Happy Valentine’s Day! While today was a mostly gray day, it still somehow managed not to be a dreary one. The sun tried to poke through a couple of times, and with no wind the cold seemed manageable. The horses were great fun today–with a little sun, cold but not frigid, it was good horse weather and there was plenty of activity around the farm.
I was looking back at some of my older posts, and noticed at this time last month I remarked on how signs of spring in Kentucky start to show up in February. Well, here we are in February and we are stuck in the midst of the same weather pattern as most of the rest of the country—snow and cold, cold and snow. But today I did see the first sign of impending spring: I ran my hand down Commentator’s neck and came away with a handful of winter hair. After that, I noticed hair beginning to shed on most of the horses I patted. This is always a good sign. Although if it doesn’t warm up, we might have some cold horses!
No tours were on the books today, so I filled my pocket with peppermints and took a little walk by myself. As I always do, I started by heading into the big barn to say hello to Blackie and Wallenda. Neither one cared, though—Blackie was munching hay and Wallenda was soundly sleeping. Academy Award was also down for some snooze time. Only The Wicked North bothered to say hello. Thank you, Norty.
I wandered over to the small barn to say hi to Cowboy, Gasconade and Early Pioneer. Cowboy and Gasconade, both recovering from injuries, got themselves all worked up when Marley ran into the barn. So each of the three got a mint, and then I decided I’d best leave them alone.
At this point, Tim Ford joined me and we decided to take our own mini tour. Clever ignored us, as he so often does unless large groups of people and full buckets of carrots are involved! Gulch peered at us from the far side of his paddock but we weren’t interesting enough for him to come over. Commentator, however, can be counted on to visit. Tator is wearing the Velcro sneakers that we sometimes use in the summertime on sore feet. Tator doesn’t like the frozen, rutty ground and wearing the sneakers makes him more comfortable. They also make him lift his feet like a Saddlebred when he clops over. He is pretty much mud-free and his coat is very soft. And as I said, he is beginning to shed, so spring can’t be too far off.
Swan’s Way meandered over to say hello to us. His forelock has grown nearly down to his nostrils and you can barely see his face. He seemed kind of sleepy today, which is pretty unusual for him. Normally Swannie is among our most active horses. But next door to him, Sunshine Forever and Awad were very, very wound up. As Marley and Jake ran down the lane between the two paddocks, Sunshine and Awad decided they would race the dogs. Awad ran and pranced with his neck arched and nostrils flared. Sunshine acted the same way, although he is much the larger of the two. As Tim and I followed them down the lane, Awad circled back, snorting as us. I waved my arms and whooshed back, making Awad throw his head up and start all over again. Both horses were having so much fun; their eyes were sparkling and it was like they were kids yelling “whoo-hoo.” It was beautiful to watch and it just made me grin.
Will’s Way crunched a couple of mints and then Kiri trotted over to say hi. Kiri won’t eat mints, but he loves attention. He slung his head over my shoulder and leaned on me while I scratched his chest. He is often a very affectionate horse, although 1200 pounds of affection can be very heavy!
By this time, Awad was still huffing and puffing– which always gets Pops and Ring going, too. Both geldings came over to say hi, and then wheeled around and ran up the hill. I guess they couldn’t decide if they wanted to show off or be patted, because they made a circle and came back for more attention. One of the benefits of walking around without a treat bucket is the horses are mostly happy to be patted and fussed over, without the distraction of carrots. Pops and Ring made three or four circles, running a little and then coming right back for pats. A couple of hams, no doubt about it! Throughout it all, Leave Seattle kept his back to us as he munched his hay. Not surprising at all, given his self-contained personality.
Creator, a very observant horse, noticed that no treats were being offered. Therefore, he didn’t come over either. We stopped to see Dan and Flick, both of who are fat and fuzzy, and Ogygian, who seemed a tad miffed that there were no carrots. Jade Hunter, among the nicest stallions ever, was happy to be patted and kissed. No treats required for him; he’ll be your friend regardless. Bull came over and was more interested in who else we had been patting—he sniffed and snorted and tossed his head. I’m sure he would have preferred treats, but he was ok with just the attention!
By the way, congratulations are in order for our friend Nick and his new bride Jackie. Everyone at Old Friends wishes you both much love and happiness.
Despite the nicer weather earlier today, it’s beginning to snow once again this afternoon. We are all looking forward to spring tour season—or, for the horses, spring TREAT season! We hope you can visit us soon. Until then, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.