Sunday April 19, 2009

Once again, horses have proven to me that they are smarter than humans, and today illustrated one of the myriad of reasons why.   It was a chilly, damp, and gray day, with almost constant drizzle punctuated by frequent downpours.  Still, we had a fair number of visitors and while we spent a great deal of time in the big barn with Wallenda and The Wicked North, we still had to see the outdoor horses.  And this is why horses are so smart:  we had to walk in the rain, over to Dan and Flick, who came out of their cozy and dry run-in shed only long enough to grab a mouthful of carrots and a couple mints before immediately dashing back under shelter.  Whereupon they stood, peering out at the crazy humans standing in the pouring rain.  Really, who are the smart ones here?

There was a lot of news coming from the farm this week.  Some of the off-site residents came home, including Max A Million and Easy Grades.  They are in one of the new gelding paddocks toward the back of the farm, and they seem to be getting along just fine.  They are a pair of little bay geldings who look enough alike to be brothers.  We also have a new stallion, Gold Spring, who was a stakes winner both in Argentina and the United States.  We are still waiting for Glitterman and Polish Navy to arrive, hopefully this week. 

The opening of the new part of the farm does give us an alternate tour trek, which is going to get a good test next week when nearly 100 Friends of Barbaro are scheduled to visit.  (For those who don’t know, the FOBs are a large group of people who came together through their common affinity for the late Kentucky Derby winner.  As a group, they are very active in horse rescue issues.)  It is going to be crazy and fun.  Let’s cross our fingers for dry weather, though.

I was a little worried about Bonnie’s Poker after losing her friend Narrow Escape last week, but Bonnie seems to be fine.  I think it was good that Cozy Miss and Hidden Lake were already in the same paddock with Bonnie, so she didn’t feel all alone this week.  We have another new gelding, Rocky (sorry Rocky, I don’t know your registered name yet) who has quite a crush on the mares.  Apparently he has been hanging out as near the mare paddock as he can get, gazing longingly over the fence.  Probably has a thing for that cutie, Hidden Lake.

We had some really nice people on our tours today.  There were several little girls, including one who had on a hot pink rain poncho.  She was a smarty too, since she didn’t quite believe it when mom said told her we were meeting Seabiscuit.  The little girl very skeptically said, “Really? The REAL Seabiscuit?”   Clearly, she knew something wasn’t quite right.  And she wasn’t nearly as impressed with the movie actor Pops as she would have been with the “real” Seabiscuit. 

Clever Allemont was completely unconcerned with the rain.  He was standing outside, eating the remains of his breakfast grain.  The rain had turned his grain into cereal, but he seemed to like it that way.  Turns out, however, that he isn’t all that fond of umbrellas–we had to toss his carrots into his feed tub.  He absolutely was not coming anywhere near us while that large umbrella was unfurled, no way.  But, boy, does he look great.  No ribs are showing at all, not even with his coat soaking wet and plastered to his chubby little belly.

Creator came over to get a few carrots.  He has moved to the paddock behind the house where his biggest fan, Diane, can see him from the kitchen. His long forelock and mane were dripping wet.  I tried to convince some visitors that he normally is among the most handsome horses at the farm but I don’t think they believed me, since he looked rather… drippy!  The  wet coat, however, just made Silver charm look svelte. He wasn’t his usual fuzzy self, although his wild forest of a mane and forelock are impervious to rain and sure kept his face dry.  

Fortunate Prospect is in the paddock right next to the big barn so we spent time with him today.  He was hanging out next to, but not inside, his run-in shed, kind of snoozing in the rain.  (We are all rooting for his grandson, Musket Man, in the Kentucky Derby two weeks from now.)  Bull trotted over for a mint or two, and that was as many horses as we saw today, given the weather.  We tried to stay within dashing distance of a barn, for when those downpours started. 

By the way, wish a Happy Anniversary to Michael and Diane.  Today is number 26 for them.   

Thankfully most days don’t feature the kind of weather we had today.  Tours are much more fun in the sunshine, although you could say it was a bit of an adventure today.  We look forward to having you visit us soon, but in the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!




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8 responses to “Sunday April 19, 2009

  1. Jean

    Thanks again Val for the updates. I always look forward to reading them every Sunday night.
    Have a good week and give everyone a hug for me.

    • oldfriendsblog

      Thanks Jean. Will do on the hugs, but can I wait until they dry off? A little girl tried to kiss Fortunate Prospect today and even his nose was soaking wet!! -Val

  2. Susan Allen

    Hi Val,
    Just wanted to let you guys know how sorry I am about the loss of Narrow Escape…am so very glad that she lived out her life with such great and caring people.
    I also have a “dumb” question for you…I am planning to come for the open house in a couple of weeks and just wondering if the horses will have to have on their fly masks? I so want to see their beautiful faces and eyes…each time I’ve been, it’s always been hot and they’ve had them on (except for Pops and Ring and Creator of course!) just hoping they won’t need them yet! (and hope that doesn’t sound selfish!) And, is there a place on line we can pay and register for Open House? I thought I saw it somewhere on the website, but now can’t seem to locate it. Can’t wait to visit and meet you…thanks again for making us feel like we’re “there”!

    • oldfriendsblog

      Wow, maybe next year at Homecoming, (or later this year even!) we can have a blog reader meeting at the farm. Wouldn’t that be cool? So many of you are coming to visit over the next few months that maybe we could pull it off. Hmmmm. I have to think about this some more.

      When you all do get to the farm, if you are there on a Sunday with me, make sure you tell me you are a blog reader–I want to meet everyone.
      Susan and Brianna, I am thinking that the fly masks will not be on for homecoming. It’s a good idea you have– to make sure they are off. As far as paying for the day, I noticed that Sylvia updated the website today, and there doesn’t seem to be a link yet to signup. If one doesn’t show up soon, you can always call Sylvia or Ruthann in the office and take care of it that way.

      Thanks for reading–I really appreciate all our regular readers and your comments, too!

  3. Brianna Quinn

    Checkin in on my favorite blog. Happy Anniversary to Michael and Diane!!
    Hey Susan it’s ok I too am selfishly hoping for most w/o fly masks when I come :o) I’ve got so many pretty pics from last May but w/the masks and January with the bitter cold, lol!
    I’ll be there 4/28 and I can’t wait. Wish I could make open house, hopefully next year! So glad to hear Bonnie is ok, and wow what a group of FOBs…they do a lot of great work.
    Have an awesome week!
    – Brianna in FL

  4. Christine

    Thank you Val, for the update. Now that I have found the blog (and continue catching up while I’m at work!), I look forward to the weekly installments. It helps me get to know the horses better in preparation for my end-of-May visit!

  5. Just reading these posts leaves me very excited for my visit to Old Friends later this summer!

    I’m going to be cheering for Musket Man as well in a few week’s time.

    Great post as always!


  6. Christine

    Val, as my ultimate plan is to become an Old Friends employee, your blog is becoming instrumental in my getting to know the farm and its workings. I wish I could make it Homecoming Weekend, but will instead anxiously await the arrival of Memorial Day! You truly do place your reader “right there” with you and it’s wonderful!

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