As you all know, it has been a difficult week at Old Friends. Last Saturday Awad suffered a heart attack in his paddock, and on Sunday Cozy Miss passed from complications due to Cushing’s Disease. Both horses lived long and full lives, and were deeply loved by many people. We received so many condolences this week from so many people, and we appreciate every single one.
But as is always the case, it’s now a week later and the horses make it abundantly clear just how life goes on. The horses do not let you linger in grief—they want their attention now, please.
This morning, I convinced one of our tourists to scratch Bull’s back. After some initial hesitation, the man really put some muscle into it, and Bull was happy as can be. But when the man’s wife began scratching her husband’s back at the same time, it was one of those wish-for-a-camera moments. Kind of a chain of back scratching, pass it on…
On the subject of back scratches, everyone always gets a kick out of the horses that make funny faces when you find a particularly good itchy spot. Bull makes a great face: kind of a scrunched-up, just-ate-something-really-sour-but-it’s-so-good expression. Kiri’s Clown is another one who gets all blissful and Wallenda, next door at the annex, is the same. We can add Patton to that list, as well. When we found that really itchy spot today, he drooled, swayed and just about climbed the fence to get closer. When you add to that just how much he loves to be patted, hugged, and otherwise fussed over, you have one great horse to introduce to people. Between Patton and Sunshine Forever next door, there was a lot of fussing being done at that part of the farm this afternoon.
Given as hot as it was today, and it was plenty hot and humid, people seemed to want to shorten the tour time by a few minutes. Marquetry made out like a bandit—since he is inside the barn and out of the hot sun during the day, everyone was more than happy to spend extra time with him. He got his share and then some of love and carrots. (Love and Carrots—probably should be the Old Friends’ motto!) The afternoon tour had a big handful of kids, ranging in age from maybe 10 on down to 18 months. As is true for so many of the stallions, kids–especially little girls—are the visitor of choice for Marq. He dropped his head right down to toddler level and took extra care with little hands. He is quite the gentleman.
Danthebluegrassman likes kids as well, and for some reason, he really likes to nuzzle his lips in the hair of small blonde kids. The kids inevitably giggle, and I suspect the giggles are what Dan really likes. This afternoon: blonde girl, Dan’s lips, lots of giggles, everyone’s happy!
We had some intense rain last night, with mixed results. Bull and Commentator, for example, were relatively clean. The rain washed away the week’s sweat and surface dirt, leaving softer, cleaner coats. But then again, there was Pops. He was covered in mud head to toe, including some especially large, dried clumps on his forehead. He did not look particularly like a movie star today, more like a little boy out playing in the mud.
With the long stretch of heat we’ve been having, people ask me all the time how the horses handle the weather. Given a choice, of course the horses much prefer cooler temperatures. But they all have plenty of water and the grass is green, so they manage just fine. Gramps took his normal stroll around his field this morning, albeit at a slower pace. Special Ring splashed in his mud puddle this afternoon. Ogygian and Clever Allemont hung out under their respective trees, in the shade. Delay of Game used his automatic waterer as a splash pool, plunging his head into the water and splashing all over his face, neck and chest. Some of the horses use their run-in sheds for shade. Kiri’s Clown, for example, rarely ventures out of his shed during the day, unless it’s approaching dinner time. He is more than content under cover, napping and swishing flies. There is a tall, weedy plant that has escaped the mower right in front of his shed, giving him some additional camouflage. If you didn’t know he was in there, you might never see him.
It’s hot, that’s for sure, but we continue to offer tours daily. Call the office at 502-863-1775 to make a reservation. We hope you can visit us soon. In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends!