Monday August 2, 2010

It’s been a mixed bag of a week for the end of July, leaving me a day late in posting.  I took yesterday off from tour guiding, but still spent some time at the farm this weekend.  We introduced some non-horse family members to the horse industry, visited one of the most well-known stud farms in Lexington, and I spent some time hanging out with some of my favorite boys.  Lastly, we said good-bye to perhaps the coolest horse I ever knew.

So in chronological order, here we go!   I got an early start to the weekend by spending some time one afternoon last week on grooming detail.  I started with Glitterman, who as you know has limited turn-out time due to his arthritic knees.   G-man loves to be brushed, leaning against you to the point where you have to push back if you want to get any leverage with the brush!  I told someone last week that he is just the biggest old puppydog when you have a brush in hand!  He isn’t picky either—chest, belly, back and face are good, as long as you get all his itchy spots. His tongue hangs out of his mouth and his lower lip droops, he closes his eyes and his ears flop.  Talk about non-verbal communication; there is no way to interpret his expression as anything other than bliss.  He is so darn cute.

After G-man, I wandered over to see Wallenda.  Perhaps I am biased (no, really?) but moving over to the annex farm has done him a world of good, as he looks absolutely gorgeous. He is able to go outside two times for shorter periods each day, which seems to put less stress on his bad back ankles.  Also, his stall in the annex barn has a full-sized window opening to the outside.  The breeze, aided by his door fan, blows right through his stall, and he gets lots of sunshine and light.  He loves to play; leaning into me and swinging his head around so I can push him back, then acting like he is going to bite me but doing nothing more than tickling me with his lips.  If you brush him to his liking his lip quivers and he drools a big, slobbery mess.  I pulled fairy knots out of his mane, and picked straw out of his tail.  He is a very happy horse.

I also brushed Klassy Briefcase.  After being around the stallions, no matter how fun and kind they are, it’s still rather a shock to be around Klassy.  Like her name, she is a classy, kind, and gentle mare.  No games, no pushing around, no leaning.  She just stands perfectly still while you do your thing.  Klassy is clearly being ridden at night by the fairies as well—she had loopy, twisty knots all up and down her mane.   

We had non-horse family visiting Kentucky for the first time this weekend, and we always try to introduce first-timers to the racing game. With both Keeneland and Churchill Downs dark for the summer, we decided to take them to visit Lane’s End farm. We had a terrific time meeting all the stallions there, including AP Indy (and what a ham he is!), Mineshaft, Rock Hard Ten, Curlin, Smart Strike, and Kingmambo.  Our Lane’s End tour guide, Asa, was fantastic and answered any question we threw at him. It was a great visit.  My mission is to turn the family into racing fans, and since they want to come back to go to the races I think we were successful!

On Saturday afternoon, Old Friends held a memorial service for Black Tie Affair.  There were quite a number of people in attendance, and more than a few of us got a little teary.  It says a great deal about the kind of horse he was that he touched so many people, and so many came out to say good-bye.  He was something else.  

We continue to give daily tours and we hope you can visit us soon.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this weekend with Old Friends.

-Val

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Monday August 2, 2010

  1. Dee Poulos

    Val, It was so nice to meet you on Saturday. Thank you so much for the love and wonderful care you extended to Black Tie Affair. He was an extraordinary “dream” that was alive and tangible and now he is a “legend” that will live on forever in the hearts of those of loved and appreciated him. We were indeed lucky to have been in his presence! Dee Poulos

  2. Gae

    As always, nice descriptions of the residents and their personalities — always enjoy reading about the G-man. And now we know — those mane fairies have been at it again!

  3. Gayle

    I’d never heard of fairy knots before. How funny! I got quite a picture of little fairies on a big horse. I’m going to have to try and draw it.

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