Autumn has definitely arrived in central Kentucky. Today was the kind of crisp, bright day that defines the fall season, making you think of apple pie and pumpkins. Or, if you are a horse, carrots and peppermints. Of course for a horse, every season reminds you of carrots and peppermints…
We had a busy day of tours, with folks from all over—Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Toronto and Kentucky. Only one child visited today, a little girl of 2½, who wanted nothing more than to ride one of the horses. She begged and pleaded; she really, really wanted to ride Kiri. Or Awad. Commentator, Gramps and Clever would have been fine to ride, too. But she made do with carrots, mints and kisses for Clever. Her poor parents. When they want to ride that badly, that young? Mom and Dad might as well start saving for lessons now.
All the horses are doing great. This morning we walked up toward the back of the farm, where Black Tie Affair was out in the small ring. Ogygian might have an “issue” with Blackie. I have never known Ogie to care one way or another if another horse is getting attention, but today he fussed and fussed while we were visiting Blackie. He didn’t stop nickering and fidgeting until he had our full attention. It was unusual for him. Maybe Blackie is the first horse Ogie has felt is worthy of jealousy. What? You think they don’t brag amongst themselves? I can just hear it. “Well, I was really fast and won seven of my 10 starts. “ “So what? I was Horse of the Year. Top that, old man!”
Jade Hunter and Fortunate Prospect came right over for treats today too. They are both too dignified to get very worked up over attention. Gramps meandered over, looking fuzzy and ready for winter. After a few carrots, his slobber turns a fabulous, unnatural shade of acid green—grass mixed with carrot. It’s better than permanent ink. No getting that out of your clothes.
Jade Hunter still has the clumsiest lips of any horse I have ever met. He must have dropped three out of every four carrots he was given today. Most horses can pick out a single blade of grass if it looks especially tasty. Jade, on the other hand? I doubt he could bite a person if he tried; he’d probably miss! But he is a nice horse who loves to be patted and appreciated. Who needs limber lips?
We went about half way up the hill and stopped by the big paddock with Mighty Mecke, Wallace Station and Bluesthestandard. Wally came over first, followed by Mecke. Blue meandered over last, but he is the biggest carrot hound in that bunch. He pushes right in front of the others; I had to hold his halter so the other two could get their share. It’s funny how true colors come out when treats are involved! Wally and Mecke just looked at him like he was a pain-in-the-neck little brother and they were his long-suffering older siblings.
Across from the three musketeers is The Name’s Jimmy. Jimmy loves his treats too, and he found one lady today who just thought he was the most beautiful horse, ever. She would have fed him all day. Jimmy just preened and looked smug.
Our other new horse, Smokey Stover, is looking great. He has put on a few pounds and is getting his fuzzy winter coat. He is a very black, with little of the brown you see along the nose or flanks of a lot of the “dark bay or brown” horses. He is also extremely kind, and he seems to enjoy going outside at night with his new buddy Benburb. Speaking of Canadian horse Benburb, we had an animal chiropractor veterinarian visit today from Toronto. I am especially thankful because he did a spinal adjustment on Jake the dog. Jake really seems to appreciate it, too. So thanks, Dr. Rosenberg!
I heard through the grapevine today that the photo of Kent Desormeaux riding Silver Charm (see the Jockey Day post from last week for a link) is on display in the jockey’s room at Keeneland. Charmie, who has long believed he is the most famous retired racehorse, finally has his racing photo hanging at Keeneland. He is one content (little) horse!
That’s about all the news from here. We hope you can visit us soon; autumn is such a great time for a walk on the farm. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.
* thanks to recent visitor Carolyn Nicastro for her photos!