Come Ride Horses in Kentucky!
Learning to ride horses at First Farm Inn means communicating with your new equine partner in ways he can understand. Unlike traditional “trail rides,” at First Farm Inn we actually direct and communicate with the horse. Horseback riding also means learning to balance so your horse can trust you. Since horses have the second longest memory in the mammal kingdom, after elephants, understanding their history helps you understand them. Here are short bios of our riding horses.
Buster Brown is a Percheron-Thoroughbred cross, chocolate brown with a star, 16.3 hh and foaled in 1999.
His mother was taken away when he was four days old to nurse a Thoroughbred, but he was lucky enough to be sold to a “nurse-mare foal” rescue and bottle fed. His training began at two with a local woman who gave him great care until medical problems forced her to sell him to us in 2011. Our vet has known him since then! He thinks he’s a kitten and loves treats.
A well-trained and talented dressage horse, Buster is better with a quiet rider who won’t inadvertently cue him too strongly, confusing him or pushing to move too quickly. His very round back requires a well-balanced rider who instinctively will adjust the saddle if it is even slightly off-center. Buster has fallen madly in love with Bunny mule and she with him.
Hank, a handsome 16 hh bay Quarter Horse gelding, came to us in July 2023 from a guest who got engaged here 14 years ago. When their children’s needs began consuming Hank’s time, Angela contacted us, knowing how First Farm horses are cared for. Born 3-25-01, Poco Mack Hank is a very nice guy, used to kids, dogs and goats literally underfoot. Trained in dressage, he has fabulous manners, is sensitive and easy to ride with the slow lopy canter and comfortable jog Quarter Horses are known for. Foaled in Illinois, he moved to Lawrenceburg, IN then to Cincinnati before joining us. Riders who sit quietly will enjoy him. Like most of our well-trained horses, kicking or banging your legs will suddenly and dramatically increase his speed.
Likely foaled about 2018, 15.3 hh Domino’s heritage probably includes “Rocky Mountain” or “Kentucky Mountain” horses, known for their small stature and very smooth gaits. On March 2, 2021, we drove to the very Western end of the Commonwealth and bought him from a woman who likely wore him out and drugged him before we got there. The most expensive horse I’ve ever bought, Domino reared and bucked when I rode him in the arena later that week.
Dental work and a month at a horsey boot camp gave him better manners. Like most youngsters, Domino’s impatient and wants to move all the time. Stopping and standing are his least-favorite activities. His long floppy lip is constantly playing. A rider who can cope with his playful antics will enjoy his super-smooth gaits.
Inspire Greatness, a 2020 Thoroughbred mare Carolyn renamed Spicey Chicken Nugget came from Maryland through a rescue called Second Stride located near Louisville. Her heritage goes back to Secretariat and Mr. Prospector.
Despite being both young and a Thoroughbred, the 16.2 hh bright bay is extremely calm and quiet. She is a friendly, kind and thoughtful horse who moves big. A minor break in her fetlock kept her off the track, although she is fully healed and cleared to jump up to three feet.
We cannot recommend Second Stride any more highly. Horses come to them from Thoroughbred tracks all over the country. They are honest and upfront about all their horses, have vaccinated, wormed, brought them up to weight (in most cases), share X-rays of old injuries, tell potential adopters what riding ability and activities the horse is best suited for, and answer any questions you ask. If you are looking for a great horse, give them a call.
Chloe is a 14 hh 2013 Haflinger mare, trained to drive and ride, likely by the Amish in Southern Indiana. She moved to Northern Ohio for a disabled woman who decided she’d prefer a gaited horse to compact little Chloe. An opinionated girl, Chloe will persistently attempt to convince you to go her way, but will give in and listen to an insistent and consistent rider. She joined us in March 2023.
Bunny the Molly Mule
In December 2022, we found Bunny, a 15.2 solid bay molly (female) mule foaled in 2012 or 13, with a Kentucky horse trader. A friend and former neighbor who switched to mules after importing European show horses coached us via phone when we looked at her.
Bunny was Amish trained to drive and ride. Likely she’s pulled a lot more heavy loads than had riders. Gaining her trust is taking time. She loves face massages and is ok with having her giant ears played with! Her gaits are very comfortable, although she needs to build hind strength to canter well.
Bunny is a cross between a draft mare (likely a Percheron since she has no white points) and a donkey. Mules are one of the most commonly used working animals in the world. In the 1980s, the US military used 10,000 mules as pack animals in the Middle East. They are hardier and have more stamina than horses, eat less and live longer. A mule’s hybrid intelligence also means that they are more cautious and aware of danger, making them safer to ride when crossing dangerous terrain. Their skin is less sensitive and more resilient to sun and rain. Their average lifespan is 30-40 years, though some live to 50. Their hooves less likely to split and crack. They can whinny and bray as well as make other noises.
Juno is a 14.3 hh black, short-coupled, mixed-breed gelding who joined us in October 2022, after going through an auction in Southern Indiana. Likely foaled in 2014, he has two white hind socks. A forward guy, he likes to move out and looks gorgeous doing it. His knees come up like a gaited horse and his forelegs reach further than his nose, which is attached to a very short neck. He’s a well-mannered gelding who likes to move, great for someone who wants to practice posting his big trot.