The Essence of the Bluegrass | Horse Lover's Rating **** | Non-Equine Rating *** | Cost: $170 +, depending on room choice and weekend
The Essence of the Bluegrass is a bed and breakfast located in a modern mansion, just two miles from the entrance of the Kentucky Horse Park. Yes. I said TWO MILES FROM THE HORSE PARK. What. Amazing, I know.
Not only are you super close to the horse park, but the house is located on Mount Horeb Pike, nestled in between huge horse farms. The road is incredibly picturesque, and the driveway is filled with horses as it abuts Stalmare Arabian's indoor arena and pastures. In addition, the owner's have a small barn and a few horses out back.
|The amazing view from the back gazebo.|
We stayed in the "Equestrian Room," which is a first floor room with its own exterior entrance door from the patio. It's a gorgeous room, that is not done justice in the photos on the website. Its tall ceilings, hardwood floors, and little details really pleased us. In addition, we chose this room because we were allowed to have the huskies tag along on the trip! Nothing makes a vacation better than puppies! Note: If you do decide to bring your dogs along, keep in mind that the owners do have dogs of their own. If your dogs are socialized, this will be zero problem!
|The front of the house ... also one of the worst photos I have ever taken. I am so sorry.|
I solidly recommend staying here if you're in Lexington on vacation. Wandering out to the gazebo with a cup of coffee and the dogs, and being able to hear the faint announcements from the KHP was unreal. Really, really cool.
They also nestled a little bottle of Maker's Mark onto the bed. Welcome to Kentucky!!
2nd Annual U.S. Dressage Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park | Horse Lover's Rating **** | Non-Equine Rating * (maaaybe **) | Cost: $0 (your mileage may vary. Avoid the tradeshow if you're on a budget) | Time Spent: 3 hours
Our first foray into the world of Dressage came Saturday night, waiting for our dinner reservation time. We went straight to Alltech arena, where the Intermediare I Open and Grand Prix Open Freestyles were going down.
If you haven't been to Alltech Arena, it is really something to see, especially decked out for Finals. While the crowd was varied widely depending on who was riding, the excitement in the air was still palpable. It certainly had the air of an important show.
|Alltech Arena is one venue in the U.S. that does feel like a big European show. It was just missing the spectators.|
We had to leave just before North Forks Cardi entered, but I know you guys have already seen his ride. I was excited to see Angela Jackson and Allure S, whom I have enjoyed watching and showing with at the Hoosier Horse Park several times, walk away with the Intermediare trophy.
I did wander around the trade show in between classes. The offerings varied, and the stores weren't all open. Still, I noticed a few dressage trends. 1. ALL THE RHINESTONES. Seriously. There were rhinestones on everything. Breeches. Helmets. Boots. Spurs. Gloves. Everything that could glittered. Except the horses. I saw zero body glitter on horses. Not sure if that's against USDF rules. I'll have to check... 2. Ridiculous schooling boots. Photo below. Just, what?
|Seriously. What is going on with this? Why do I sort of want it?|
|A view of the outdoor rings, all set up for championship level rides!|
Have you ever seen a judge ring out a rider for lameness? The times I've seen it in the past were obvious lameness issues. Not this subtle stuff.
Still, the show itself was gloriously organized. The announcers were pretty much on point with everything, and the rings were running remarkably on time. I saw relatively few normal horse show snafus, and the competitors hanging out by the rings were really supportive of the whole show (though they were wishing it was about 20 degrees warmer!).
We didn't stay at park long at either visit, but I was really happy for the opportunity to see the competition. It's making me greedy for some showing luck. How fun would it be to show there?!
What do you think? Have I made you all start planning your Lexington trips? Let me know!
We're back to regularly scheduled Pig content tomorrow. Thanks for going on this little vacation review with me!