It’s the last night in Florida, and tonight the barn is empty.
It was terribly strange to not have to feed horses tonight.
And if you think that giving up Final Call was a struggle, you should have seen me walking away from my yearlings.
I was so proud of them today. We put the colt in the trailer first. Step, step, hop, cookie cookie oh alfalfa! and that was done with. The filly followed right behind, and they went to work on their haynets.
I can’t imagine what the drive to Ocala must have been like for them – they’ve never been off this very isolated farm, and there we were on a busy interstate, being passed at ridiculous rates of speed by semi trailers and rock trucks and motorcycles. What an education to have in a few short hours! But Thoroughbreds are smart – crazy smart – and they’ll be doing a lot more road-tripping in the future.
We dropped them off in their barn – a huge, beautiful, airy affair with a shedrow, a center aisle, and open, wired walls so that they could still be nose to nose just as they had been their entire lives – and then went into town to get some lunch. If we’d just left and gone straight home, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But we came back again. When we got out of the truck, they whinnied to us.
When we went back to the truck for something, and then went back into the barn – they whinnied to us.
That was a tough good-bye.
But you have to send your kids off to college, right? So they can have great careers and lives of their own… right? And their parents probably want lives of their own, too… yeah.
We’re packing… or, rather, Cory is packing. I should go help. In the words of Peter Pan – here we gooooooooo!