Sunday November 15, 2009

Autumn is such a wonderful time to visit a horse farm, and today was just about the nicest fall day you could ask for.   Today’s tours were small at Old Friends, and small groups make for a more up close and personal experience.   Despite the small groups, however, it was an international day as we had visitors from Scotland, Ireland, and Korea, as well as New Orleans, Kentucky and Vermont.  With sunshine, warm temperatures and little wind, walking the farm was a treat all day long.

The horses were a lot of fun. They usually are, but today everyone seemed to be in a terrific mood and there was a good deal of showing off going on.  Awad was at the far end of his paddock looking bored this afternoon, and I told the group to watch him.   The situation was perfect for one of his favorite moves—running across his paddock and rearing to a stop in front of the visitors. Sure enough, all of a sudden Awad burst into a gallop and headed our way.  Everyone oohed and ahhed over him, which is exactly why he does it.   Awad is nothing if not a ham!

And speaking of hams, Bull ran over to us not once, but twice today.  I said it last week, but he looks terrific.   His coat has gone pretty much completely white and less flea-bitten (that term refers to the tiny little brown spots in a gray coat, not actual flea bites!) His mane and tail are kind of a warm gray color.  Where Black Tie Affair is silvery white, Bull is kind of a creamy white.  They are two different colors of gray, but equally handsome.  And I say that even though Bull did threaten to bite me today.

Will’s Way, Sunshine and Commentator all did their share of running today.  Being young and just recently retired, Tator likes to show off by running, bucking and kicking.  I think he took a few laps for every tour today, like Awad having quickly learned that he gets more admiration when he looks the part of a big, bad racehorse.   Even when it was time for him to come inside for the night, he did his best to avoid being caught.  But after a couple of minutes the promise of dinner won out and he was ready to be caught. 

I had a few extra minutes today to take a golf cart ride up to the back of the farm.  I haven’t seen the gang in the back 40 for a while and it was nice to visit them.  Kudos came right over to say hello.  I really like him and I could happily take him home to live in my suburban backyard.  Probably not a great idea, but I’m just saying I could!   Affirmed Success and Futural came right over but Siphonizer was too busy eating to bother.   As usual, the mares ignored us, although Cozy Miss was near enough to the fence to wander over for a carrot.  I said hello to Polish Navy and Glitterman.  Williamstown was back over his little hill, hiding.  And the three musketeers—Mighty Mecke, Wallace  Station and Bluesthestandard–had no interest in us at all. 

I missed it, but Tim said he saw Fortunate Prospect running today.  Mostly you just get a little jog or a slow canter from him, but he must have been feeling especially good today.  Even Kiri cantered over to us today, although that was probably in response to Awad’s shenanigans.  (And by the way, Kiri’s grandson Get Stormy won his fourth race in a row today.  Grandpa Kiri is so proud!)   Sunshine, Will’s Way, Clever—they all ran over for carrots today.  It was just that kind of day. 

A little girl named Anna asked me this afternoon if horses tell us how they are feeling.   Of course they do, and I tried to explain it to her.  But what I should have told her is this:  when the horses run over to see us, bucking, rearing and playing, when their coats are shiny and their ears are pricked, when they gobble carrots and let us kiss their noses, they are telling us they are happy.   I don’t think they could make it any clearer if they spoke out loud.

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

-Val

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Sunday November 15, 2009

  1. Hi Val:

    I’m speaking at the U of Arizona Racing Symposium next month on social media and horse racing, and I plan to use your Old Friends blog as an example of how to do it right! I love it. And I look forward to visiting the next time I’m in Kentucky (especially my old buddy Black Tie Affair, who I saw race in person several times when I was in grad school, and visited at Vinery when he first retired. And yes, I have photos of him looking dopey for the camera from that early 1990s visit…)

    • oldfriendsblog

      wow, I am seriously flattered! Thank you Holly, but really it’s the horses who make the blog. Their personalities make them so appealing and fun to be around.
      Blackie is doing quite well given his health issues. He had fun meeting a couple of kids today–slobbered all over them! Please let us know when you are going to visit us.
      -Val

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