It was a frosty late morning in December as Rachel Alexandra stood calmly in the aisle of the Cabernet barn at Stonestreet. She exuded presence and class, as always, and her coat was beginning to grow fuzzy and was soft to the touch. Usually I am a picture-taking fanatic, but lighting aside, something about this occasion made me put my camera aside for the most part and just watch her. I am awestruck at her presence with each visit, but this time felt even more special. It was the first time I had seen her since her health problems earlier this year, and it was wonderful to see with my own eyes how vibrant and healthy she looks. Her signature white eye and distinctive blaze turned towards our admiring group from time to time, but mostly she looked to the doorway.
It was soon my turn to approach her, and she turned to the sound of my voice and the outstretched hand I offered. I didn’t have treats and she was probably expecting them, but I was glad to get the moment to connect with her eye to eye. I spoke to her softly and it felt like we were in our own world. While I definitely love horses and connect with them on a personal level, normally my blogs and my visits to farms will maintain a more professional tone.
Yet I don’t know how you don’t feel some deeper connection to Rachel. It’s evident at the farm, and it’s definitely part of me. I have watched her through the various phases of her life since she was two, and there’s no denying I love her. She deserves it.
She was turned out shortly after, the first time I’ve seen her turned out, and she neighed once commandingly on the way to the paddock, then was silent. She first just walked around and the other mares in the field began to come towards her in single file. When she reached a further end of the paddock, she began to run briefly, tail held high.
Cold brought the visit to an end, but it was another perfect day of Stonestreet’s hospitality and being in Rachel’s presence.