You have heard what they say about the weather in Kentucky, right? “Wait ten minutes and it’ll change.” How true it was this weekend! Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny, pleasant day with temperatures in the 60s. Today, it was not so great: chilly, wet, and gray, the total opposite of Saturday. I was at the farm both days, and I can tell you yesterday was far more enjoyable!
Saturdays are not my tour day, so I spent my time hanging out with the horses. First, I tried to help Janet catch W.C. Jones, who of late hasn’t wanted to be caught. Jonesy is in a large paddock with my pal Luke, as well as Thornfield and Hussonfirst. It didn’t go well. Luke thought I was in his field to play. He knows I carry mints. Husson wanted to be fussed over. He kept sticking his head over my shoulder begging to be patted. Thornfield did not help. Every time Jonesy even thought about coming to get that peppermint, Thornfield gave him the evil eye and chased him off. I spent the better part of an hour trying to push Husson and Luke off me, and I never did catch Jonesy. But it was a nice day, I got a little exercise, and there’s always next time.
After that futile effort I thought I should spend some time with an “easy” horse, so I went back over to the main farm to brush Black Tie Affair. Blackie was outside in Silver Charm’s paddock enjoying some sunshine, and his white winter hair is shedding off rapidly. Blackie let me know exactly where he most enjoyed the brushing—he loves being brushed down underneath his neck, from his throat to his chest. But he understandably doesn’t like pressure along the sides of his neck where his tumors are most noticeable. He loves being brushed along his spine but not so much down his back legs. If I brushed where he liked, he closed his eyes and stood like a statue. If I got too close to his tender spots, he swung his head around and gave me an irritated look. There was no mistaking what he was telling me. And after I was finished with him, I had white hair in my mouth, stuck to my hair, tickling my nose and about everywhere else!
I also took some time to brush Early Pioneer. Outside of feeding him treats on tours, I have never spent much time with him. He is in the barn recovering from some foot issues, and he is shedding like a buffalo. It seemed like a good time to get to know him a little more. Now, I can say from personal experience he is a really nice horse. He was happy with the company, laying his head on my shoulder and letting me rub his face. He is shedding so much hair that a couple swipes of the curry and it filled with thick chestnut hair. I’d have to stop to shake out the brush. You get in a rhythm—curry, curry, shake, curry, curry, shake. It’s peaceful and relaxing.
After such a nice day yesterday, we had to contrast it with today’s chilly rain. This morning we had a family of four come for a tour. Of course it rained–to some degree–the entire time. But the kids pretty much ignored the rain, feeding carrots, pretending to drive the golf cart, and running with the dogs. When the kids started to look cold and wet, we cut the tour a little short. I still think they had fun. But it did get pretty damp and chilly.
This afternoon the rain stopped long enough for a small tour—mom, dad and baby girl. We visited the usual suspects—Tator, Norty, Wallenda, Academy Award and Blackie—initially not wandering far from the big barn, just in case the rain started up again. When the sun tried to peek out, we got a little braver and saw Creator, Pops, Ring, Awad and Kiri. Poor Dad turned his back on Awad just long enough for Waddy to take a grab at the back of his jacket. No harm was done, and Dad was an extremely good sport about it. He talked about it the rest of the tour. I also noticed he gave Awad a wide berth as we walked along the rest of his fence.
I finished up my day with a visit across the road to Summerwind Farm. Their broodmare (and wonderful racehorse) Fleet Indian foaled a Distorted Humor filly this week, and I wanted to meet the new baby. Oh, she is adorable! A pretty bay with a crescent moon on her forehead, she let us pat her and then bucked and kicked around the stall while mom munched hay. Not even a week old, and already a show-off! Summerwind had a nice week—they bred the winner of yesterday’s Louisiana Derby, Mission Impazible. His next start could well be the Kentucky Derby.
That’s about all from Old Friends for this week. Another Sunday is gone, and April is nearly here. Michael and Diane are headed to New York for next week’s Wood Memorial, where a day of recognition has been planned for racehorse retirement organizations. They’ll have fun, I’m sure. Keeneland’s spring meet begins next week and the Kentucky Derby is about a month away. Spring is in full swing in Kentucky and tours have been getting busy. We hope you can visit us sometime soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.