Sunday May 16, 2010

As I drove around central Kentucky this week, I noticed spring is passing into summer.  Tree leaves have lost the tender, bright green of spring and moved onto the darker, deeper green of summer.  Along roadsides, grass is knee high or better, and pastures are routinely being mowed.  And of course, it rained today, again.  The best I can say is today wasn’t a total washout, as we had tours and no one got too wet.   But the benefit of all this rain is the lush, thick grass.  In fact, the paddocks are so thick that when Fortunate Prospect stretched out for his daily nap, he sunk so far into the grass you could barely see him. 

The entire day—gray, low clouds, intermittent rain and drizzle, cool, calm air–was tailor-made for napping.  This morning I walked into the big barn intending to say hello to Wallenda.  First I saw The Wicked North, curled up for a nap.  Then, I saw Wallenda was down for the count.  Next in line, Academy Award was also sleeping.   Even Black Tie Affair, while still standing, had his eyes closed for a snooze.  I’m beginning to think they take naps on purpose, when they hear me coming!  

I ventured into Blackie’s stall with a soft brush, which he always enjoys.  He pretty much kept his eyes closed while I worked, only throwing irritated glances at me when I brushed some place he didn’t like.  After a few minutes I heard Wallenda get up, so when I was done with Blackie I went to run a brush over him.  I know I am biased, but Wallenda looks better than he has ever looked, since I’ve known him. His coat is soft, sleek and shiny.  He looks like he’s been in training—his muscles are well-defined and he is in great shape.   When he went outside this afternoon I tried to take a photo, but all I got was (yet another) picture of Wallenda with his ears flopping and his nose in my phone camera lens.

We had some really nice people visit today, from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and West Virginia.  There were lots of questions about horses in general, and racehorses specifically.  Over the course of the afternoon, in between raindrops, we visited nearly all the stallions. Pops and Ring were inside their run-in shed, which I don’t think I have ever actually seen them enter. Not that they don’t still prefer treats, as they came right over when we walked up.  Dan and Flick spent most of the afternoon in their shed as well, especially during the rain showers. We did watch them canter across their paddock at dinner time late this afternoon.

At one point today someone asked if the stallions ever get lonely, since they can’t be with other horses.  No sooner was that question posed than Awad, Will’s Way, Kiri’s Clown and Sunshine Forever demonstrated the answer.  The four of them were hanging out where the corners of their paddocks intersect, apparently discussing the same things any retired guys would discuss over their morning coffee.   Truth be told, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to find out they are actually gossiping about all of us!

A couple weeks ago, Siphonizer moved  from a large, group paddock at the back of the farm to a smaller, single paddock in front.  The reason for this?  Siphonizer refused to be caught, daring anyone to come near him and taking off at a run when anyone tried.  Finally, it was decided he needed to be separated from his pals so he could remember his social skills!  And now?  Siphonizer comes over for every tour, as pleasant and friendly as anyone could wish for.  He is so much more civilized.  Its funny how this works; some of the horses are friendly and approachable no matter where they are pastured.  Kudos always comes over, as does Affirmed Success, Futural and many of the other geldings.  But there are always a few who think they are wild horses!

Despite the rain, it was a nice day to walk around and meet the horses at Old Friends.  We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.



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2 responses to “Sunday May 16, 2010

  1. Bert

    I’m so happy to hear that Fortunate Prospect is doing well, and enjoying his naps.

  2. Susan

    Hi Val..My husband and I finally made the visit and had a wonderful tour with Mercer Monday 5/17/2010. As we said to Michael, it had been too many years since our last visit (4 years) and all the horses looked great. It was a pleasure to see Black Tie Affair. I was amazed at how great Sunshine Forever looked! It was a great trip and the visit to Old Friends was the highlight of the trip!

    Please Thank Mercer, Sylvia, and Michael for their hospitality.

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