Outside the Galt House Hotel, you'd know you were in Kentucky even if the surrounding architecture looked like the picture below.
As we drove from Louisville toward Lexington, I regressed a few years back to my horse-crazy days...as a pre-teen and teen, when about the only thing I wanted to do was ride -- or even muck out the stalls. So by the time we arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park, I had become age 13. At least as concerned horses -- I doubt I'd ever want to experience high school all over again. Would you??
A bit over an hour from Louisville on the edge of Lexington
is the Kentucky Horse Park, right in the enter of the Bluegrass Region.
Many statues about, these of frolicking colts
Winner of the 1983 Triple Crown
Above and below, Man O'War
Skeletons of man and horse, paired for eons
How horses began their travel by sea
A selection of the many trophies won by the iconic Calumet Farms
A section of the museum was devoted to the Arabian Horse: flourishing today
all over the world and founding breed of many other contemporary breeds
The three founders of the thoroughbred: The Byerly Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian.
Bedouins are famous for the care of their horses
Was this one of your favorites in your teens??
Oh, Walter Farley, you are in part responsible for my career in writing!!
A Corning Buggy, 1900
Developed in New York in about 1875 for two persons. Often used as a doctor's country vehuicle.
Just so you know, there are many live horses around, not just statues and museum displays.
A picture of my teen favorite, the five-gaited champion Wing Commander;
painting by Gwen Reardon, 1971
A five-gated statue or more correctly, a statue of a five-gaited horse
My husband was game for a tour of nearby horse farms, and we took off with about 14 companions and our guide, Shawn -- he was the best! He explained that the Horse Park and most of the Bluegrass farms had changed from white fences to black. Why? Because they have to be painted less frequently and save a lot of money. After all, though lots of starry-eyed girls like me would never consider such a thing, breeding and training horses is a business.
Our guide Shawn, from Unique Horse Farm Tours
Our first stop was Windstar Farm (website here) where more than twenty stallions stand at stud.
This fine barn houses only stallions, in the ultimate equine luxury
I just wasn't quick enough to catch this fine fellow in time!
This is Pioneer of the Nile, sire of 2015 Triple Crown winner and
Breeders Cup champ, American Pharaoh.
Each stallion gets his daily exercise and constant coddling.
The stalls are spacious and the horses are treated better than lots of humans!
The owner's lounge
American Pharaoh was bred here.
Significant replays available
Passing an old mill
At the second farm, KatieRich, (website here) we mixed with mares, yearlings, and weanlings
Many of the horses in the pastures worse fly-protection gear. They can see though the screen and not be bothered by the pests.
Another pristine facility.
We wished we could get close to this adorable white colt.
The fields were full of mares whose babes had been recently weaned.
A barn full of yearlings and two-year olds
I was in my element
Shawn took us to an old tobacco barn full of the crop, but he said they number of such barns had greatly diminished in the past few years.
Shawn and the nasty weed
It was a perfect day for the horse-loving teen in me!!!