We are experiencing a full-on, hard core, blazing hot summer in Kentucky. Unlike other parts of the country where there have been tropical storms, tornados, rain, and flooding of late, we are experiencing wonderful weather. Wonderful, that is, if you like to sweat! The horses generally found their own patches of shade today and there was a great deal of fly swishing and lazy napping. It was just too hot to get worked up about much of anything. To give you an idea of how lazy everyone was today, Kent was trying to mow Kiri’s paddock and no way was Kiri going to move out of the way. After Kent was forced to stop and wait, Kiri finally heaved a sigh and moved just enough for the tractor to pass by him.
This weekend was the annual Breyerfest at the Kentucky Horse Park. For the uninitiated, Breyer horses are plastic horse models that are highly collectible. They often are modeled after specific breeds and frequently after famous individual horses. If you are a regular blog reader you know from last year that this is our busiest weekend of the year. Today was a typical Breyerfest weekend—lots and lots of kids, families, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, you name it! And despite the heat, it was a fun day.
This morning we had a large group—perhaps 40 people. We had two tour guides on duty today, so Nick and I split the group and headed off with full buckets of carrots. I never forget to warn the men in the group that they will be the first to be bitten. I know the dads never believe me, and a couple of guys received personal reminders with a good tug on their t-shirt from Pops. No skin involved though, so no harm done. Of course, I neglected my own advice and carelessly allowed Danthebluegrassman to get a good nip at me. I have a nice bruise on my hand, reminding me to pay better attention. I don’t think Dan felt one little bit bad about it either!
We welcomed a new horse this week, a young horse named Falcon Scott. (Check him out here.) Falcon is just off the racetrack and he is not sure about this whole farm-retirement-tour concept. He goes outside for a few hours each day as he acclimates, and the Old Friends activity is kind of beyond his comprehension at this point. Still, he had no problem taking a little break from constantly scanning his new world to gobble some carrots! A handsome dark bay with a white face, Falcon is a half-brother to 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo and Santa Anita Derby winner Tiago. He was originally owned, and was now retired, by Zenyatta’s owners Ann and Jerry Moss. Some connections, huh?
With all the kids visiting today, we spent most of our time with the friendliest horses. That meant The Wicked North, Glitterman, Ogygian, Dan and Flick, despite Dan’s moment of crankiness with me! Awad, Sunshine, Swannie, Pops and Ring all enjoyed a bonanza of carrots and mints today. Ring is like the Energizer Bunny with his lip tattoo trick. He keeps going, and going, and going with it!
The newly svelte Kiri’s Clown has shed his grazing muzzle, much to his immense joy. Marquetry is a fantastic people horse; he has been added to the kid-friendly list. Gulch did his part to greet folks this afternoon, and Commentator hit up every tour for treats at least twice. Clever Allemont sidled up next to the fence and had about six kids all reaching through to scratch his back, neck and chest. He was in Clever heaven.
Silver Charm ventured out of his paddock twice for some extra attention. With eight or ten kids gathered around him, someone commented on how well-behaved he was. With all those hands fussing over him, trying to rearrange his abundant forelock and mane and generally reaching to pat him wherever they could reach, Charmie took it all in like the professional greeter he is. No horse understands his job better than Silver Charm.
Overall, it was a great day for visitors, tour guides, dogs, and horses alike. The kids seemed to really have fun—even with the slobber, sweat and horse hair! And after all, perhaps the best part of Old Friends is that people can come and interact with the horses–learn a little about racing, retirement and horses in general–and leave saying they had a great time. We hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending another Sunday with Old Friends!