Sunday February 28, 2010

Winter doesn’t seem to want to let go of its grip on central Kentucky.  Today was yet another kind of gray, late winter day:  kind of damp, kind of chilly, kind of windy.   With no sunshine and any leftover snow melted, the most pervasive thing about today was the mud!

And muddy it is.  All the horses are just covered with it—matted in their coats, with little balls of mud hanging in their manes and tails.  It’s hard to tell black from bay and bay from chestnut, and white socks are hidden.  Benburb is so muddy that his normally white coat has been stained a sort of washed-out palomino color.  He is fat and happy; if you didn’t know better you’d think he is a well-fed quarter horse, not a Thoroughbred racehorse!  Bennie and Smokey Stover are so much fun to watch.  Smokey runs and bounces around like a big kid, grabbing Bennie’s halter, tugging on his mane and rubbing his face against him.  Bennie just puts up with him like a long-suffering big brother.  But they are inseparable.   In the evening when it’s time for them to come inside Smokey herds Bennie away from the gate, trying to keep his pal outside to play for just a little while longer.

All the horses at the annex farm look terrific.  I made my way over to see them today and as I walked around, everyone came over to the fence say hi.  Even Seek Gold wandered over.  I say that because Seek Gold’s sire, Touch Gold, is a favorite of mine and I really want to get to know his son better.  But like his dad, Seek Gold is not an instantly warm, friendly guy.  It’s going to take some more time and effort to get to know him.  

Malibu Mix took my last peppermint.  Lukas came over at a run, sliding to a stop in the mud.  He has finally grown a little bit of winter coat, just in time to shed it out.  He has worn a blanket all winter, and I have to think come spring he’ll be happy to get it off and roll his entire body in the mud. 

Back at the main farm, Cherono has moved into the paddock behind the office that formerly belonged to Proper Reality.  He seems really happy in this new, much larger home.  I drove by the farm twice this past week and both times I caught a glimpse of him running around happily. Today he seemed really content and kind of mellow, eating some hay in between watching everything happening around him.  

On the other hand, as I drove up the driveway, Swannie was just having a grand old time playing in the mud.  He was jumping, prancing, pawing, pirouetting and dancing like he was trying out for Olympic figure skating.   If watching him play didn’t bring a smile to your face, nothing ever would. 

Commentator, as usual, came at a run when I called his name.  He does love his treats!  Tator also loves the sneakers he wears.  Janet told me when they put them on him every morning, Tator picks up each of his front feet, eagerly waiting for his comfy shoes.  Tator is another one who is just a big kid—he loves to play and he thinks we humans are his playmates.  He loves to rub against you while you scratch his chest, or lick your hand and arm like a very large dog.  Of course, he is a large, strong kid and you have to be careful he doesn’t inadvertently pop you one, but he is a lot of fun. 

Gulch came over for a mint or two today, which is actually the first time he has done so with me.  Gulch doesn’t have much patience for his neighbor Commentator, and you could just tell that Tator’s antics were setting Gulch’s teeth on edge.  Sometimes the horses’ thoughts and feelings are so clear, it’s like they speak perfect English!

I walked into the big barn but every single horse in there was lying down asleep.  Blackie, Academy Award, Wallenda, and Norty were all snoozing.  No fun there!  Blackie’s stall was freshly bedded and he was all curled up in a perfect deep nest of straw.  I have to say he looked pretty darn comfy! Clever, Dan and Flick came over to say hi and that about did it for me today.  I just can’t wait for some nicer, warmer, sunnier weather!

We hope you can visit us soon—although if you wanted to wait for that nicer, warmer, sunnier weather, I can’t say as I’d blame you!  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.

-Val

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Sunday February 28, 2010

  1. Lexie C

    Wonderful stories … as Smokey Stover was always one of my favorites I just loved reading about how playful he is with his pal .. and Commentator … another big kid … I know you all have the most fun hanging out with all these guys everyday … thanks as always for the lovely updates …

    • oldfriendsblog

      Hi Lexie.
      Smokey is a very cool horse–loves his buddy Bennie, loves people, loves his life. You couldn’t ask for a nicer horse to be a fan of!
      -Val

  2. Susan Allen

    Hi Val,
    I think this is the first time I’ve seen mention of “Cherono”(maybe I missed it on a previous blog?) Do you have some background info on him you could share? Thanks again for sharing your time! Am planning my trip to see Commentator ASAP….Hopefully, spring will come soon!

    • oldfriendsblog

      Hi Susan.
      I have mentioned Cherono–he was one of the boys gelded, along with DuPars (aka Luke) in the 12/31/09 post. His pedigree is here: http://www.pedigreequery.com/cherono. Cherono was owned by Zenyatta’s people, the Mosses, and they donated him once injury ended his racing career. He is a pretty bay horse who had some significant vet work done (thanks to the Mosses) to get him healty and sound enough to enjoy retirement. You’ll meet him when you visit!
      Val

  3. Jean in VA.

    Thanks again Val for the updates. I look foward to this every week.
    As always, give everyone a big hug and mint or carrot for me.

  4. Susan Allen

    Thanks Val….I went back and read the 12/31 post about Cherono! My “memory” is horrible!! It’s good to know that after his injury, he’s been “running” around! The Mosses are surely wonderful people….wish all owners would give such good care and consideration to their horses! They certainly deserve the great success they’ve had! (And just between you and me!….I love Rachel, but I’ll be pulling for Zenyatta when they run in April!) Thanks again!

  5. We’re coming this summer, no dates yet. We’ll be glad to escape the 100F degree weather in July or August.

    We have to check dates and have the unknown of if/how Shadow Caster’s son “Little Big Red” will be doing at the local shows:-)

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