Lexington, Kentucky... Horse Capital of the World! Yes, that's what has brought myself and so many good friends to this area, and will soon be bringing hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe for the World Equestrian Games! (September 25- October 10th at the Kentucky Horse Park). It's the largest sporting event of any kind in North America this year, and will include athletes from 62 countries! Many of my horse friends and I are volunteering (there are, after all, something like 6,000 volunteers being utilized to help things go smoothly), and we've been attending trainings, picking up our uniforms and credentials, and navigating an online system to schedule our volunteer shifts.
As fun as it is to anticipate the world-class equine activity that will soon be on our home turf, there's just nothing that beats a Sunday afternoon trail ride on our own steeds! We trailered to a neighboring friend's farm the other day. Although she raises and sells exquisite racing thoroughbreds, Rosilyn's preference for a casual ride is the horse she can hop on in just a halter and lead rope... Okie, the farm's "pony", a calming influence on yearlings in training.
Horse tales are freely shared, and the valuable equine athletes in high-end competitions make no better stories than those we tell of our own horses- of those that won't get in a trailer and will instead jump into the back of a pickup truck (as one of Paul's old show horses would do when he was a kid), their sicknesses or injuries, funny personality quirks, or of a particular fall or foible. It's pretty hard to beat the accounts of horse adventures told by Debra, our other neighbor friend that comes along. She's been on several international horse treks, and a recent blog post on her beautiful blog, Foxlily, about her adventures in Tibet make our story of getting lost along Horse Lick creek earlier this summer seem quite lame!
We cross over parched cow pastures that were just 6 weeks ago unseasonably green- Central Kentucky is now in a severe drought.We stop at beautiful Glen's Creek to water the horses; fortunately it's still running, though its much more shallow than usual.
We're visited by curious horses at a neighboring farm. Our own horses pick up their heads and try to look lively, and they all quickly bore of each other as we amble by.
Although I still love the equine activities at the Kentucky Horse Park and racing at Keeneland, on a day like Sunday I know that THIS is why I came to Kentucky.... to enjoy my own horse on a lovely day with friends and family. I know I'm very lucky.
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