Sunday December 20, 2009

The holiday season is upon us, and on a gray and quiet winter afternoon, it seemed a perfect day to absorb some Old Friends atmosphere.   We have about an inch of snow in central Kentucky, just enough that from afar the paddocks look like they are sprinkled with powdered sugar. (It’s not until you look more closely that you realize how much mud that pretty snow is hiding!)  Snow fell lightly most of the afternoon, adding to the wintry feeling.

For the most part, the horses were either quietly grazing or napping most of the day.   Even Buddy the office cat was uninterested in sneaking outside.  Visitors are less frequent this time of the year, and the lessening of tours has an interesting effect on the horses.  The old timers–the horses who have been through a couple of winters at Old Friends—adjust with a shrug.  They use the slow season to nap, graze on some frozen blades of grass, or just to gaze off into the distance, pondering whatever it is that horses need to ponder. 

 The new boys aren’t quite sure what to make of the downturn.  Escaped looks hopefully at every car that comes up the drive.  Commentator ran over everytime I passed by his paddock, clearly wondering what has happened to his adulation, and his mints.  Clever is among the deep thinkers, standing at the far side of his paddock gazing across the fields.  Gramps won’t bother to come over for just one person, but Jade Hunter didn’t disappoint.  He loves to be patted.  Mecke, Wallace and Blues were running up and down the hill in their paddock, although Pops and Ring were among those who opted for a nap.  Dan and Flick, both completely covered in mud, wandered over to say hi but didn’t seem too upset at the lack of tours.

 Creator loved the snow, running laps around his field with his head and tail up.  Swannie took a few laps as well, although he was somewhat disappointed when his efforts only got him one peppermint.  He banged on the fence and grunted his displeasure, then wandered into his run-in shed out of the snow.  Du Pars was fascinated as Kent fixed a downed board in his paddock, peering over Kent’s shoulder ready to offer his supervisory opinion.   Smokey and Benburb thought about some exercise—they ran maybe four or five strides before realizing they didn’t really want to exert the effort.  They resumed grazing quietly. 

While I would much rather see visitors at the farm, I admit to enjoying the quiet days with the horses.  I patted Black Tie Affair, scratching his neck and face.  Norty was in the barn as well, but he was napping and didn’t want to be bothered.   Even Wallenda let me know he didn’t want company when I interrupted his morning nap.  Of course, later on in the day he was more than happy to have me peel the layers of dried mud off his coat.  

The very first time I ever visited Old Friends was in January. Today reminded me of that cold day, when I first met Fortunate Prospect, Bull inthe Heather, Sunshine Forever, and when I fell for Kiri’s Clown.   If you dress warmly, this is a wonderful time to meet the horses.  We continue to offer tours daily, although at this time of year an appointment is most appreciated!   We hope you can visit us soon.  In the meantime, from everyone at Old Friends, we wish you and yours a most merry holiday season and a wonderful New Year.  Thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends. 



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2 responses to “Sunday December 20, 2009

  1. Judy Stock

    Val….we send wishes for a safe, happy holiday to all; may the new year be better than this one, and all the Old Friends (equine AND human) enjoy only good things as a new decade begins.

    My special wishes for Swannie concern the Red Sox and he KNOWS what they are! Sylvia knows how to watch over our special horse better than anyone on the planet, and long may she wave. Thanks to Ruthann for all she does; all good things to you, Val, for keeping us up to date on the “small”, but very important, doings at Old Friends. And to Michael and Diane we send bottomless thanks and regards for ALL they do. It does strike me that everyone should thank Michael twice, as we have seen his idea of a home for retired stallions become so much more than just a reality, but a force with which to be reckoned.

    Cheers to everyone, and safe trips to all horses.

    Judy and Leroy Stock

  2. Jan Felton

    I just wanted to say how I enjoy reading your weekly notes. I was at Old Friends in October and I just had the best time. I liked it better than the Horse Park, for interacting with the horses. Keep up the good work.

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