Sunday April 29, 2012

It seems like forever since I’ve written a blog!  After taking most of April off from tour duty (vacation and family visit time) it felt good to be back in the swing of things today.  Despite the potential for thunderstorms, the weather cooperated, the horses were happy, and we were very busy.  We saw people who made reservations, drops-ins, van tours, returning regulars, first-timers, adults, kids, grandparents, locals, people visiting Kentucky for the first time, you name it!  It makes the day go by quickly, that’s for sure. And everyone seemed to have a great time.

I think all of the horses enjoyed the day as well, with two exceptions.  Both Afternoon Deelites and Kiri’s Clown are sporting their spring-time grazing muzzles.  Grazing muzzles fasten onto their halters, and only allow for small bites of grass at a time.  The grass is especially lush right now, and both horses are especially sensitive to foot problems as a result of weight gain.  So on go the muzzles, and out come the resulting bad moods!  AD refused to come over this morning—he sulked in the far corner of his paddock with his back to us.  Kiri also refused to come over and once we walked to him, (because who trains who, exactly?) he immediately started trying to knock his muzzle off, using me as the means to do so.    It was very clear how aggravated both horses were feeling.

In their defense, AD and Kiri are not the only, ahem, chubby horses out there.  Patton is looking especially well-rounded.  And Commentator has not missed any meals either, that’s for sure.  There are also a lot of sleek, dappled coats out there in those fields.  Tator, and Williamstown look especially fine right now.  You and I also looks great.  In a few weeks the sun will have taken its toll and bleached coats, but for now, Tator, Tinner’s Way, and Creator look like copper pennies.  Danthebluegrassman is carrot-orange, Kiri, Williamstown, You and I and AD are black, and Pops and Ring are deep red-brown. 

I’d like to add Bull to the list of shiny and pretty, except he was pretty much covered in mud. Gray or white coats aren’t generally shiny anyway, because they don’t reflect light well.  And I know we had some rain last night, but surely there wasn’t enough to get Bull that muddy.  I didn’t see any big mud puddles in his paddock, but nonetheless, Bull was covered.  He enjoyed his carrots, but what he really wanted was a good back scratching.  I’m sure dried mud itches…

There was one large mud puddle this morning, directly in the middle of the path up the hill to see Tinner and Willie.  We had a little girl on the tour, maybe 5 years old, wearing stylish pink rain boots.  She watched Marley walk directly through the puddles, and her mom could just tell she wanted to do the same.  Mom paid close attention, until that one split second. Sure enough, the little girl was awfully proud, standing there in nearly knee-deep mud.  When her dad reached out and pulled her out of the mud, she came right out of her boots.  I know it probably isn’t good to encourage such behavior, but we all laughed like crazy.  Mom and dad were good sports—they pulled clean jeans out of the car when the tour ended and all was well. But the look of pride, mixed with “ I’m in trouble now,” on that little girl’s face as she stood in that puddle? Classic, and hilarious!

Clever and Ogygian were very happy to see that we had little girls on the tours today.  Both horses are quite content to be fussed over by the elementary/pre-teen/tween set; in fact I think they would exchange all other visitors for more girls.  Flick is much the same way, and Dan also enjoys kids.  Pops and Ring ran their tag-team routine for more carrots, and the most active horse today was Prized, who jogged and cantered along the fence with us.

By the way, a giant of a stallion died today.  Three Chimneys lost their great old man, Dynaformer.  I know they are all mourning the loss of one of the great sires of our times, as well as a major, major character and personality who was an integral part of their farm.   I feel badly for them.

Next weekend is a busy one, as Kentucky Derby weekend always is.  Patton is attending the Governor’s Breakfast in Frankfort on Derby morning.  On Sunday, we have our annual Homecoming Barbeque.  Hopefully we will see some of you then.  In the meantime, thanks for spending this Sunday with Old Friends.


P.S.  Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my Dad!


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5 responses to “Sunday April 29, 2012

  1. Lois Brooks

    Yes Val it was a sad day yesterday for Three Chimneys as the rest of the horse racing world for the loss of Dynaformer. The old man did it his way and died on Barbaro’s birthday. Know they are running free and happy now.
    So good to have you back. Enjoy reading your pieces every week to find out how all your “kids” are doing.

  2. colmel

    Yes, it’s wonderful to have you back. We’ve missed your blog.

    Ah, Dynaformer. I was a strong proponent of his right from the start. We were lucky enough to breed a mare to him his first two seasons. I almost feel like I’ve lost one of my own. I sure can pick ’em. Both he and Kris S (Prized’s daddy) stood for $5,000 at one point in their careers. Just knew they’d be major, MAJOR stallions. Just hope that one or more of “Big D’s” boys becomes the standard bearer. The breed needs that strength and distance factor.

  3. Joan Pierce

    Thanks for the updates, really enjoy your reports.

  4. Kathy Breakall

    It’s great to have you back and news on the going-ons of the inhabitants at OF.
    Yes, we have lost a great one in Dynaformer: He truly led a charmed life and was much loved. I pray that all his kind would be so blessed.

  5. Suzanne Donaldson

    Glad you are back, I really miss the Blog when you are away

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