Today, on a lovely bright fall day, Old Friends began moving horses onto our new annex adjacent to the existing farm. The new place is lovely, peaceful and green with a great view across the hill to the main farm. Most of the horses who will reside at the new place have been boarded off the main farm, although some horses currently at the main farm will move as well. The shuffling of spots will allow horses who need stall space to get it. For our more timid souls, like Early Pioneer, AP Slew and Klassy Briefcase, having more possible paddock configurations gives them their own space away from the mean boys and girls who pick on them.
Tour of the Cat was among the first to move today. Marshall Rooster, Sgt Bert, Sea Native, and Shadow Caster moved this afternoon as well. Moving over the next few days will be Smokey Stover, his pasture buddy Benburb, the team of Judge’s Case and Mark of Success, and Klassy Briefcase. Eventually, we’ll have, I think, 20 horses at the new farm which is across from Kiri’s, Will’s and Leave Seattle’s paddocks. It will add another dimension to tours since we have any number of potential loops to make, all with different horses to see. If you have a specific horse you want to see when you come to the Old Friends, you’re going to have to tell your tour guide before you start, because there is no way to see every horse on the farm in an hour! Although we have many wonderful racehorses like Commentator, Black Tie Affair, Awad, Will’s Way, Bonapaw, Kudos, and Sunshine Forever, we have even more horses you probably never heard of. If you have never been to Old Friends, you’ll be amazed.
Hmmm. I suppose we need a name for the new place. In any case, I stopped over there to see Tour of the Cat this afternoon. He was standing in his new stall, gazing out the door. After he inhaled a couple of mints, I ran a brush over him. He has such a soft winter coat. Some of the horses get coarser hair in the winter but Tour’s coat is very soft. I am not sure he initially liked being brushed, as he halfheartedly tried to bite me. But we had a nice discussion about appropriate behavior, and he amended his attitude. After that, I think he really enjoyed the attention.
The horses are all adorned with their winter fuzz, but in the bright sunshine today you could still see dapples on Pops and Commentator. Probably more of the horses are soft and shiny but it’s hard to tell under all the mud! We have had so much rain nearly every horse is covered from head to tail. Some folks this afternoon remarked there were only two relatively mud-free horses on the farm. The first would be Creator, who is far too vain to get dirty like a common Thoroughbred. He was almost perfectly clean. The second nearly clean horse was Commentator. He has an image to uphold for his fans, I guess. Speaking of Tator, call his name and he throws his head up and comes right over. He loves his adulation! Actually, now that I think about it, Smokey was also very clean. He is in a stall during the day and he sure loves having people come to his door with treats. He is already putting on some weight and he looks gorgeous.
And in a new development this week, the dirtiest horse was not Swannie! The dirtiest, muddiest, filthiest horse was Black Tie Affair. Since his acupuncture treatments have helped his arthritis so much, he just loves to roll in the mud. It was cold this morning when he went outside and he was wearing a blanket. So in addition to having mud in his mane, his tail, all over his neck, face and legs, his lovely blue blanket was covered as well. I briefly thought about cleaning him up but it was just too much to contemplate.
It was a busy day at Old Friends, that’s for sure. The busiest tour season is winding down, but in truth, fall and early winter are great times to visit the farm. Tour groups are smaller and you can spend time really getting to know the horses. We hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!