Sunday January 23, 2011

If you had to describe a winter day in central Kentucky, you’d probably talk about a day just like today.  Cold but not frigid, cloudy but not dreary, snowy but not snowing—it was just a plain January winter Sunday.

With no morning tour on the schedule and after catching up with Roberta and Bea, my Sunday co-volunteers, I looked out the window of the office to see Gulch settle down in a pile of hay for a Sunday nap.  He looked pretty comfortable, and it made me smile.  Just behind the office, Fortunate Prospect was also stretched out napping, although he bypassed the bed of hay for a bed of undisturbed snow.   If you think winter coats don’t offer plenty of insulation, just think how cold it would be stretched out flat in six inches of snow without that thick fuzzy coat!

With my pockets stuffed full of mints, my first stop for the morning was the annex farm.  Most of the horses over there were dozing, pasture buddies standing side by side with one foot propped and ears drooping. Wallenda came over and immediately looked for his peppermint.  Wallenda usually doesn’t crunch his mints right away, preferring to let them melt in his mouth.  Combined with his propensity for drooling when you pat him, pretty soon his slobber was a nice, sticky, bright pink.  My jacket is sticky, my hands were sticky and there is a nice pink splotch in the snow where he was standing.  But I rubbed his face while he drooled on me.  Another mint, a kiss on the nose and I wandered off into the barn to see Benburb and W.C Jones.  Bennie, as you know, is just about the nicest, kindest horse ever. It would never enter his mind to be mean, cranky, difficult, rambunctious, jealous, or anything other than just plain nice.  Jonesy, on the other hand, is the most jealous horse on the farm, (well, except maybe for Awad, who has had years of practice at being jealous. Or perhaps Tinner, whose horse ego knows no bounds…) Jonesy is inside during the day.  He could look out his stall window and see me patting Wallenda.  He didn’t like that, so he neighed and neighed at us.  Then he didn’t like me patting Bennie across the hall, so he paced and kicked and neighed some more.  He quieted, briefly, when I stopped to see him but as soon as I moved down the line he started again.  He must exhaust himself.

I left the annex and headed back over to the main farm, visiting with The Wicked North and Marquetry.  I stopped in the big barn, where Bluesthestandard is inside recovering from a twisted ankle.  In the small barn Commentator is on the same kind of stall restriction, for the same reason.  I thought that Blue was a little, shall we say, displeased at being stuck inside.  But Tator?  He is downright mad!  He loves his outside time. I can understand Tator getting wound up and twisting something, because that’s his personality.  But you would think Blue would have more sense. Contrast them with Glitterman, whose lumpy, stiff, arthritic knees make him somewhat unstable when he walks.  But you don’t see G-man twisting an ankle.  Nope, he’s far too smart for that.

This afternoon we had a tour, a 12 year old and her parents from California. They were in town for the USEF awards dinner, as our visitor is a champion rider in her age group.  These were some serious horse people, and yet each stallion that took a carrot elicited a giggle and a grin.  Sunshine told us he was the greatest horse ever, and Spirit gave kisses.  Delay of Game, was (yet again) lying in his same spot, in his same pile of hay.  He has found the perfect spot, I guess—he can be comfortable while watching the road, the driveway, the office and the barn from his vantage point.  I guess he figures why not conserve some energy while he’s surveying his kingdom?

We finished up our tour with the usual suspects—Kiri’s Clown, Swan’s Way, Awad, Leave Seattle, Pops and Ring.   Silver Charm played some soccer with Michael, Dan and Flick jostled for carrots, Ogygian, Bull and Clever visited and munched some treats.  Typical for Old Friends, but still something special each and every time we meet a new visitor.

We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.

-Val

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Sunday January 23, 2011

  1. Anne

    It is always fun to read your posts, Val. You all truly love this group of lucky thoroughbreds. It is intersting how some are jealous and others could care less as they know their turn is coming. It reminds me of past classroom children and the difficulties of teaching them they had to wait their turn and that I liked them just as much…. harder to convey this to a horse, though.
    It is very cold up here in the Adirondacks in NY where it is snowy but below zero. Winter is alive and well. Stay warm and thanks for sharing your day with the “kids”. It made my day.

  2. Dear Val: It feels as if we`re with you, making rounds — thank you for these notes. Please tell Mr. Blowen thank you, too, for a pair of notes he sent zenyatta.com before AND after Eclipse Awards last Monday. First he was comforting, then he was COMFORTING, as we waited for Diary Post #62. Practice may make perfect, but for some maiden aunts and mother hens of a certain age, practicing for the waits coming up — ‘Z`s ‘ booking and the gestation — it did seem as if we were only beginning, and not getting better .. . `til Mr. B`s words came over, especially, “THE BEST IS YET TO COME.” Worked wonders. Again, like your tours from the page. K.

  3. Colmel

    This was such a happy note to read. Then I got the news flash about Jade Hunter! I’ve been admiring him all month on my calendar, and now he’s gone. Where DID the time go? I remember when he went to stud! I remember visiting him as a young stud. I guess time marches on. I’m just so blessed to have been able to meet so many of these wonderful horses in their early lives. I’m doubly blessed that there is Old Friends where I can still visit them. Guess I’d better hurry! I’ve already missed the opportunity to reconnect with too many of them.

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