Sunday May 15, 2011

Today, I realized rain is a four-letter word!  As the downpour strengthened this afternoon Dan and Flick watched us walk around from inside their shed, probably wondering just what makes all us silly people tick.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  This morning was better described as misty, as opposed to rainy, and it was wonderful weather for horses.  There was so much activity on the farm it was hard to know where to look.  If you watched Pops and Ring bucking, you’d miss Swannie cantering in circles.    It was the Old Friends version of “Dancing with the Stars…”  And if you turned to look at Swannie, you missed something else.

This morning we had a photographer from Oklahoma stop by for her first visit to Old Friends.  My first thought was, “oh no, it’s such a gray and rainy day.”  But it turned out fantastic, in large part because there was so much activity to photograph.  Marquetry reared three or four times, straight up in the air.  Gulch watched all Marq’s antics and you could just see him rolling his eyes.  Kiri’s Clown backed right into the fence, letting us know he wanted his butt scratched.  Swannie, as mentioned earlier, has obviously been watching video of Zenyatta because he was working on his dance step.  (Never seen Zen dance?  Go here and watch her.)

Pops and Ring staged a mock stallion fight, rearing up with the cloudy sky as a backdrop.  Then for good measure, they ran around their shed and slid to a stop in front of us.  The sliding stops had the added benefit of spraying mud in our direction, which was likely their plan all along.   Patton was fascinated by a visitor’s umbrella, curiously sniffing and nipping at it.  He wasn’t spooked by it at all; I actually wonder  if he was thinking he should get one to use while grazing in the rain!  More likely, he hoped it was edible.

Bull arched his neck and pranced for his photo. Apparently he’s heard the rumor that Breyer is doing a model of him.  I saw a photo of the model today, and it’s Bull, all right.  He’s never going to let anyone forget that he is the first Old Friends horse to be “Breyered.”  Pops is going to have a fit. Commentator is probably already miffed and I imagine Tinner is just beside himself! Seriously, it’s quite an honor and Bull is an excellent choice. 

We walked far enough up the hill today to see Mighty Mecke, Wallace Station, The Name’s Jimmy, Tinner and Williamstown.  Tinner was REALLY mad that we walked all the way up there without treats and he could barely contain his overwhelming irritation.  He literally was vibrating with annoyance!  Willy wasn’t much happier, although the other horses were all just fine with a pat and a kiss.

Recent retiree Ball Four moved to the main farm this week, and was in his stall in the main barn for us to visit today. He likes carrots and mints, although I am not too sure how he feels about people.  You know, some horses are happy to visit, regardless of your treat status.  It seems Ball Four might require some level of bribery—but he’s in good company with the likes of Creator, Leave Seattle, and Gulch. They all expect a bribe or two, as well!  Ball Four is a very pretty horse, though and I know he will be very popular with visitors.

By the time this afternoon rolled around, the morning mist gave way to actual rain, continuous and cold.  The morning’s activity gave way to shed time and visitors (as well as the tour guide and her dog!) went from mildly damp to outright soaked.  Sunshine, Swannie, and Awad peered out at us with no interest in visiting.  Even Pops and Ring retreated to their shed, as did Dan and Flick.  Silver Charm huddled in the back corner of his shed, gazing at his pin-ups of Zenyatta and daydreaming “if only.” 

It wasn’t until dinnertime that anyone ventured out of the sheds.  Rain or not, dinner reigns!  After a couple of van tours and a large bus, we finished up the day with some veterinary interns and their friends.  Tim had a group of northern Kentucky middle school students. For a rainy day, we sure had a lot of visitors. 

The horses are all doing great, and we hope you can visit us soon.  But in the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!  -Val


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6 responses to “Sunday May 15, 2011

  1. MRO

    Welcome Ball Four!

  2. Anne

    Ha! I loved the Zenyatta references and can see Silver Charm, the little devil, with his pin up pictures of Queen Z. ha… I was really laughing at that and the Dancing wth the Stars inference with Swannie. You could play, the up the swannie river toon. Whatever it is called, as he dances. Make him think they wrote it just for him.
    Sounds like a great week of vistitors and fun. It was fun to read the week from the Old Friends Camp. Thanks Val!
    Hugs and kisses to the campers.
    You should put Siver in a van and van him up to Lanes End to see his girlfriend. They could make a movie out of this love affair. Plenty of old titles could be used. Charmerella comes to mind… Beauty and The Beastie Charm Boy. :>)

    • oldfriendsblog

      We strongly suspect, but have no real proof, that Charmie takes road trips at night and stands outside Zen’s barn at Lane’s End, hoping for a glimpse of the Queen…

  3. This photographer had a great time! You don’t always get the action and fun shots, so overlooking the mud was a minor detail. I truly admire your organization as a rescuer myself and will definitely visit next time I get out there. Being able to touch and hug Derby winners was amazing as a horse lover. Most horses I photograph are the next “hopeful”, so this was a true treat. Owners are often afraid to let them do much for risk of injury. Your guys are in their true element of just “being horses”. This makes for great natural interaction and art! Thanks for allowing us to be a part of their lives.

  4. Susan

    Hi Val,
    It’s nice to have you back on Sunday evenings! I just wanted for you to pass along a BIG congrats to Kiri’s Clown! I’m sure he’s aware that he is becoming “famous” again with his grandson! Wow, I love “Get Stormy”…. What a gorgeous horse! A nice little tribute to Kiri in Eric Mitchell’s Bloodhorse article “Sullivan’s Travels”. Hoping Kiri will get to read it!!! 🙂 Hope you had a nice vacation time! Thanks for the updates! (Stormy Passage doing ok???)

    • oldfriendsblog

      Kiri is a pretty terrific horse, one of my favorites. I’m sure he likes having his fame revisited, and it probably irritates Awad! Stormy Passage is actually doing quite well, I am looking forward to him being available for tours! -Val

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