A much-needed vacation day took me on a road trip to the middle of the state.
I had some extra time on my hands this morning, so I stopped by Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.
Brought to you by the color yellow.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. A cool breeze coupled with the warm sun on my face made for a perfect short hike. There is something about the crunch of fall leaves underfoot that makes me happy.
Ohhh. Just what the doctor ordered. I could’ve stayed here all day.
These feet dangling from tree branches caught the corner of my eye when I got back to my car. What is it about kids and trees? See tree, must climb. They made me laugh.
But I needed to get going for an afternoon appointment.
I thought it would be hard for this “appointment” to beat my stroll through the woods until…
Welcome to Warm Springs Ranch, breeding facility of our beloved Budweiser Clydesdales.
Skim down my bucket list…aaaand check this off. Done.
What a treat this was.
I had no idea this was such a complex system. Anheuser-Busch boasts one of the largest herds of Clydesdales in the world — more than 200 of these giant creatures. The Warm Springs Ranch is where the babies are born. When horses with pull team potential get a little older, they move on to Grant’s Farm for more training and to fine-tune their manners. When successful pull team candidates (matching a very specific color, size, and marking profile) reach the age of four, they move to their final training in New Hampshire. At least I hope I got all of that straight, based on what we learned from today’s tour guide.
Here was my favorite part of the tour.
This little filly below is named Memory. She was born on 9/11 this year. Each baby is given a name before he or she is ten days old and his or her name begins with the same first letter as the mamma’s. I believe Memory’s mom is Mallory.
Memory was a hoot. She walked straight up to the front of her pen, inviting visitors to scratch her through the bars. When she wanted her ears scratched, she tilted her ear forward. When she wanted her chin scratched, she lifted her head. When she wanted her rump scratched, she shamelessly turned around and bumped her backside against the door.
Then we got to pet this guy without having to reach through the stall bars. This is Duke, a retired pull-team horse. He is patient, gentle, and HUGE. All pull-team horses are over six feet tall.
What a great day. I’m sorry to see it end.