (I hate to use “old.”  I like to let the boys maintain their illusions of youth!)  Again, no response.   Finally, I tried “Monty.”  He picked up his head and walked right over to me.  So, I guess Monty it is. 

In any case, Monty is doing just fine.   Like I said, for the most part the hay has his entire attention.  Still, this morning he was jogging around his paddock for a bit, and getting to know his nearest neighbor, Swan’s Way.  This afternoon we had a tour; Monty again took his sweet time leaving his hay but eventually we were able to entice him with carrots and mints.  He needs to gain a few pounds, and he will, but other than that he looks great.

The arrival of a new horse always causes an upheaval for a day or two, as everyone figures out the new guy.  Add to that the nice weather and all the horses feel great.  On Friday, Shane the dog scared our ever-expanding flock of resident Canada geese.  That got Will’s Way running and bucking.  He loves to run and it invariably causes a chain reaction.  Once Will started running, Sunshine had to join in.  Then Swannie, then Mecke, then Bull and Ogie…even Fortunate Prospect loped across his field!  (At 28 years old, you don’t see Gramps do that too often!)  But each horse moves differently.  Will runs fast and hard.  Ogygian is extremely light and balanced on his feet.  He has moves that would make a Lipizzaner proud.  On the other hand, Sunshine is completely different.  He is like a jumbo jet:  it takes him a few strides to overcome the inertia of his big body.  But once he breaks free, he moves with unbelievable power.  He is my favorite horse to watch when he runs.

We had some rain last night, adding to the ever-present mud at his time of year, so all the horses are covered from head to hoof.  Tim Ford worked for an hour today to clean Dan, and it lasted all of two minutes once Dan was back outside.   I kind of felt bad for Tim—all that work.   And Dan made absolutely sure Tim was watching when he went down for that roll.  Really—Dan looked at Tim, looked at the ground, looked at Tim again, laughed and down he went.  I think Dan has a well-developed horse sense of humor!

This afternoon I had a tour with six people.  We were able to dodge the raindrops and had a nice time visiting with the horses.  Everyone was taken with Mecke and Norty, as usual.   Ogie nickered at us until he made sure we weren’t going to pass him by.  Stage Colony, aka “Coach” doesn’t like to miss a treat, unless of course he is napping.  Not much interrupts a good nap for him!   Even Siphonizer is learning to come over for treats.  As you know, he is in a field with Futural and Affirmed Success.  I keep trying to get a picture of the three of them together.  They are such a good-looking trio–chestnut, bay and black, each with a different facial marking.  And I could have gotten that photo today.  Unfortunately, it was hard to tell them apart because of the mud!   But I am very glad to see Siphonizer coming over for treats.  He needs the love, I think. 

Before I end for today, I want to say thank you to all the people who read this blog each week.  We can track the number of readers we have and it’s been great to see the readership steadily grow each week.   A special hi to my parents in New York State, who are among the blog readers.   

The New Year has begun and in a very good way with the arrival of Clever Allemont.  It’s going to be great to watch him blossom over the next months.  Keeneland Spring Meet tickets go on sale February 1, a sure sign spring is getting closer.  Soon enough we’ll be back to a full tour schedule at the farm.   We hope you can visit us sometime soon.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.

-Val

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Sunday January 4, 2009

  1. Jean

    Thank you for writing this blog. I look forward to and enjoy reading everyone that you write. I
    would love to someday visit all of the beauties there. I tell my husband all of the time that would be my dream trip.
    I started reading the thread about “Cleaver” aka “Monty” at the beginning and what a great Christmas gift his rescue was. Wish this could happen lots more often than not.
    Thanks to Michael and everyone that give of themselves everyday to these great ones.
    You’re so lucky to be able to be with them all of the time.
    Thanks again for the hard work and give everyone a pat for me.

  2. susan ackerman

    Of course he answers to Monty !!!

    I bailed him and he must have had equine ESP, because that is what I called him, bless his soul …

  3. Ruth Ann

    That had to be some sight to see when they all spooked from the Canadian Geese! 🙂 I’m glad to read that Clever (Monty) is settling in well! After what he went through, he must now think that there IS a heaven on earth! Thanks for your update, Val, and good to see you on the alexbrownracing.com forum! 🙂

  4. No wonder he likes to be called Monty. He knows how cool it sounds. I bet someone he liked years ago called him that, too.

  5. To those who love in in Kansas, Clever Allemont will always be Allers. Allers is the finest equine individual I have ever know. We will always love you Allers and you will always have a back up home at Donegal Ranch Quarter Horses (not that you will ever need a backup home…but, we like the thought.) Love, Jeanne, your Kansas foster mom

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