It seems to me that by the middle of July in Kentucky we are usually experiencing hot and dusty days, watching as the grass turns brown and crispy. This year we have had the hot days all right, but there is no dust to be found. The grass is thick, green and amazingly lush because we’ve had a lot of rain. Today was no different– at times this afternoon it rained so hard that you couldn’t see the big barn from the office. Horses love that weather—a break from the heat, refreshing rain, juicy grass and, oh yeah. Fresh mud!
This was Breyerfest weekend at the Horse Park, which for Old Friends means plenty of family tours. Tim Ford took over the morning tour for me, and I wandered into the office just in time to see his group of nearly 20 people finish up. Add three or four van tours to our regular afternoon schedule, and we were definitely busy.
Of course, fate granted Tim the dry tour—this afternoon we weren’t so lucky. But with people here from as far away as California and Oregon, we carried on. Among our visitors this afternoon was a woman writing an article for a touring magazine. She had a photographer along, so of course the skies opened up and nearly every horse was covered in fresh goopy mud. Well, I think Creator was clean except for a large tangle of grass and sticks in his mane. Flick was clean. Pops and Ring were too busy performing to roll right away so they weren’t too bad. But Patton, Sunshine, Commentator and Clever were covered, and I mean covered. Sunshine even had mud in his left ear.
I told a few people today that this was Bull’s last quiet Breyerfest, since next year there will be a Bull inthe Heather Breyer model. Bull will enter his second phase of fame—from racehorse to collectable horse. Today he was practicing being Cute and Adorable (and mind you, Bull isn’t really the Cute and Adorable type). He presented his left side to be scratched, and then his right side, then his butt. Through it all he grinned as only a happy horse can: with his eyes closed, his lip quivering and with a nice stream of drippy drool.
After tours this afternoon, Tim, Charlotte, Greg, Marley and I took a ride up to the back 40 to see the gang in the back of the farm. As we drove up the hill the horses watched us, wondering if we were bringing dinner. As soon as they saw we weren’t bearing grain, back to grazing they went. Mighty Mecke has transitioned to his summer color—he’s black in winter, dusty mouse-colored in summer. The Name’s Jimmy and Royal Orage barely spared us a glance. Williamstown was hiding off in the back of his field and all you could see was his top half. He loves that field, where he can more or less hide if he doesn’t want to be found. Tinner met us at the fence, but with no dinner in sight he didn’t much care either.
Cherono and Ball Four have moved in with Kudos and Bonapaw, so I was curious to see how the four of them were doing together. I’m happy to say they seem just fine—Cherono and Ball Four bucked and kicked their way over to say hi, while Bonapaw stood off to the side looking regal. Kudos was too busy eating to care at all. I suspect Ball Four and Cherono are thrilled to be one another’s best buddy. After all, it’s no doubt been awhile since either horse was in a large field with other horses—Cherono because he was a racehorse and a stallion, (now he’s a gelding) and Ball Four because he was racing until fairly recently.
The other two horses that looked pretty adorable were the duo of EscapedfromNewYork and AP Slew. They are also best pals, and Escaped has grown to be one chubby, happy, not-so-little horse. Every time I see him I am so glad he is with us. If you don’t know his story, Escaped was given his name after “escaping” from a farm where nearly 200 horses were found starving. Escaped had no name, no registration, and a previously broken ankle that had fused itself. He has grown significantly, both in height and width, since he came to Old Friends. All our horses are happy, but to me, Escaped looks especially content.
As I am writing this tonight, another summer thunderstorm is rolling in and it looks like more rain is on the horizon. Breyerfest is over for another year, and we are headed into the height of summer. At Old Friends, tours head out several times a day. We hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, enjoy your summer, wherever you are!