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.
A gentle giant, Bode was born 6-16-99 to a spotted mare who had been bred to a Belgian stallion. He is registered as Bodacious in the Spotted Draft Registry. Bode is our herd leader at 16 hh and about 1500 pounds, depending on the season. He joined our herd in ’05 after having seven owners in his first six years. He still carries evidence of damage done to him then.
Bode has a round back and is very sensitive to balance so he doesn’t tolerate out-of-balance riders well. Kind and courageous, he will go through or over anything and look out for his fellows. Unlike all other horses I’ve ever known, “spooking” isn’t part of his behavior.
While some riders are intimidated by his size, Bode generally inspires confidence for thoughtful, balanced riders who appreciate his caution and careful foot placement.
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.
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.
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 out, great for someone who wants to practice posting his big trot.
Cosmo is a 15 hh gaited mare, likely foaled about 2012. A former child’s show horse, she’s very sweet and quiet with a big reach. She moves quickly, like most gaited horses. Evidently, she’d been stalled and fed the same feed until she came to us from a horse trader in December 2022. Under weight, she was a picky eater – not willing to eat all of the usual feeds and supplements that would add weight safely and quickly — and nervous around the herd.
As Cosmo builds strength, we’re working with her to remember how to “gait” without getting her legs confused. Hopefully, she will soon make friends in the herd and understand how nice it is to live like horses were made to live and to be treated kindly. She is absolutely unflappable and will go over or through anything she’s pointed at.
Inspire Greatness, a four-year-old Thoroughbred mare Carolyn has renamed Spicey Chicken Nugget came from Maryland through a rescue called Second Stride located near Louisville. 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.