One word describes today: hot. We had sunshine, and thankfully we had a steady breeze, but mostly we had 90-something degree heat. The horses are lazy, the flies are buzzing and most of the visitors were happy to take it easy. No big hikes up the hill and back, just some easy meandering around the stallion paddocks.
For most of the day Clever just hung out under his big tree, happy to get some carrots and have someone to chase flies. Blackie spent the morning in Charmie’s little run-in shed, his butt to us and his eyes hidden beneath his gold fly mask with the spiffy leopard print trim. Glitterman was outside in the small round pen, alternately snoozing, watching Michael graze Silver Charm, or munching carrots.
Only three horses managed to break out of a slow walk today. We saw Flick run up his paddock, as fast as I have ever seen him move. Dan followed, but he took his time with a much slower canter. The other horse with some energy today was Leave Seattle, who slow-jogged about 25 feet over to us for his share of carrots.
The other sure sign of summer, besides the heat, is we get many more kids visiting. My little pals from last week, Sara and her brothers, came back for another visit today. They brought a lot of the little mini carrots, and the kids opened bags until my bucket was overflowing. All this happened in front of Academy Award, who watched very closely, no doubt figuring he had hit the carrot jackpot.
Sara was somewhat less mortified by the horse slobber this week, and she fed her share of carrots. At one point, I think there were four or five kids, standing on the bottom fence rail, calling for Commentator. He came right over, as he always does, and gobbled carrots from as many little hands as could reach him at once. I don’t think anyone would have pegged him as a horse that would enjoy kids, but he does.
Even Creator took carrots from the kids nicely, maybe even delicately. I told the kids they could feed him but not pat him, and they all listened perfectly. Thinking that Creator was in a mellow mood, I ignored my own advice and got too close. He arrogantly and forcefully shoved my hand aside, letting me know I was encroaching on his personal space! Pops waited patiently for everyone to move on from Creator, and Ring eventually wandered over as well. We visited with Awad, Will’s Way, Kiri’s Clown and Sunshine Forever and finished up with Swannie. The only casualty today was (of course) one man who received a bit of a nip on his shoulder. I warn and warn the men that they are tops on the biting list, and they just never believe me!
Today’s visitors came from places as diverse as Seattle, Michigan, Indiana, Boston and the Czech Republic. We had a great mix of kids and adults, racing fans, animal people and just plain tourists. Everyone seemed to have a great time, including the horses. Wallenda was relatively calm and even he took carrots more gently than usual. It had to be the heat!
I have to finish with a couple of racing notes. I was privileged yesterday to be at Churchill Downs to see Rachel Alexandra race. She looked terrific and ran a great race. And this evening, I watched the fabulous Zenyatta win her 17th consecutive race on TV. If you are a racing fan, you know how lucky we are to see these mares run. If you are not a racing fan all I can say is, watch these horses run and you will be!
We hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this (hot) Sunday with Old Friends!