Kentucky Horse Park: Museums and More
Lexington, Kentucky is the "Horse Capital of the World." While Louisville hosts the Kentucky Derby, horse farms abound throughout the state. For me, Lexington's prime asset is the amazing Kentucky Horse Park, which I was fortunate enough to visit. I participated in 4-H Horse Bowl, which is a jeopardy-like game involving trivia questions. Our team received 1st place in New York State in the 1990s, so we were invited to go to Kentucky for the National competition (in truth it covered about half of the states). I was so excited, and I had worked for years for the chance to go to Nationals. Kentucky Horse Park is a mecca for horse lovers, and I was amazed and delighted by the museums that the park features. It is the only park in the United States devoted entirely to the horse.
The International Museum of the Horse has online exhibits as well as museum exhibits, including Horses in Sport, Horse Drawn Vehicles, and the Legacy of the Horse. The Wheeler Museum has items from the hunter/jumper industry, as well as many online videos on topics such as Hunt Seat Equitation and Preparing the Horse to be a Winner. The American Saddlebred Museum has a research library. The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries is a multi-media interactive experience for kids. I was enthralled by the museums. Unfortunately, my camera film became overexposed, and the photos did not come out correctly.
The park also has walking tours of the barns. The Kids Barn has well-behaved horses that children can learn from. The Big Barn houses draft horses. It is 463 ' long and 74 ' wide. The Mounted Police Barn houses police horses. The Farrier Barn features working demonstrations of a blacksmith shoeing horses.
Horses of the World
The Horses of the World show is fantastic, and it features 22 different horse breeds, including the Chincoteague Pony, which is the star of the novel, Misty of Chincoteague, and Arabians, which is the breed of The Black Stallion books. Unfortunately, the show does not go on during the winter.
If you have a chance and you like horses, the Kentucky Horse Park is very impressive and educational! However, there are many barns right in New York City if you would like to engage in urban horseback riding.