Signs of spring are steadily popping up in central Kentucky. Robins are hopping around, pecking for worms. As I walked around the farm, I looked down and saw green shoots everywhere. The wild onions that Danthebluegrassman loves are about 6 inches tall. Horse slobber has turned grass green, not hay brown. Mud is slick and gooey and ever-present. And best of all, as I ran my hand down Gulch’s neck today, I came away with a palm full of winter coat!
My sister-in-law’s nephew’s second grade class is doing a project based on the children’s book “Flat Stanley.” The idea is for each child’s paper alter ego to be passed from person to person and eventually back home, providing a kind of virtual geography lesson. “Flat Nathan” arrived in Kentucky late last week, and today he visited Old Friends. The people on my afternoon tour kindly helped introduce Flat Nathan to some horses. Gulch thought Nathan was mildly interesting. The Wicked North and Bull in the Heather posed beautifully. Little Silver Charm just wanted to know if Flat Nathan was edible! From here Flat Nathan will head out to another location, and another adventure.
We have a new tour guide learning the ropes, so Marlene walked along on our tour this afternoon. I think she has gone out with a couple of other tour guides and today she got the Sunday version, or as I call it, tour lite. For better or worse, Sunday tours are mostly heavy on the carrots and slobber part of things! With temperatures near 60 and the rain and thunder holding off until later in the afternoon, it was an enjoyable day to be outside.
This morning as I walked around the farm, nearly every horse in view was down for a nap. Gramps (whose actual 30th birthday was this week) was down for a snooze, as were Free Spirits Joy, Delay of Game, Kiri’s Clown, Swan’s Way and Patton. The only standing horse I could see from the office was Sunshine, and even he was clearly napping. Patton had made himself a comfy bed right in the middle of his hay pile, complete with pillow. Delay of Game was in his favorite position at the high point of his paddock, watching the happenings as he lay curled up like a big dog.
Many of the aches and pains we saw over the latter part of the winter from the frozen, rutty ground have healed up. Bluesthestandard is still stall-bound but doing much better. Commentator is back to his normal self. Glitterman’s arthritis is about as good as it gets. Falcon Scott is in Cherono’s paddock while Cherry gets limited turn-out after he pulled something in his back leg. But even he was trotting around perfectly sound today.
A couple people have asked me for updates on Stormy Passage, and I’ll continue to keep everyone up-to-date. Stormy is doing fine—still no visitors, but he is shiny and happy in his stall. I think he’s put on a couple pounds, to tell you the truth. I heard he is headed off for some tendon treatment at the vet clinic this week. Today I saw several cards and donations that came in over the past couple weeks for Stormy, so thank you for that. I can’t wait until he is a tour horse—he is going to LOVE it!
And speaking of horses that love their new job? Let me tell you, that Patton must think he has died and gone to heaven! He comes over to greet every visitor with pricked ears. He is gentle, kind and very handsome. You know, I have always thought that Old Friends must be great fun for old racehorses—all the attention they love and remember from their athletic heyday, without actually having to DO anything!
I was pretty excited to see so many little hints of spring today. As I write this, we are in the midst of an early spring thunderstorm—a few booms, some lightning and a nice downpour. Next up for central Kentucky are the redbuds, my very favorite sign of spring. (Well, redbuds and baby horses in the fields and of course, Keeneland!) We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.