Sunday August 15, 2010

You know how you can tell it’s hot out?  It’s when even the flies are too lazy to move–you wave at them to buzz away and they just stay put!

It isn’t hard to figure how the phrase “dog days of summer” was started.  I imagine it is because dogs are too smart to be very active in the heat, unlike the people who determinedly made the rounds today.   Jake the dog started out on the morning tour with us but after a few minutes he turned around and walked back up to the office, where he hung out in air-conditioned comfort with his pal Duncan, mooching treats from volunteer Bea.

One side effect of the heat is we do more meandering and less hiking.  We probably see fewer horses but spend more time with the ones we do see.  Today began with a nice group of people, this morning when it was maybe a tad less steamy.  The best visitor, of course, was the young girl who started out too afraid to feed the horses, and ended up walking along the fence line chatting with her new pal Sunshine Forever.  I believe she bought out every article in the gift shop with Sunshine’s name on it, and she has already started in on her mom to bring her back (from Wisconsin!) for her birthday.  Just developing the next generation of volunteers…

Speaking of volunteers, new tour guide Jon did his first solo tour this afternoon.  I can’t say I minded handing one off in this heat.  If you visit and happen to have Jon as your tour guide, go easy on the guy!

As we visited with Pops and Ring this morning, we got a laugh out of watching Swannie, Kiri, Awad and Sunshine convene at the four corners of their respective paddocks for their morning gossip. As we walked toward them, Sunshine broke away and made a beeline for the other side of his paddock—the side that isn’t adjacent to any other horses.  Because you know, he is smart enough to figure out that meeting us on the far side ensures he has no competition for carrots!

This afternoon I heard a couple of guys on the tour trying to figure out how to say Ogygian’s name, after seeing his name plate.  I had referred to him as Ogie, so I was no help.  But if you ever see video of his races, you’ll know his name has been pronounced any number of ways, each one funnier than the last. (For the record, it’s Oh-guy-jin.)

Also on a tour today we had a couple of men from a local group home.  A pat on the face–which was really a swat–from anyone else would make Commentator jerk his head back.  Not today.  Tator stood like a rock and never flinched.  It was the same for Norty and Marquetry; the horses demonstrate a total grasp of the situation. I have been involved in therapeutic riding programs in the past. Still, it is very touching to see just how kind the horses are.  In truth, it is far better than most humans.

Academy Award was down for the count on and off all day, stretched out on his side snoring.  And an update on Falcon’s adjustment to farm life—he met us at his stall door for every tour, munching carrots and kindly letting people gently  touch his velvety nose.  He is so pretty and it seems he is going to be a people horse.

That’s about all from the farm for this week.  We continue to offer four tours a day, and we hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!

-Val

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Sunday August 15, 2010

  1. Lois Brooks

    Always have to come the first thing on Monday morning to read your pieces, am disappointed when a week goes by and no blog. You make things so interesting and makes you feel you are up close and personal with all the horses. Speaking of that is there anyway you can let us know exactly who is there now. Seems everytime I turn around I see a new horses name. Know you must have new ones at the annex barns that don’t get as much publicity as the old timers. It would be interesting if you would do a piece on the not so familiar. So sorry for Bonnie Poker but she is in a better place now on Rainbow Bridge.

  2. Laura

    On pronouncing Ogygian’s name, my favorite incorrect version was, “Oh-gee-gee-an.” I also once heard a lady on tv call Miesque, “Mees-key.”

  3. Just wanted to drop you all a note and say thank you again. This is Shadow Caster’s first son in his first show. He raced twice, but wasn’t fast enough. We adopted him from his breeder last year and are retraining him as a hunter jumper:

  4. I donated a mare namd Personalized aka: Laurel and was wondering how she was doing. I have yeat to recieve and update this year. Please email me and let me know how my friend is doing.

    Sherri

    • oldfriendsblog

      Sherri,
      Personalized is doing fine. She has a new pasture mate named Miss Hoolligan so the mares are busy working out their new heirarchy! Feel free to email Michael–I am sure he would be happy to hear from you.
      -Val

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