Sunday September 13, 2009

You know how some days are just too good?  I mean everything is pretty much perfect—the temperature is grand, the sky is blue and the breeze has just enough whoosh to feel good.  You know the kind of weather you dream about when it’s cold or rainy or blazing hot?  We had that kind of day today.  The horses loved it, the dogs were happy, and the people felt good. 

So, to begin this fine day, the morning started with a group of about 14 motorcyclists.   Nice folks; we had a great time with the horses.  Several of them had never been around horses and so were a little reluctant at first.  But first Proper Reality and then Norty won them over.  Proper is another who makes my list of Really Nice Stallions.  He is affectionate and friendly, and he loves having his face rubbed.  Maybe because he is just a little guy, he seems less intimidating to first-timers and so he seems to win folks over right away.  Regal Sanction, across the way from Proper, is very friendly as well, but for some reason people react differently to him.  He’s taller, a gleaming red (where Proper is plain brown), and I think he has a kind of attitude—not mean or standoffish, but more that he wants you to admire his beauty.   He just seems to expect that you will want to offer him an appropriate amount of appreciation.   

Bull and Norty, being across from one another, continue to have a little competition going.  Admire Bull, and Norty gets very vocal.  Feed Norty, and Bull starts banging on the fence.  And since Bull isn’t exactly a “kiss him on the nose” kind of guy, Norty always seems just a little smug to me, as everyone is patting him.  They are all such characters.

The other horse who is great at putting people at ease is Clever Allemont.  Again, he’s a little guy, but even more I think it’s that he is such a nice horse.  He always has a kind expression and never looks cranky or irritated.  Now I know you might wonder how a horse can have a nice expression or how it is they can look cranky.  Trust me, they just do.  This morning Clever was hanging out under his tree waiting for us, but this afternoon his gal pal Klassy was outside, so Clever was hanging at the other end of his paddock.  A little seven year old girl asked me this afternoon if they ever kiss (hey, she was seven!) I told her they are only allowed to gaze at one another from a distance.  Dad said that gazing at boys is all that is allowed, and told her she just learned a life lesson at Old Friends! 

Among the motorcycle tour this morning was one guy who had pretty much the same hairdo as Silver Charm. The entire group commented on their similar hair—color, cut and style!  I suggested he pose with Charmie for a photo but he declined.  It would have been cute, although that’s probably why he declined.  Didn’t really fit his image, I guess.

This afternoon we had a couple of ladies who had a great time. Pops nipped at one and caught her off guard.  He mostly just slobbered on her but she was kind of proud of it, I think.  The ladies were funny—every horse was the most beautiful one they saw and each became their new favorite.  I think they ended up undecided between Awad (who looked spectacular in the sunshine today—a rich and shiny cocoa brown) and Sunshine, who is always regal and gallant.  

By the way, for all you New York racing fans who love Will’s Way (specifically, Teresa from Brooklyn Backstretch)—Will is one fat boy these days.  I think we had to actually cut back on his chow.  The grass has been so green and lush all summer, and Will is the proverbial “easy keeper.”  I think even his cheeks are chubby!  The other guy with an especially well-fed look is Kiri’s Clown. No missed meals here!

I often remark on how Swannie is our own little pigpen.  Well, he had competition today.  Leave Seattle had somehow managed to get the left side of his face completely coated with dirt.  It hasn’t rained, so it wasn’t mud.  It was too cakey to be considered dust, and it completely covered his face.  I have no idea how he did it, and it looked pretty funny.  The rest of him was shiny and clean.  I don’t know if he stood on his head or what, but it was unusual!

Once tours ended today, I was able to spend some time with Wallenda, Appy and Black Tie Affair.  Black Tie Affair is every bit as picky about his treats as Awad.  He doesn’t want mints and he repeatedly turned up his nose at the famous Mrs. Pasture horse cookies.  But boy, he loves his carrots!  Appy, who is still in the barn, loves the attention when we get to his stall.  He is another nice, kind horse and I enjoyed taking a brush to him this afternoon.

I was flattered to have a couple of blog fans at the farm today–thanks to them for the kind words and regular readership.  And for the folks who keep asking about Lava Man, all I can say is “soon, very soon.” We’ll let everyone know as soon as he is on the plane to Kentucky.

So no complaints for today—great weather, good people, wonderful horses. (But, lest I get too giddy, my little friend Marley reminded me that no day is totally perfect–she rolled in something dead and nasty-smelling.  She’s already had two baths, and number three is imminent.) 

 We hope you can visit us soon.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.




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6 responses to “Sunday September 13, 2009

  1. Suzanne

    Val, thank you for keeping us up to date. Since I have visited Old Friends once, I can see in my mind the paddocks and the horses as you describe them. I hope to get back next year but keep on writing and I’ll keep reading every week.

  2. Jean

    Thanks Val. Sounds like such a great day. Wish I could have been there.
    As always, give everyone a hug for me.

  3. Rich Hoffmann

    Val, keep up the great work. I always like going to read the blog late on Sunday evening. Rich

  4. Pat

    Val…………thank you for printing this every Sunday. I look forward to it so much. You make your stories so real that i can picture in my mind what you are saying and doing. Please don’t ever stop with this letter. I am so thankful there is a place called old Friends. So thankful that i can read about the wonderful horses that gave me so much pleasure. again thank you Val…….pat

    • oldfriendsblog

      Wow! Thank you everyone for such nice comments. The horses and the people who visit make writing the blog easy, and I enjoy sharing the time I spend at Old Friends.

  5. Mary

    Clever Allemont is definitely as you described him, a true gentleman. Thank you so much Val for sharing with us all

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