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!