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.
Koda is a wild mustang captured in Nevada branded and auctioned by Bureau of Land Management in ’99. Double rows of scars down both his flanks indicate he likely was tangled in barbed wire by a thoughtless “adopter” in the Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio region long before came to us.
Since mustangs are usually auctioned young, we assume he was foaled in ’97 or ’98. Big bite scars above the barbed wire scars likely indicate his assertive personality exerted itself when he was in a capture pen.
Koda is a 13.3 hh bay “dun,” which means he has dark points (legs, mane, and tail) and a dorsal stripe. An opinionated little guy, he arrived on 12-23-13 after letting a 7-year-old riding student test ride him. Despite having the shortest legs in the herd, his attitude keeps him up with or passing long-legged Buster. He’s a “forward” horse and moves quickly. Second in command, he enforces the herd hierarchy with his teeth.
Smart and quick, Koda’s great for riders who like some get-up and go. An Energizer bunny, he’s quick to respond and never needs pressure to move forward. On thyroid meds, he loves to sneak snacks. With non-assertive riders, he’ll just guard Jen and whatever horse she’s riding.
Once you’ve gotten acquainted with a mustang, you’ll recognize the next one you meet. Our first, a grey named Sage, was also very smart, perceptive and opinionated. The day we lost him to cancer still inspires tears.
Our oldest horse, Sundance Master “Sunny” is a registered half-Arab and Quarter-Horse gelding. Born 4-24-93, he’s bay (red-brown with black mane & tail) 15.2 hh and 1050 pounds.
While Sunny has lots of training in several disciplines, he prefers do as little as possible. He came to us after a career as a child’s show horse with ribs sticking out at least an inch. Now, with all the food we can convince him to eat each day, he’s our beginner rider horse who follows the crowd.
Blue Romeo is a blue roan Morgan-Quarter Horse, 15 hh and 1,000 pounds.
Born in ’06, we brought him home from London, KY in ’09. Luckily the woman who bought him to be her daughter’s barrel racing horse realized he is more into moseying than racing.
Blue’s color lightens or darkens each time he grows a new coat, some seasons dappling more than others. Loved by experienced riders, with inexperienced riders Blue is a champion slacker. He has some dressage training. Diagnosed with low thyroid in 2017, he’s on meds, but always thinks he’s hungry and focuses on sneaking snacks whenever he can.
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.
Aspen is a 16.2 hh chestnut mare. Foaled May 6, 2000 in Yelm, Washington with the name Tina, her sire’s name was Budweiser, a Dutch Warmblood. Her dam was Tenn Sis, a Thoroughbred/Oldenberg cross. Evidently there were many chestnut Thoroughbreds (red-brown) in her family, her grandfather was October Hill and grandmother Hot Sauce.
As a three-year-old she was given a bronze medal by the American Warmblood Society and was registered by the International Sporthorse Registry. Likely the “bronze” award (rather than the higher gold or silver) was because she has a birth defect, a club foot. Corrective shoeing keeps her sound.
She for more than $100,000 after winning a big hunter-jumper event. When poorly shod, jumping big fences and racing caused her extreme pain. She rebelled and ended up adopted by the woman who gave her to me.
Aspen was a in-the-ring lesson horse for 10 years before coming to First Farm Inn. An extremely kind horse, she is very responsive and has big gaits with a lot of lift.