Diary Post #137

Photo by Barbara Livingston


SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!

Good Morning All!

What a day I had yesterday…all filled with GREAT surprises! I now know all of my friends here at Lane’s End had a wonderful surprise planned for me…and they filled TEAM ZENYATTA in on it!  

For days, as you know, I have been walking around in my new paddock.  The Farm wanted me to be totally familiar with every inch of the area.  This is all part of my ‘baby steps’ process.   Each day, I was given a bit more space to investigate and explore with Charles, Donna and the crew here!   They ultimately had me on a very loose hold during these adventures. I was also given ample time to look at all of my beautiful surroundings and thoroughly relax and enjoy my time outdoors.

After several days of this, the FARM felt I was totally comfortable with my new paddock. A plan was then developed to establish the day when I could be ‘on my own’ outside. It was organized for this to take place YESTERDAY. TEAM ZENYATTA WAS PART OF THE PLAN…and they flew into Lexington TO SHARE THIS MOMENT WITH ME!  

As I was being prepared for my morning ‘walk’, David and Mike picked up Team Z at the airport. SURPRISE!   Within minutes, they were all right here with me  at my Lane’s End Barn!  SUCH FUN!   (Carrots and mints for EVERYBODY!)  Yippee!

Barbara Livingston, from DRF, and Anne M. Eberhardt and Alex, from THE BLOODHORSE, were also on hand.  Sweetly, ANN MOSS  was going to take some of her own videos…….and MY DEAR JOHN  brought his new camera to add to the fun!  

When I was ready, we all walked out to my paddock together. It was crisp…but not as cold as the last time they were here. For quite a bit of time, I walked around with Charles.  We wanted to show everyone how well I handled this. We walked all over this large paddock…and I checked out everything….just like I have been doing for days now. Ann, Jerry, John, Dottie, Mario and Carmen…all thought I was doing very well. I was really feeling very confident in this space and with the footing.

Then, suddenly, (and to my surprise…and delight) Charles took the shank off me.  I was allowed to be  ‘ON MY OWN’. Lane’s End positioned many people from their staff all over the perimeters of the paddock area as they wanted to be sure I was very logical and safe at this moment.

GUESS WHAT???? I WAS! At first, I just played around with some alfalfa they had carefully positioned in 2 places in the center area of the paddock. I moved from one patch of this to another…walking and grazing. Then I thought…Hmmmm…this is different!  I don’t really have anyone right next to me. Suddenly I looked up and saw so many of my friends all standing several feet away. At that moment, I noticed Mario. I walked over to him and stood there. He hugged me and scratched my neck like he has done for YEARS! It was so special! I walked over to the Moss’. Ann and Jerry both hugged me and gave me some great treats from home.

Then I looked at my dear JOHN…and walked over to him. He gave me several loving pats and then looked down and ‘checked my legs’. (Old habits just don’t go away. This is a TRAINER kinda’ thing. John has checked my legs every single morning for over 4 1/2 years. It was like great old times!) For several minutes more, I was able to walk around and greet all of my other friends. THIS WAS REALLY GOING WELL!

Now…I thought…HMMM! Let’s see what happens when I walk farther out to the other part of the paddock. So I did. I walked around looking at everything. I was careful..and enjoyed this. I WAS ALL BY MYSELF! I stood at one edge of the paddock just staring over the fence. 2 squirrels were playing in the tree…and I just loved watching them. I walked over to see the geese playing in the pond.  I then went to greet all of my Lane’s End friends standing in each part of the paddock…..making sure they knew I was safe.

This went on for many more minutes. I just walked, looked, stood…and enjoyed every single moment.

Then, the thought occurred to me…CAN I JOG OFF and RUN? No lead pony, no Steve, no Mike Smith…no equipment…JUST ME! I put up my tail and planted my feet in the snow. It felt good. I jogged a bit and felt the brisk air on my skin. I stretched my legs and stepped right out! Hmmm, I thought! This is fun…and it is really going well. I went over to the other edge of the paddock. Donna was there to meet me. WOW!!!! Am I really doing this? I’m all by myself!

I pranced to the side of the paddock where all of my other friends were standing. I danced for them…and even walked right over to Dottie and gave her a BIG KISS!

I walked back around and greeted every single person as I made my way to the far side of the paddock! SUDDENLY (my confidence now was really strong)…….. I TOOK OFF! 

I stretched, I bucked, I played…and then I RAN. What a lucky girl! As I rushed across the paddock, I squealed with delight. It was my way of THANKING EVERYONE for my wonderful, wonderful life.

What a LUCKY, LUCKY GIRL I AM!

After running free for several more minutes, Charles put the shank back on me. As you know, they have to monitor my time like this to be sure I am safe and don’t get too excited at first.  The crew then took turns walking me around the paddock some more. Mario took his turn…and it was ALL FABULOUS!

I HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME!

After all of this exercise, it was time to go back to my barn and have something to eat. My friends and TEAM Z followed me and stayed and visited with me for hours.

What A MOMENT, what A DAY…and what SPECIAL MEMORIES!  

I hope to share more photos of this day with you soon. Thank you to Barbara for the one we are using today. This day was all very, very special to me…and I know in my heart it was also very special for all of TEAM Z.  They traveled thousands of miles to share this one new stage of my life with me! They all told me…they would not have missed today for anything!

What more could a GIRL want or have…than so many people who love her SO MUCH!
With love,
HUGS to ALL~
Z

346 comments

  1. Dearest Zenyatta,

  2. Thank you to everyone in Zenyatta’s family for sharing this momentous day with us. It is truly a Christmas gift and made me cry when I read it and watched the video. In a world where there is much sadness, it is so wonderful and renewing to hear and see the beautiful Zenyatta story of love and caring and to watch to her run free.

  3. First Goosebumps & then more of those Happy Tears! I watched the video (several times) then read the AMAZING post by MS. Anderson in Bloodhorse & then finally made it here to Post 37. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better. Read her diary then watched the video AGAIN . . .it was like standing there in the paddock with HER! Zenyatta, Dottie & Barbara L. should write a book. The love expressed between Z & Mario, the look on Ann’s face everything . . .WOW Then when she kicked-up her heels & took off, tail flying high . . .and that whiny. What a vocabulary our Big Girl must have! I wasn’t sure the first time through that it was a whiny. I’m thinking compare dogs barking to the vocal range a coon-hound has. A friend of mine once had a beloved dog he named Ella, as in Fitzgerald, because of her obvious “singing” abilities. Could we expect our beloved Queen to be nominated for a Grammy? O.K. now I’m being silly, maybe, but I have so much Joy within me from seeing this video that I can barely type fast enough. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! Team Z, Lane’s End, geez I want to thank EVERYONE. Feel like a gushing award winner at a banquet. MOST OF ALL – THANK YOU ZENYATTA. . . .YOU MAKE MY HEART SING!!!

  4. hey Zenny i stopped by the farm today and dropped off a pretty pink basket with a teal bow filled with goodies for you and the boys Lexie said she would deliver it for me. Enjoy! You are my Beethovens Ode to Joy and Born Free all wrapped in one Thank you Team Z Thank you Bloodhorse Thank you Lanes End

  5. Check out this video – it’s very well-done and shows clearly what Zenyatta talked about this day. Wow, her tail was UP and she squealed with joy: http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/throughthelens/archive/2010/12/21/zenyatta-has-visitors.aspx

  6. Looking at the pictures and watching the videos of your first free run have been the best Christmas present I could hope for! I almost cried when I saw how happy you were … that’s how happy it made me! Hugs & kisses, sweetie! May you continue to be a blessing to so many and may the blessings continue to flow for you as well! Love you!!

  7. I agree with Janet, PLEASE release a DVD!!!

  8. Zen-I kinda skipped school today, it was early release for Christmas vacation, so I am not really missing muc. So my mom let my brother & I watch your video on your “first” day out! I am not sure how many times we atched, but a lot! Then my mom played Liza G. Fly’s you tube video & let us dance & “horse around” a lit bit! This was so much better than going to school! Actually, I will be learning something special today at my therapeutic riding lessons! I’ve been riding bare-back & I get to get in the saddle for the first time today!

    I find you so beautiful & I talk to my 3 year old brother about you, like, “All” the time…I think you know he has a sick throat & we have to stay home a lot, so watching your videos & having my mom read us stories about your life, helps us get through our days!

    As always, forever in my heart, forever in my dreams!

    Love, Ella

    PS I will leave a note for Santa, not to forget to fly his sleigh down to Lane’s End & leaeve you lots of presents!

  9. Dearest Zenyatta,
    What a special day you must have had for sure, I saw the video on 12-20-10 I saw everything you wrote about in that video, and you got to do all that for the first time on my birthday…a gift to both of us. Seeing John and Mr and Mrs Moss was such a special treat, for you and me and so many of your fans that are still following what our “Champion Zenyatta” is doing, I hope you and Team Zenyatta and your new care givers/friends at Lanes End Farm know how much we apreciate knowing what your doing every day. The pictures, the videos, this diary…we are so grateful for all of those special people and that encludes those keeping this going for us. I got a Zenyatta 2011 calander that was made…ALL YOU EVERY MONTH…WHOOOOWOOOO, my James couldn’t wait to give it to me so I got it as soon as it arrived…I am going to frame every months picture in a special frame and do the whole year on a wall in our bedroom. Our bedroom is done in the whole decor of horses…some are pictures of horses I use to have, and some are pictures of you:).
    My James and I planned our wedding yesterday, we are going to drive to Vegas in April 2011, we live 100 miles away is all,get married, spend one nite, then we’re going to drive to Santa Anita for our honeymoon, spend a few days at the track…thats where we met you a few years ago:)
    For me, the only sad part of your new career is knowing I will never see you there again. But Zenyatta, knowing your happy and hearing from you every day will help me thru all that in time….you will always be “MY Champion, Queen Zenyatta”
    “Zenyatta I Love You”.
    I will write you tomorrow, have a lovely day. Big Hughs.

  10. Hi Z…Wow, what an exciting day for you! Your old friends and your new friends got to share in your special moment…how cool is that? I love the picture by Barbara Livingston (makes me wish I was more talented with a camera) and the video was priceless! I finally got to hear your voice :). It was wonderful. You looked to happy and it made me happy just watching it. Wishing you, and all your friends (old and new)a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year. Christmas Kisses…

  11. I watched your Christmas video. How wonderful to see you running and playing in your paddock, having the time of your life. What a wonderful retirement you are going to have
    Lovya Z.
    Your friend Lynne from British Columbia

  12. BIG HUGGS:):):)

  13. Ebloissant! If you go onto FB, there is a recent photo of Zen’s half sister! She is a big, beautiful girl too-16 hands already someone said & she perks her ears just like the BIG Z! I wonder if that is the “trademark!” Has anyone heard of any news on Z’s half-sister that was born in April of 2010-I thought someone mentioned she was close by…

    WOW Z! What a beautiful family you have!

  14. Hey Zennie: Thank you so much for your Christmas video present!! You looked so beautiful!! You really looked like you were having so much fun kicking up your heals and running free. Well Z, it looks like you’ve really settled in to this new phase of your life. Again, thank you Z, and TEAM Zenyatta for sharing this part of your journey with us. I am so happy Z that you came along in my lifetime. It has been so great having the opportunity to be a fan of such an extraordinary racehorse. With love.

  15. My Dearest Queen Z:

    I look forward to your post every day and cannot find the words to express my love and admiration of you. I also cannot find the words to express my appreciation of Team Z! I must tell you that I had the most beautiful and serene dream about you the other night. I dreamt that I went out to the front of my house (I have acreage) and I saw a lone horse out there without any saddle, bridle, etc. The horse started to approach me and then I realized it was you! I was awestruck and speechless. You laid down on the front lawn and I sat beside you and you rested your head in my lap. I stroked you and just talked about how much I love you. My husband came out and couldn’t believe you were resting in my lap. We couldn’t figure out where you came from but we knew we needed to call Team Z so they wouldn’t worry about you. After that, I woke up. It’s the most beautiful and special dream that I’ve had in a very long time. I love you and Merry Christmas!

  16. I can’t think of a better Christmas present to all of Zen’s fans than that video. Thank you, thank you!!

  17. I, like everyone else, cried as I was reading this. you are one special horse…You are the horse of the century to me!!!!

  18. Should have never read the Diary Post 37 at my desk at work. I was balling my eyes out. Zenyatta, you looked so beautiful running in the snow. I am so glad that Team Z was brought out to be with you for this. I know Mario was a happy man to see you again. All of your Team Z members are great and thanks to all of them for making this possible for the fans. I love you Z and glad you are so happy. Merry Christmas and Happy Happy 2011.

  19. We have watched your moving video at least 10 times — please produce a DVD. Your post enhances what we are seeing. What joy you bring to so many!

  20. I woke up in the middle of the night and my first thought was of your running, kicking up your heels, squealing with delight — was that “Joy to the World” — and dancing in the snow surrounded by those closest to you. Yes, I do believe that was indeed “Joy to the World” you were singing.

  21. As I finished my “Joy to the World” blog, our cable music choice came up with, you guessed it, “You to the World.” You are indeed otherworldly.

  22. Sorry, that was meant to be “Joy to the World.”

  23. Dottie – you are in the wrong business…you HAVE to write a book…and I’m sure this is the beginning…just tears upon tears as you masterfully express Zen’s emotions to us…it is truly as if she were writing it and we are soooo thankful to share in this…it does make our loss less painful as you keep us connected to our queen…simply thank you

  24. Zenyatta-
    I have seen you grow over the years. I have to see the attention from all the media outlets. Sometimes it’s bitter sweet to share you with the world – but I can’t be selfish… The WORLD deserves YOU and TEAM Z.
    I am grateful that technology is able to document your life the way it has and that your FAMILY has been there to encourage it. Thank you!!

    You are simply magical. And even Disney himself could not have written a better storyline. You have grown so much in your life. You believed and trusted in John who guided slowly into the Queen you are now. And in that trust you are now rewarded with the most Blessed life a horse could ever have. You are cherished beyond anyone’s expectations. To be able to witness your first day of freedom to run and play in a beautiful Kentucky paddock is breathtaking. It makes me cry tears of utter joy and excitement for you. I thought I was excited to see you race and win, but this is far more beautiful and awesome.

    The hope of seeing your foals run and play with you and the hope that they will belong to the Moss’s and following in your foot steps at Hollywood Park and beyond keeps me smiling and wanting this so much.

    I Love you beyond words at this point, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has had a hand in your life.

    Hugs

  25. I am so glad your are doing so well! All of your fans have been worried about how you will settle into your new life but you are handling this with the same class you always show. I know your family and Lane’s End are giving you the best care. Thank you team Zenyatta for continuing to keep us up to date on our girl! I look forward to the daily updates!

  26. You look as good as ever. Fresh, cool Kentucky air will invigorate you in the Winter months. Enjoy your farm life and make lots of friends. My heart is with you!!

  27. So cool! I’m glad that Mario and Carmen got to go out and enjoy the day with you Z. How nice of your owners!

  28. Has ever a mare evoked so much emotion or love? I think not. You strike a chord that is deep within our hearts and we respond to your beautiful Zenyatta music!

  29. Another wonderful post & the video is fantastic. Thank you to all the connections for allowing us a continued glimpse into the life of Zenyatta. I love every minute of it!

  30. Queen-Z & Team-Z, You all deserve and get the accalades, appreciation, and LOVE, your fans, and the whole racing industry, can send your way !!! You’re the very BEST ! Z, you look so happy and healthy, running free and playing in your new surroundings. It warms my heart to see, through these wonderful Diary entries, pictures, and videos, what good care and love you are receiving, at Lane’s End Farm.
    Love and Best Wishes to you all. Fondly, OraJean

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