Sunday August 23, 2009

Last week:  hot and humid.  This week:  cool and cloudy.  What is it they say?  Don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it’ll change.  How true this week!   It was a terrific day for a walk around a horse farm.  The horses all felt great and there was plenty of equine activity to see.

I have to start with Clever. He is still enamored of Klassy and spent plenty of time trotting and cantering back and forth in front of her stall.  This morning she was outside in the small, round pen and he really enjoyed showing off for her then.  Of course, she was ignoring him, but that didn’t discourage Clever.  On the other hand, he is kind of hedging his bets. Unlike last week he made time for every tour today, getting his share of treats and pats.  Love is all fine and good, but treats still rule!

Proper Reality has settled into his new paddock quite nicely.  He is a little on the slender side, but give him a few weeks and he’ll be just as chubby as the rest of the horses.   He is very friendly, and comes over for treats at every opportunity, including on the outgoing and incoming trip past his paddock.  I’m pretty sure he thinks we won’t notice that we already fed him!  For those of you who are fans of racing “back in the day,” Proper is a direct male descendant of Man o’ War, considered by many to be the greatest racehorse who ever lived.   (Unless of course, you are a Secretariat fan, but I’m not going there!)  Here is a link to Proper’s pedigree:

Across from Proper is Regal Sanction, but he didn’t come over for any treats.  He was staring across the road at the mares and babies in one of the Summerwind fields.  He is so busy rubbernecking at what everyone else is doing that he misses out.  Still, there is something about a horse staring off into the distance with his nostrils flared and his ears pricked…just beautiful.

We attempted to get Ogygian to come over to visit today, but he was ensconced in his run-in shed and refused to come out.  The only reason we even knew he was in his shed was that we could see his tail flicking back and forth.  I guess he wasn’t feeling sociable.  On the other hand, Fortunate Prospect and Jade Hunter can be counted on for visits.  Jade Hunter doesn’t miss a carrot.  He looks terrific.  One lady remarked several times how shiny and metallic his red coat is, and he does look like a brand-new penny in the sunshine.  Gramps, next door to him, is black and the little white age spots in his coat are definitely getting more numerous.  He’s looking more like an Appaloosa all the time!

Dan shared a big, green, sneeze with one group today.  Thankfully I had warned them and no one was too close.  Well, one guy was right there and he was pretty much covered in grass green Dan slime.  Poor guy, but he took it with good humor.  I can tell school is back in session because we only had two kids touring today.   I also think it was South Carolina day in Kentucky, because I believe I had people from that state on every tour but one. Unusual.  We also had people from Greece as well as Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and California. 

One of the cool things about being at Old Friends every week is watching a new horse become accustomed to the change of lifestyle.  Especially the stallions, who are coming from breeding farms and acclimating to an “admiration” farm.  In that vein, I think Black Tie Affair is going to be a very nice horse.   Of course he is famous (1991 Horse of the Year and winner of $3.3 million) and beautiful, but it has taken a little while for his personality to show through.  I saw a hint of it a few weeks ago when he stood and listened to my niece Kayla talk to him.  Now it seems he has finally stopped looking for mares and started looking for treats.  Today he came right to his stall door and seemed to enjoy all the attention, even parking his head on my shoulder while everyone admired him.  I think it bothered Wallenda though, who was especially feisty and demanding of his share of the attention.   After everyone left today, I walked Wallenda out to his paddock for the night; it’s my favorite “perk” of being at Old Friends.  The big horse wanted to play, grabbing his lead shank after I unclipped it and trying to keep me from taking it.   It wasn’t until he saw Kent drive up with his dinner that he gave up on the game.  Ahh, the power of food!

Today’s weather was a forecast of things to come; summer is definitely winding down and we are headed into fall. It’s a great time of the year to see the farm and meet the horses.  We continue to offer three tours daily, so give us a call and visit sometime soon.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.



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5 responses to “Sunday August 23, 2009

  1. Lynn

    I love your website and think you do a wonderful job of keeping it up to date. It makes my Mon or Tues at work much more pleasant. I just had to put down my wonderful 16.2 hand OTTB, and it broke my heart. He was the light of my life. I found him in a dry lot when he was 9 and he was 22 at his death. He had a loving and kind home, and was the children’s favorite. What a kind gentle soul he was. Please keep up the great work that you do for these magnificent animals. They deserve it! I will make a point of visiting you when I get down that way again. Please give everyone a pet and a carrot from Nebraska!

    • allie

      What broughtProper Reality to Old Friends?

      • oldfriendsblog

        In Proper’s case, he is 24 years old. I imagine it was time to pension him and I would think his people contacted Michael. Beyond that, all I know is that he is a friendly little guy who doesn’t miss a chance for treats. He sure loves the attention!


  2. Jean

    Thanks again Val for the great updates. I look forward to them every week.
    Did Will’s Way have a son that won a race this week?

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