Letter From Michael.... Some people they say are "glass half full" or "glass half empty" people. I'm, for better or worse, a "glass overflowing" person. Even in these dreadful times, at Old Friends joy explodes from every retiree to every autumn leaf. While I'm a huge supporter of horses going on to second careers through the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance's myriad of professional organizations, it sometimes creates the mistaken impression that complete retirement is a second-rate alternative. Nothing could be further from the truth. The idea that they need to be ridden, or otherwise serving humans, to fulfill themselves--or us--is, at best, inaccurate. They need us to feed them, provide health care and, basically, be their butlers. When they retire to Old Friends, they finally get to train us. The shoe is, literally, on the other hoof.
I was also reminded of their inherent value while visiting our new location, Old Friends at Ashton Grove, a beautiful assisted-living complex for both our Thoroughbreds and their human friends. One human resident told me that his wife had died 11 months ago. Since then, he had not had one minute of joy. But, now, coming to the paddock fence feeding carrots to Porfido and Daytona, he had his life restored. And he was crying.
Personally, I think we've only touched the top of the iceberg when it comes to how much these horses give us. They are so much more than ornaments in a pasture.
We're doing some limited tours this fall--see below. We have COVID restrictions in place for everyone's safety, so we hope you can visit. We have several new horses, including Belmont Stakes and Travers winner Birdstone. We look forward to seeing you, and, as always, we can't thank you enough for your continued support.
LOTS OF WAYS TO HELP OLD FRIENDS THIS SEASON