Sunday May 10, 2009

After what seems to be weeks and weeks of rain (but was more like a few days, I suppose) today was a fine, sunny day in central Kentucky. The grass is really deep and lush and we had a gentle breeze, rather than a monsoon wind. All in all, who could complain? And Happy Mother’s Day, to my own mom and all the other mothers out there.

We started out the morning with my favorite kind of tour—we had kids! First of all, there was Braden, who really, really liked the horses. Braden was maybe 3 or 4, and about that tall, too. He and Dan really hit it off. Dan was nuzzling Braden’s hair, which caused Braden to giggle. Dan apparently likes small giggling children because the more Braden giggled, the more Dan nuzzled and tickled. It was really cute. Braden was quite friendly, even inviting me along on a trip to see an octopus next month. You don’t get that kind of invitation every day!   I won’t be able to make it, but it was a great invitation, Braden. I hope you and your brothers come back.

Another young man, Bradley, was on the same tour. Bradley, Pops and Ring had a little race up the hill. Pops and Ring mostly used the opportunity to show off, bucking and kicking. Bradley might actually have won, although Ring came on strong at the end. Pops and Ring felt a little rowdy, running, biting one another, begging for treats and generally hamming it up. And the more attention Pops and Ring got, the more agitated Awad became. I think I have said this before, but Special Ring is extremely good at annoying Awad, who lives in the next-door paddock. They are just like kids–you know, when one says “Mommy, he’s looking at me! Make him stop!”  One lady remarked that she didn’t realize horses had so much personality. But they surely do.

Silver Charm, on the other hand, was quite accommodating. And I have figured out what he did in his previous life.  I’m positively sure he ran for political office.  Today he walked the fenceline like a politician, stopping to visit each person for a pat and a few words before moving on down the line.  Silver Charm, Mayor of Old Friends.

We had a pretty vivid demonstration of Clever Allemont’s hearing loss this afternoon. We had a van tour group, and despite many visits their tour guide, Nicholas, had yet to see Clever Allemont up close. So I walked into the paddock to get Monty.  I talked to him the entire time I was walking over to him, and as I made a wide berth around his bad eye, I kept up a running chatter. Nevertheless, he was startled when he finally saw me.  He clearly had not heard me at all. But once he knew what I wanted, he happily came over to the fence to see everyone. He does love to be patted and fussed over.

 As I mentioned last week, we have three or four new horses. I’m going to have to admit I have yet to learn their names, but one of them arrived just yesterday and his name I do know. It’s Appygolucky, and he is a 12 year old bay gelding who retired from the racetrack just this week. He started in 100 races (!), winning 24 times. We were lucky enough this afternoon to be able to watch as he went outside to a paddock for the first time. He ran and ran, which caused his neighbor Will’s Way to run and run, too. (Will is very competitive—he did have to prove that he is faster!) But Appy really loved being outdoors and we are looking forward to getting to know him. Yep, it was a fun day.

On a sad note, yesterday we lost one of our newer horses. Gold Spring, who just arrived last month, died after a paddock accident. I barely knew Gold Spring, having met him maybe three or four times over the past few weeks. He was a lovely chestnut stallion who had been a graded stakes winner in both his native Argentina and in the United States. Because I didn’t really know him, I can’t offer any great insights into his personality, or talk about funny stories or quirks that he had.  But I can say this: as far as I can tell, Gold Spring was one of the lucky ones. His people cared about him and made sure that he had a good home.  I’m sorry that I won’t get to know, and share, those funny stories and facets of his personality. But I am happy that he had a good life, surrounded by people who loved and cared for him.

And on that note, I’ll sign off for this week.  I hope you can visit us sometime soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.




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7 responses to “Sunday May 10, 2009

  1. Jean

    Sorry to hear about Gold Spring. At least he had a good month of living where so many would love to be.
    Sounds like a good Sunday. I am in VA. and we finally also had a nice day without rain. I’m sure all of the horses love the attention that they get from the many admirers.
    I look forward to the weekly updates and catching up on what everyone is doing.
    Give them all hugs.
    Thanks again Val.

  2. Sorry about the loss of Gold Spring. I’m sure he was happy in the time he was with you.

    Thanks for another great update. I love reading about the horses’ antics and their personalities.

  3. Rich Hoffmann

    Hi Val! It was nice meeting you at the homecoming party-I thought it went very well despite the weather. I also wanted to remind everybody to be sure and go to The Blood Horse website and watch The Wicked North’s video (also starring Michael). It’s very well done.

    Also very sorry to hear of Gold Spring. I met him very briefly last week. The good thing is that he ended his days in a place in which he was loved.

    Keep up the good work!! Rich Hoffmann

  4. Viv from Ivytree

    I am so pleased you posted the update on our friend Appy. Bea and I are forever grateful to Michael and Old Friends for giving him a forever home. As you can see, he has no quit in him and would have tried to race until his heart outran his legs…which at 12 years old would have happened sooner rather than later. We hope to be down to see him in the next couple of weeks but your blog helped to tide us over. I can’t wait to see him again and am so happy his connections decided to do the best thing for him…thank you for sharing his “graduation day” with all of us. Viv

  5. Viv from Ivytree

    We remember Gold Spring. A friend made is a friend missed indeed. He was a lovely spirit and I will miss him. I am glad he spent his last days in such a beautiful place.

  6. Christine

    So very sorry to hear about your loss of Gold Spring. I am glad his people were part of his life.
    Good to know new retirees are finding their way to Old Friends. Looking forward to my visit in two weeks.
    Rich, thanks for direction to that video.

  7. Megan

    I just happened upon this while doing a search online, I have a Gold Spring 3yo and occasionally google ‘Gold Spring’ to see if I can find any new news on how his babies are doing. I too had limited exposure to Gold Spring but enjoyed every moment. My filly out of him looks more and more like him everyday and has the same laid back personality. I am glad that he had a wonderful home where he was loved.

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