Spring has arrived, and here is how I know: the birds are singing, the grass is green and the trees are starting to flower. Yes, those are the normal signs of spring, but you know what really tells me spring is here? It’s the kids! We must’ve had 20 of them today—little, big, boys, girls, shy, outgoing– they were all here. Springtime is definitely up and running at Old Friends.
There is so much news this week, too. The new acreage is ready for horses and on Friday the mares and most of the geldings moved to their new paddocks. Ruthann and I took a ride up there this morning. As usual the mares ignored us, but the boys came over to say hello. Bonapaw has settled in with Kudos, Easy Ellis, and Invigorate and he might be the new ruler of that bunch. Bonapaw is a medium-sized bay gelding, not very dark, with a white face. He’s very handsome and has a distinctive body type. He’s kind of lanky, with long legs. I will always be able to pick him out in a crowd. That bunch came over, running and bucking, when we got there.
Siphonizer, Futural and Affirmed Success, in the field next door, were not nearly as rambunctious. They were more interested in getting to the mints in my pocket than in showing off. They are a sensible trio of geldings– none of that rough-housing for them. There’s something about Siphonizer, too. When he comes over for mints he seems so surprised that someone offered him a treat, and even more surprised at himself for taking it. He kind of tugs at my heart, and I didn’t see that coming.
The paddocks that previously housed these groups are being subdivided into new stallion housing. You know, those suburbs just pop up everywhere! We have the Gramps-Creator-Bull-Mighty Mecke-Wicked North subdivision. Then there is the Awad-Kiri-Will’s Way-Leave Seattle suburb and the Wallenda-Clever Allemont-Ogygian neighborhood…with more to come! I know there are a couple stallions waiting to come to Old Friends so we’ll be seeing them soon. As soon as I get the official word, I’ll let everyone know. But I’m pretty excited about meeting them, and that‘s all I’m going to say!
We were pretty busy today and I have to thank Michael and Tim for taking care of the 10 am tour. (OK, I admit I was a little late getting to the farm today…) But once there, I spent some time putting the many, many birthday cards Clever Allemont received into an album. So, for everyone who sent him a card, when you come to the farm you’ll have to find yours in the book. Tell you what, that horse got some really cool cards, too!
The one o’clock tour was fun and featured people from Boston, Massachusetts and Wooster, Ohio. They asked a lot of great questions. We talked a lot of about jockeys and what a difficult and dangerous job that is, as well as how both the jockeys and the horses are such great athletes. One lady asked how large jockey saddles are. I looked at her purse and said, “cut your purse in half, strap it on a horse and off you go.” I don’t think she believed me! It was a fun group; we probably could have walked around the farm a second time and had plenty to talk about. Nice folks.
At 3 pm, we had so many reservations that Tim Ford kindly took half the tour. My half consisted of a friend from work (my “real” job), her daughter and a bunch of their friends. With six kids on this tour it made for a totally different experience. Not so many grown-up questions and more queries along the lines of “can I give him another carrot?” So we had a great time just feeding carrots and patting horses. With all the winter hair shedding out, I’ve been pulling clumps to give to the kids. They all seem thrilled; mom however probably isn’t too sure why anyone needs a clump of dusty horse hair! And I sure do get a kick out of seeing kids who aren’t too comfortable with those big horses finally decide to feed and pat them. Nevertheless, little Madison wasn’t too happy with all that horse slobber; thank you Danthebluegrassman! But between Fortunate Prospect, Mighty Mecke, The Wicked North, and Clever Allemont you could not ask for a group of kinder, friendlier stallions. (Sorry Wallenda, you don’t make this list. You’re kind of lacking in social skills, big horse!)
Before I left today I buzzed across the road to see Max a Million and Easy Grades. Max came over at a dead run, tail in the air. Don’t know who he was showing off for, probably those pretty yearling fillies across the way. Easy barely acknowledged me. I was not nearly as interesting as his green grass.
That’s about all from here today. I am glad that winter is over and spring is here. Now, watch Mother Nature get the last laugh! Still, it’s great to see the tour schedule pick up. We hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday at Old Friends.