Sunday January 17, 2010

After a long couple weeks of unusually cold weather in central Kentucky, this week the weather took a turn for the better.  Temperatures slowly moderated all week, culminating in the low 50s yesterday and….gray, damp, unrelenting rain today.   While it was still in the 40s, today was no one’s idea of a picture pretty day!

Not that the horses mind, of course.  There was plenty of mud to entertain everyone, and compared to the previously frigid temperatures, the rain felt nearly warm.  Okay, I am greatly exaggerating, but the horses did seem very happy.  I, however, didn’t relish the idea of walking around in a January rain.

We had a large tour bus visit this morning, about 50 folks from Nebraska.  It was pouring at the time, so no one wanted to be outside.  Luckily, there are four (well, maybe three, as I’ll explain) horses in the main barn who loved the company.  Michael introduced Black Tie Affair, who ate his carrots and then nearly knocked Michael over when he didn’t get refills quickly enough.   When the first shove drew loud laughter, Blackie tried the same trick twice more.  You think he was playing to the crowd?  Oh yeah.

After Blackie, I introduced the crowd to Gulch.  Gulch checked everyone out and was in no way intimidated by 50 Cornhuskers.  He took it all in, eating his carrots and a couple mints with his ears pricked, wondering what all the fuss was about.  I am really looking forward to spring tour season because he is going to love the attention.   Yet another ham, because apparently we specialize in them!

And then we get to the horse that could care less about company.  Wallenda was napping–need I say more?  He had his back to us and didn’t even move an ear.  I tried; I did. I even went into his stall and attempted to roust him.  Nope.  Nothing.   Finally, finally, when most of the group had moved on to Tim and The Wicked North, he reluctantly got up and came over.  He had some carrots, took a drink of water and turned his back on us again.  This is a horse who loves his routine, and it was naptime, darn it.  We disrupted him.

Thankfully, Norty was happy to be patted and admired.  Even covered in mud, everyone remarked on his beauty. There is something about Norty; he looks so smart and dignified I guess. People always notice, and I watch people try to put it into words and end up saying just that he’s beautiful.  But really it’s something more than that.  He has such presence.

A couple of horses have switched paddocks, not that you’d necessarily notice, given the amount of mud covering everyone.  Fortunate Prospect moved back in his original paddock behind the office a couple weeks ago.  This week, Bull moved to the large paddock behind Ogygian (one of the prettiest stallion paddocks on the farm to my thinking; Williamstown has the other).  Gulch is in Bull’s old paddock, next to Commentator during the day and Norty at night.   

Commentator was running around screaming all morning—between the warmer weather, the bus full of visitors and the neighborhood changes, he was all wound up.  I kind of hate to say it, but Tator is like a spoiled child—he fully expects to be the center of attention all the time.  Considering that he hasn’t yet gone through a full busy summer tour season, I can’t imagine what he’ll be like with 100 or more visitors every day.   Maybe that is why he was such a good racehorse—his competitive nature makes him want to be the first and best at everything, even eating treats and greeting people!  But he came at a run for his mints today, and he looks great underneath all that mud.  He is such a large, exuberant personality–he demands that you notice and interact with him.  

I saw my first baby of 2010 today, as Tim and I ran across the road to Summerwind Farm to see a week-old grandson of Jade Hunter.  He was adorable as only baby horses are– bright chestnut with a white face.  After a little nap he got up, had some milk and then nibbled on some of his mom’s hay.  I look forward to seeing him grow up and race someday.

Well, that is my rain-shortened report for today.  I can’t wait for kinder weather, and here in central Kentucky we’ll start to notice early signs of spring in February.  We have so many wonderful horses to introduce people to:  famous ones like Gulch and Commentator, as well as not so famous ones like Leave Seattle, Mighty Mecke, and Malibu Mix.  We hope you will be able to visit us soon.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.




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4 responses to “Sunday January 17, 2010

  1. Jean in VA.

    Thanks Val for the update. Here in my part of VA., it has been a rainy day also.
    I always love hearing about the goings on at Old Friends. Makes my Sunday.
    Give everyone a hug for me (even the muddy ones).

  2. Bess

    Just an update for Clever’s followers. I took my 6 year old granddaughter to OF Friday afternoon. Clever was racing around his paddock so fast that Kate (Granddaughter) said, “It looks like the wind is really blowing.” He was going so fast that his mane was flowing out. He really felt great. When Michael and I told her that he was skin and bones this time last year, she just rolled her eyes as if that can’t be true!

  3. Laura

    I’m so happy Gulch is taking to the routine there! Can’t wait for pictures. 🙂

  4. Sue

    I’m sure the Nebraska visitors didn’t mind the rain. Better than the 20+ inches of snow that 3 recent blizzards left behind here!
    Enjoy the weekly updates on all the retirees. Hope to be another Cornhusker visitor to Old Friends soon.

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