Here in central Kentucky, after a week of flooding rain, the clouds and rain finally cleared out. Today we enjoyed a nice breeze, plenty of sunshine and those big puffy white clouds, with temperatures maybe around 70 degrees. And what began as a lightly scheduled day of tours turned into a non-stop day of people, horses and walking.
As I drove up to the farm this morning, I could see Sunshine Forever stretched out for a nap, and Proper Reality was standing with one back foot up, taking a nap himself. With all the rain, a lot of the pastures have nice patches of mud in low spots, and I knew, just knew we would see dirty horses today. And boy, were they muddy! Over the course of the day, we walked the majority of the farm and saw most of the horses. Gramps had burrs in his mane and forelock. Jade Hunter had mud along the side of his face. Dan was muddy; Williamstown and Polish Navy were covered, too.
I almost didn’t recognize Glitterman today—he ran over to see us with his neck arched and his rail flagged. Usually he is a more sedate horse, but I think Makor’s Mark was getting attention and that bothered Glitterman. But he sure looked pretty running like that. He’s officially a bay horse, but really he’s a kind of melted chocolate color, and his tail is more cocoa than black. He has a thin, intelligent face and he is very handsome.
This morning we had a tour bus from northern Ohio, 53 people in all. We split the tour up with three guides, and had a great time. I have this theory that Clever Allemont prefers kids to adults, mostly since he seems more inclined to meet us at the fence if there are kids on the tour. Adults only? There is about a 50-50 shot that he’ll even bother with us. I say this because I had 10 or so adults with me this morning. Clever was standing at the fence when we walked over, but I swear he sized us up, saw a bunch of boring grown-ups and he just turned around and walked away. On the other hand, at one o’clock we had two kids in the group. Clever was off in the middle of his paddock and as soon as he saw the kids, he ambled right over.
This afternoon’s tour took us over to see Pops, Ring, Awad and the group on that side of the farm. Leave Seattle was inordinately friendly today. Normally he comes over if he feels like it, and sometimes he doesn’t even seem all that interested in carrots. Today he wolfed them down. I suspect maybe he likes the cooler weather better. Kiri actually cantered over to us—he clearly also prefers the cooler temperatures. Will’s Way, on the other hand, could not be bothered to walk the 20 feet over to us—we had to walk to him, and entice him, via the carrot bucket, to come visit the group. Will is definitely an independent thinker. He wants us to know he is in charge and choosing to grace us with his presence.
My little pigpen, Swannie, once again won the “dirtiest horse” award. Generally, horses love to get dirty and muddy but he is just the king. Mane, tail, ears, face, neck and back—not even a clean spot to pat! It didn’t stop anyone from trying really, but the horse dirt just transferred to the humans.
I had a lot of questions today about horse personalities—for example, do they talk to us. That question was no sooner asked than Awad nickered impatiently for his carrots, letting the group know he heard, and understood, the question! Ogygian was the same way—he wanted his carrots, and he wanted them NOW. The other question I was asked several times today was if the camera flash would bother the horses. It doesn’t, as I think racehorses know exactly what a camera and flash are for–they don’t mind the adoration in the least!
Black Tie Affair is also very vocal and nickers as soon as you walk into the barn. I brushed him today, and it’s especially noteworthy that he was so dirty. When he arrived, the arthritis in his back leg was so severe he did not like to lie down and get back up. But with the acupuncture treatment he is receiving, he has improved enough that he happily managed to cover himself with mud. His ears, his face, back, neck and mane, the inside of his legs—all covered. I was never been so happy to see a horse get so dirty. He still has pretty severe tumors and they aren’t going to go away. But for now, he is happy and enjoying the attention he is getting.
I had planned to take some more photos today but we were just too busy. I’ll try again next weekend. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends. We hope you can visit us soon!