Sunday November 22, 2009

It’s hard to believe this week is Thanksgiving.  Maybe the horses are feeling the imminent arrival of winter as well, because to a horse, they were either very affectionate or downright cranky!  Some of them (yes, I am talking about you, my little Tator-head!) managed both.

No tours this morning, so I had some time for treat-free visiting.  I think the “treat-free” is probably what set Commentator off, because he was just plain irritated this morning.  I guess he figured he walked all the way across his paddock to see me and all he got was a pat on the nose?  He was not happy about that one bit.  He pushed me away and walked off in a huff.  He was much better this afternoon, though.  He kept trying to get my ball cap off my head.  Thinks he’s funny, that one; the more people laughed the more he tried.  On a farm full of characters,  he is as big a ham as any of them.

 On the other hand, Jade Hunter didn’t care at all that I had no treats. He rubbed his face against me and laid his head on my shoulder while I patted his forehead.  He was perfectly happy with just the attention.  Gramps was the same way, although even without carrots he shared plenty of slobber with me.  Clever walked part way over, didn’t see a bucket and turned right around.   If you walk around without treats, you quickly learn which horses actually like you, and which ones just want carrots.  It can be a bit of an ego deflater!

A new gelding arrived this week.  His name is Seek Gold and he is an almost-millionaire son of one of my favorite racehorses, Touch Gold.  Touch Gold stands at Adena Springs, where they affectionately call him by several names, all referring to Touch Gold’s penchant for biting.  I say this because my first impression of Seek Gold is that he inherited some of dad’s traits!  He tried to bite me right off, although once we got past that he seemed to settle down.   Still, for the sake of my skin there will be no kisses for him, at least not anytime soon!  Seek Gold is next door at the annex farm and he’ll settle in fast enough, I’m sure.  Here is a link to his pedigree:

Speaking of the annex farm, I have to say that a couple of the horses there are really blooming. First of all, Benburb is fat.  I don’t mean kind of chubby or sort of well-fed.  Nope, he is plain rotund.  What a happy horse—I saw him stretched out in the sunshine today, with his friend Smokey Stover standing guard.  Smokey also looks amazingly good—his winter coat literally looks like velvet.  Smokey is a very clean horse–no mud to mar his pretty coat.  There must be something about those black California horses because it reminds me of another black horse from out west–our late, great Ruhlmann, who also had a streak of vanity.

Klassy Briefcase is settled in at the new place.  As you know, the other mares had been pretty mean to her and I think maybe she was kind of depressed after that experience.  But now that she has a spacious paddock all to herself, she has just blossomed.  Klassy is fairly arthritic, as many older horses are, but she galloped over to see us this afternoon.  It was great to see her feeling so good.  The other recent arrival, Du Pars, has gotten a barn name.  Because “Du Pars” doesn’t seem to work as a barn name, we are calling him Luke.  And unlike some of the other (spoiled!) horses who require carrots to come see me, Luke came right over every time I went to see him.  No treats required!   I think he is going to be one of those off-the-track horses, much like Danthebluegrassman, who settle into Old Friends life and never want to leave.  Plus, he’s pretty and I just like him!

People on tours this afternoon kept commenting on how playful the horses are.  It’s true—they act like we exist solely for their amusement.  Sunshine tugged on my sweatshirt sleeve and licked my hand.  Awad ran and kicked the fence with a loud boom, eliciting gasps from the visitors.  Pops and Ring raced back and forth, high-kicking like equine Rockettes.   Will’s Way ran along his fence line, tossing his head and snorting.   All in all, there was plenty of activity to entertain everyone.

Thanks for spending another Sunday with Old Friends; we hope you can visit us sometime soon.   Lastly, best wishes to everyone for a very Happy Thanksgiving!



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2 responses to “Sunday November 22, 2009

  1. MRO

    I’m thrilled Seek Gold has joined the Old Friends cast of characters. I followed his racing days because his dam is an Alydar. Aly’s Adita’s was also a stakes winner. I have The Blood-Horse edition with Seek Gold’s cover photo after the Grade I Stephen Foster win at Churchill Downs. I can’t wait to come down to see him even if it means being bitten.

  2. Susan Allen

    Hi Val,
    Enjoyed this week’s blog so much…makes me smile when you describe all the “characters” around there…. It’s fun to “see” them when we can’t be there in person…I want to meet Commentator so badly!! (and thanks for mentioning Rhulmann..he’s a hard one to forget!) I am very thankful for people like Mr. and Mrs. Blowen, you (and the blog!) and all the volunteers at Old Friends! Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I’m sure all the horses would say the same!!!

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