Monday, August 26, 2019

We Took the Dog to Kentucky Horse Park

While researching this trip, I came back to the Kentucky Horse Park FAQ several times, each time surprised anew to see that it STILL read that guests are welcome to bring their dogs into the park.

It didn't necessary strike me as a good idea, but whatever. They said we could, so we did!

Despite my misgivings that surely it's a TERRIBLE idea to take a dog (especially our dog, whose awfully great but sometimes acts greatly awful), to a horse-themed amusement park, Luna actually did pretty well. We first took her to the police horse barn, figuring that police horses are likely to be a steady lot, no matter what Luna took it into her head to do.

Because this was Luna's first time seeing a horse in person, at least under our care. So, you know, OF COURSE we had to do it in the world's largest, most expensive horse park. Of course we did.

She seems fine, though! Look at her--just happy to be out on an adventure, completely ignoring the genuine horse in its stall just behind her:

In the below photo, however, she has just embarrassed herself by barking at the draft horses pulling the trolley, so we're taking it in turns to do the trolley tour while someone else sits far away with her and puts peanut butter in her mouth:

After that poor showing, I refused to let Luna do either the Hall of Champions or the Parade of Breeds, instead sitting outside each arena with her, putting peanut butter in her mouth whenever she so much as looked at a horse. I did sneak inside the Parade of Breeds during the meet-and-greet, however, and Luna seemed fine, so maybe it's just draft horses that freak her out.

Luna even did the jump course!

So did this miniature pony:

I like the way that the Kentucky Horse Park organizes its day. There's a succession of shows, each one starting about 15 minutes after the previous one ends, so that you can walk from show to show and don't have to miss anything. Then there's a couple of hours with no shows going on, so you can eat and check out the museum and the barns without feeling like you're missing anything, and then they rerun the shows, but with some different horses, so you can go to them all over again, if you like, or, if you're like us, you can dog swap so that someone else keeps Luna well away from the thoroughbreds while you go look at them:

There are a couple of different horse graveyards on the park grounds. I'm pretty sure that we saw Cigar in the Hall of Champions show during one of our previous visits!

Here's the draft horse barn. I don't know why we took Luna here:

She was fine, though...

...well, until an actual draft horse walked by. Then she tried to run off with her tail between her legs so we noped out and went to eat some peanut butter.

Draft horse debacles aside, Luna had behaved well enough that we decided we could risk taking her to the afternoon Parade of Breeds, but only if Will sat on the ground with her and kept all her treats at the ready:

Luna's favorite foods are apples and peanut butter.
 This is our third visit to the Kentucky Horse Park, and every single time I come here, as soon as I walk in the gate I'm thinking secretly to myself, "Ugh, why did I come here? This is going to be so boring," and then ten seconds later I'm all, "OMG an APPALOOSA!!! COME HERE AND HUG ME YOU ANGEL I LOVE YOU!!!"

Here's my Appaloosa!

And quite a few more pretty horsies!

The Parade of Breeds is actually super interesting, because they'll send out a horse and ride in traditional costume for the breed, and then the announcer will tell you all about the breed while it prances around and looks pretty:

And there's usually something really unusual and unexpected. The whole crowd went "OOH!" when this carriage came rolling in!

Here's our good girl eating enough peanut butter to forget that the horse meet-and-greet is happening RIGHT BEHIND HER:

I really like to take the kids to new places, but there are some other places that I love to take them back to again and again, and here's one of the big reasons why. Here's Syd at seven:

And at thirteen!

Will at nine:

One of my all-time favorite photos of Will was taken at the Kentucky Horse Park when she was just six. Do you think it looks like she had a day full of fun?

I would say that fifteen-year-old Will had a pretty great day, too!

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