Sunday May 24, 2009

Welcome to summer!  It’s hot, muggy, and did I mention hot??  It felt good, though, in a drippy, sweaty way!  Even a lot of the horses were sweating just standing still and except for Pops, Ring and Awad, no one was moving too much.  But, none of the people seemed to mind the heat too much, and so we had a full day of tours.   We started at our usual time, 10am, and didn’t leave the farm until 5 o’clock.

Pops and Ring  were quite active today, although because of the temperature their usual gallop up the hill was a trot.  Pops looks wonderful; as good as I have ever seen him, all shiny and dappled.  As usual, neither he nor Ring was wearing their halters, and Pops struck his movie star pose—head up, ears pricked, gazing off into the distance– for photos. 

Awad gets so upset when Pops and Ring get too much attention.  As Kiri was his usual calm and friendly self, he got more attention as well.  Awad was just beside himself, so irritated he could barely contain himself.  He fidgeted and banged on the fence and tossed his head incessantly, wondering what he had to do to become the center of the action.  Poor guy. 

Someone asked me today why I haven’t been writing as much about the horses who moved to the new paddocks at the back of the farm.  So I apologize for that and I promise to fill in some gaps on those horses today and next week.   Having said that, we once again spent today touring the front of the farm.  It was too hot to hike that hill to the back.

The horses are all doing great.  In fact, I would say that Will’s Way, Creator, Special Ring and Kiri’s Clown are downright fat.  The horses in the new paddocks are especially chubby.  I barely recognize Siphonizer, and Futural is massive.  One of the new geldings, Rocky, is kind of short and he just keeps getting wider, too.  We had to put a grazing muzzle on Cozy Miss because she was getting too fat.  The grazing muzzle still allows her to eat grass; it just slows down her consumption from large mouthfuls to more reasonably-sized portions.  It’s the Cozy Miss diet program! 

EscapefromNewYork looks terrific.  He has shed out his dull, old coat and is now a shiny little bay horse.  He handled his recent gelding well and I was thrilled to see how happily he came over to get his carrots today.  When he first arrived at the farm, he didn’t know how to take a treat.  That has completely changed!  Everyone who meets him just falls in love. 

I suppose mostly because of Escape, we spent a lot of time today at the intersection of Swan’s Way Lane, Sunshine Forever Drive and Escape Road.  All three horses happily hung out with us, taking treats and winning over their own fans.  In fact, it’s fun to see who gravitates to which horse.  If someone is a Barbaro fan, they often adore Sunshine, given that he is related to Barbaro.  Swannie always gets the people who root for the underdog, and the Boston Red Sox fans.  (If you didn’t know, Swannie is a member of the Red Sox Nation.)  And Escape seems to draw in the soft-hearted, the folks who recognize that he never had much in his young life.   One of the best things about Old Friends, as I’ve said before, is the different personalities of the horses.  It’s just as cool to see how people find some connection to one certain horse and he (or she) immediately becomes their favorite. 

I had couple of young helpers today, at 10 am and 3 pm, ironically both named John.  My first new friend John was maybe 8 or 9, and his parents told me he wasn’t that thrilled about coming to see horses.  But he had a great time, feeding carrots and patting noses.   The second young man named John carried the carrot bucket for the entire 3 o’clock tour.  After a long day in the heat, I could not have appreciated that more!  

Today , both Judge’s Case and Mark of Success moved over to the main farm from Dr. Byers’ place.  Now I feel sorry for poor Bull.  Judge’s Case is a pretty gray gelding, meaning Bull is no longer the “only” gray horse on the farm.  And since so many people love gray horses, Bull is going to have some competition.   Knowing Bull, I’m not sure he is going to handle this well at all!

We have a bunch of new horses that I have not talked about yet.  Over the past month or so, we also welcomed Discreet Hero, an 11 year old gelded son of Honor and Glory, and King James, who is affectionately known as Elvis.  We also are getting to know Early Pioneer, a millionaire son of one of my favorite stallions, Rahy.  The horse I mentioned above, Rocky, is really named Northern Stone.   And just this weekend we welcomed Personalized, one of only four offspring sired by our late, great stallion Precisionist.  Personalized arrived at Old Friends following her rescue from a slaughterhouse pen.  We are feeling pretty good about having her with us, as you can imagine. 

Since this is a holiday weekend, Happy Memorial Day! I hope you are having a fine day, wherever you are located, and will take a moment to remember those who have served our country.   Thank you for spending this Sunday with Old Friends, and we hope to see you soon!




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8 responses to “Sunday May 24, 2009

  1. Karan

    Thank You for giving Laurel (Personalized) a home We all worked very hard to rescue her and place her and Im glad Sherri chose this happy ending for her! K

    • oldfriendsblog

      I love her name–Laurel! We’re so thrilled to have her. I never knew her sire, but anyone who did just adored him. I am looking forward to getting to know his daughter! Thanks for everything you all did to get her to us.

      • Nan

        Hello. I thought you might like to know that Personalized’s daughter, Two Slew Boot (AKA “Freida”), is here at Evermore Farm in south Georgia. She arrived recently along with her daughter, a lovely 5-year-old TB/KWPN cross. I found the picture of Personalized on the thoroughbred pedigree database, and Freida looks just like her. The likeness is startling.

  2. Ruth Ann

    As always, once again…..thank you Val for your update on all of your residents! 🙂 I enjoy so much reading about all of them each week! Wow, you have quite a few new residents, glad to hear that they are settling in well! And so happy to read that Personalized was rescued from one of those horrid places, I still cannot for the life of me imagine what kind of individual can send these beautiful animals to their death like that! All of us thank Old Friends for their very large part in taking so many of our former champions in! 🙂

  3. Brianna Quinn

    Wow, I am so happy to hear about Escape and Personalized (as well as the others of course, count me in on the HUGE fan of the gr./roan horses…hoping my favorite gelding, imawildandcrazyguy can retire to OF one day). I saw Escape at the end of April, though he was inside and VERY shy he seemed to be a very sweet horse. I will no doubt not recognize him next time I see him, it will be a sight to behold!!!
    Thanks again Val for these awesome updates!!

    (another member of the Red Sox “nation”, hehe)

  4. Karan

    I want to Thank Diane Repp for calling Old Friends about our Laurel…

  5. Colmel

    Wonderful (as always) update on the “kids” at OF. I wonder how my old friend, Bonnie, is doing after losing her best friend.

    I always enjoy reading about Special Ring. You’re right… people just seem to gravitate to certain horses. Nureyevs have always been my weakness. They seem to have especially outgoing personalities.

    • oldfriendsblog

      ha! no one would EVER accuse Ring of being shy and laid back!
      Bonnie is doing pretty well, I think. She is a tough old gal. I promised myself a trip to the “back 40” this weekend to see everyone. I’ll let you all know.

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