Sunday March 13, 2011

It’s hard to describe how wonderful a nice spring day feels after a long cold winter.  But today was a great day all around, for horses, people, dogs and cats.  While the temperature stayed in the 50s, the sun is getting warmer and the Kentucky spring wind is drying out some of the mud.

This morning I was visiting Glitterman as he soaked up the sun in his round pen.  I started scratching his back and quickly found out that winter hair is coming off by the handful.  G-man loves to have his back scratched, not to mention his neck, his chest, his forehead and his butt!   And when I had sufficiently scratched his right side, he turned around and presented his left side for my consideration.  I had to shake out my sweatshirt and rub horsehair out of my eyes when I was finished, but Glitterman seemed very pleased.

All that shedding hair is definitely itchy, too. Lots of rolling, fence scratching, rubbing and general “get this hair off me” behavior today.  Creator was on his back, all four legs in the air, as his twisted back and forth, side to side trying to get all the itchy spots taken care of.  Patton must have been leaning against his fence to rub, because there is a cracked fence board exactly at butt height that wasn’t there last week.  Patton is not that tall, but he is no lightweight.  He is a solid hunk of horse, and he must have really leaned into the fence to crack that board.

Along with the shedding, there was plenty of napping in the sunshine today.  When I first get to the farm in the morning, I tend to take a look across the fields to see what is happening.  Today, Patton and Sunshine were lying down next to one another, or as close as two stallions can get with a double fence between them.  I think they have kind of bonded, leaving Awad as the odd man out and forcing him to hang with Swan’s Way.  It’s not really a good match for Awad as he prefers to hang out with the cool kids.  From Awad’s perspective, Swannie doesn’t really make the cut!

The other horse who kind of surprised me with a long nap today was Danthebluegrassman.  I’ve seen him nap before, but he was down in the same spot for at least a couple hours.  He only moved enough to follow the path of the sun along the slight slope in his paddock. Eventually, he was flat on his side with his head and neck stretched right out for maximum sun exposure.  I think Flick loved it.  He literally tiptoed around, quietly following us for as many treats as he could get without competition from Dan.  You might think I am exaggerating about the tiptoeing, but I am not. He barely rustled so much as a single blade of grass, and was especially happy when I met him behind the run-in shed, out of sight of Dan.  Oh, he definitely knew what he was doing.

We had some very nice visitors today from Iowa and Ohio, as well as a van tour group led by Bull’s friend Nick.  While I always love to introduce people to the Old Friends horses, among my very favorite things is introducing horse people of other breeds to Thoroughbreds.  The comments are always the same.  “I thought Thoroughbreds were meaner/bigger/crazier, but they are really nice/sweet/friendly.”   Not that the stallions are always nice, sweet, and friendly, of course, but for the most part they are fine ambassadors.  It doesn’t matter whether its Glitterman with his tongue hanging out,   Marquetry with his big bright eyes, Dan and Flick jostling for the best carrot position, Awad huffing and puffing, or Special Ring showing his lip tattoo.  It’s hard not to smile, laugh and be sucked in by the charm and personality of the Old Friends horses!

We’ll be having more great spring days going forward.  We hope you can visit us soon, but in the meantime thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.




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8 responses to “Sunday March 13, 2011

  1. Anne

    How nice to hear of such a peaceful Sunday,Val. Nice to see green grass as I doubt we will see it here until May. I always enjoy your blogs and look forward to Sunday. How funny it was to visualize Flick tiptoe around. People do not realize how much they can be compared to a regular pet when treated as one. It doesn’t take long for them to figure things out.
    Thanks for another wonderful day at Old Friends.

  2. Gae

    Always enjoy reading about the G-Man and seeing a nice shot of him. You really take good care of him and he clearly loves it. I hope he has a good Spring. After seeing Dan and Flick in action last May, I’m happy to read that Flick had his own special time for treats. Look out fences — here comes Patton!

  3. Nancy St.John

    How is Tinners Way doing? I haven’t heard anything about him in a while.

    • oldfriendsblog

      Tinner is doing great–he moved across from Williamstown last fall, toward the back of the farm. He does better with more “alone” time! Much like Willie, they both are more content with peace and quiet. But he seems extremely happy with his new life at Old Friends. -Val

  4. Nice blog! I love to check it out and read what everyone is up to. I do have a question . I know that you mentioned that the stallions were sleeping about as close as they could get to each other with a fence in between and that they sort of “bonded”.

    Do the stallions get bothered by other stallions around? Do they get along? Have they chilled out with age, or do they just not care as much because there are many mares around? Sorry if these are dumb questions, but I don’t know that much about horses. I was just wondering how you manage to have everyone get along?

    • oldfriendsblog

      Hi Michele.
      Good questions! The stallions are always in their own individual paddocks, which is essentially their “territory.” As is usual in Kentucky, there is a walkway, about the width of a small car, between each paddock–thus there are two fences between each stallion and they cannot reach across to bite or kick one another. Having said that, they do get used to having certain neighbors and will often hang out near to one another as they nap or graze. And in the case of Awad especially, moving a new stallion into a paddock can take some getting used to. The stallions do mellow once they aren’t actively breeding anymore, but they are still stallions. They don’t mellow enough to live together!

  5. Tonya R

    What a great blog 🙂 I have to put Old Friends on my “places to visit” for SURE! The personalities all sound so wonderful ~ as is the work you are doing there… I look forward to keeping up with what’s happening on your farm until I can make it back to the BlueGrass State! Enjoy the sunshine & the sweet signs of spring ~

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