The rolling hills of Bourbon County are quintessential Kentucky. A mix of stud and nursery farms will give you a chance to meet stallions, mares and foals alike. Guests are welcome, but we built this staycation itinerary with our locals in mind. Did you know you can tour a clinic?
The rural landscape is home to beautiful farms and rolling hillsides at the front stoop of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains—an idyllic, picturesque setting for horses and riders alike. This thriving culture is embodied by world-class events and shows held nearly every weekend; a sprawling, mile network of equestrian trails; countless rustic stables and century-old horse farms; and hundreds of homegrown businesses that cater to riders and their animals. In , Carter Brown, a prosperous Michigan businessman, established a guest house because he thought the tranquil countryside around Tryon would be a picture-perfect place to ride horses.
From breeders, vets, and farriers to fencing suppliers and architects specializing in barns to trainers, riders, and countless others who just ride for fun, the area is a hotbed for horses and those who love them.
One of the most venerable of horse sports, foxhunting was born in sixteenth century England and continues there even today in modified fashion and minus the fox killing , and in numerous other countries. In Polk County, two dedicated groups, Green Creek Hounds and Tryon Hounds, attract devotees that are drawn to the formal dress, familiar rituals, and sporting feats associated with chasing foxes and other mountain animals on horseback, with hounds aplenty joining in the hunt. While horse racing may rule in Kentucky, in Western North Carolina, English-style equine competitions such as show jumping left and driving above reign supreme.
Horses are used for leisure activities, sports, and working purposes. The Food and Agriculture Organization FAO estimates that in , there were almost 59,, horses in the world, with around 33,, in the Americas, 13,, in Asia and 6,, in Europe and smaller portions in Africa and Oceania. There are estimated to be 9,, horses in the United States alone. Communication between human and horse is paramount in any equestrian activity;  to aid this process horses are usually ridden with a saddle on their backs to assist the rider with balance and positioning, and a bridle or related headgear to assist the rider in maintaining control.
Historically, equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and honed the excellent horsemanship that was needed in battle. Many sports, such as dressage , eventing and show jumping , have origins in military training , which were focused on control and balance of both horse and rider.
Other sports, such as rodeo , developed from practical skills such as those needed on working ranches and stations. Sport hunting from horseback evolved from earlier practical hunting techniques. All forms of competition, requiring demanding and specialized skills from both horse and rider, resulted in the systematic development of specialized breeds and equipment for each sport. The popularity of equestrian sports through the centuries has resulted in the preservation of skills that would otherwise have disappeared after horses stopped being used in combat.
Horses are trained to be ridden or driven in a variety of sporting competitions. Examples include show jumping , dressage , three-day eventing , competitive driving , endurance riding , gymkhana , rodeos , and fox hunting. They host a huge range of classes, covering all of the mounted and harness disciplines, as well as "In-hand" classes where the horses are led, rather than ridden, to be evaluated on their conformation. The method of judging varies with the discipline, but winning usually depends on style and ability of both horse and rider. Although the horse requires specialized training to participate, the details of its performance are not judged, only the result of the rider's actions—be it getting a ball through a goal or some other task.
Horse racing is an equestrian sport and major international industry, watched in almost every nation of the world. There are three types: "flat" racing; steeplechasing , i. There are certain jobs that horses do very well, and no technology has yet developed to fully replace them. For example, mounted police horses are still effective for certain types of patrol duties and crowd control.
They may also be the only form of transport allowed in wilderness areas. Horses are quieter than motorized vehicles. Law enforcement officers such as park rangers or game wardens may use horses for patrols, and horses or mules may also be used for clearing trails or other work in areas of rough terrain where vehicles are less effective. In agriculture, less fossil fuel is used and increased environmental conservation occurs over time with the use of draft animals such as horses.
Horses have been used in warfare for most of recorded history.
The first archaeological evidence of horses used in warfare dates to between and BC,  and the use of horses in warfare was widespread by the end of the Bronze Age. Horses have been used in the 21st century by the Janjaweed militias in the War in Darfur. Modern horses are often used to reenact many of their historical work purposes.
Horses are used, complete with equipment that is authentic or a meticulously recreated replica, in various live action historical reenactments of specific periods of history, especially recreations of famous battles. Countries such as the United Kingdom still use horse-drawn carriages to convey royalty and other VIPs to and from certain culturally significant events. Horses are frequently used in television, films and literature. They are sometimes featured as a major character in films about particular animals, but also used as visual elements that assure the accuracy of historical stories.
People of all ages with physical and mental disabilities obtain beneficial results from association with horses. Therapeutic riding is used to mentally and physically stimulate disabled persons and help them improve their lives through improved balance and coordination, increased self-confidence, and a greater feeling of freedom and independence. In hippotherapy, a therapist uses the horse's movement to improve their patient's cognitive, coordination, balance, and fine motor skills, whereas therapeutic horseback riding uses specific riding skills.
Horses also provide psychological benefits to people whether they actually ride or not.
"High health high performance" (HHP) horses: OIE - World Organisation for Animal Health
Exposure to horses appears to improve the behavior of inmates and help reduce recidivism when they leave. Horses are raw material for many products made by humans throughout history, including byproducts from the slaughter of horses as well as materials collected from living horses.
Products collected from living horses include mare's milk, used by people with large horse herds, such as the Mongols , who let it ferment to produce kumis. Drinking their own horses' blood allowed the Mongols to ride for extended periods of time without stopping to eat. Horse meat has been used as food for humans and carnivorous animals throughout the ages. Approximately 5 million horses are slaughtered each year for meat wordwide. Horse hooves can also be used to produce animal glue.
Horses are grazing animals, and their major source of nutrients is good-quality forage from hay or pasture. Horses require routine hoof care from a farrier , as well as vaccinations to protect against various diseases, and dental examinations from a veterinarian or a specialized equine dentist. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Horse disambiguation. Domesticated four-footed mammal from the equine family. Conservation status.
Linnaeus , . Main article: Equine anatomy. Main article: Pony. Main articles: Equine coat color , Equine coat color genetics , and Horse markings. Main article: Horse breeding. Main articles: Equine anatomy , Muscular system of the horse , Respiratory system of the horse , and Circulatory system of the horse.
Main article: Skeletal system of the horse. Main articles: Horse hoof , Horseshoe , and Farrier. Main article: Horse teeth. Main articles: Equine digestive system and Equine nutrition. See also: Equine vision. Main articles: Horse gait , Trot horse gait , Canter , and Ambling.
Horse Country – A World of Horses
Main articles: Horse behavior and Stable vices. Main articles: Draft horse , Warmblood , and Oriental horse. See also: Horse sleep patterns and Sleep in non-humans. Main articles: Evolution of the horse , Equus genus , and Equidae. Main article: Wild horse. Main article: Equus genus.