Archives for posts with tag: horses

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Some places are just worth visiting more than once. Old Friends Farm, refuge for retired race horses, is one such place. I visited earlier this year with my husband and son and decided to take my sister there while she was visiting from out of state. Boy, does that farm dress up for fall.

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The farm was founded over 10 years ago by Michael Blowen to be a retirement place for these athletes. It is funded almost entirely by donations.

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There were a few of the horses that I didn’t get to see last time I was there, that were out the second time. Popcorn Deelites, above, is a movie star. He was one of the horses used to play Seabiscuit in the movie. He and his paddock mate are known as the “frat boys” of the farm because they are usually up to some type of mischief. When I was at the farm earlier this year, they were in a corner of the paddock and wouldn’t show the tour anything but their hindquarters. This day, they were much more friendly.

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This is, in my opinion, the prettiest horse on the farm, and probably the most well known. Silver Charm, winner of the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was in the barn during my first visit. This day, he was all about showing off.

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To see my previous post about Old Friends Farm, visit here. For more information about the farm, click here.

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A great place to fill your belly and your senses is the Windy Corner Market, just north of Lexington, KY. A horse country tour wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Windy Corner. It is literally surrounded by horse farms.

IMG_2948Visitors to the Windy Corner order at the counter from a Kentucky-style gourmet menu of foods mainly grown locally. Even most of the beverages (beer and wine included) are local. After you order, you find a seat either inside the store, on the screened porch, or outside and wait for your order. I almost always get the shrimp po boy, but the barbecue is wonderful, too.

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The market is located at a crossroads along the Bluegrass Driving Tour.

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Horses, living (above) and statuary (below), watch diners enjoy their food.

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For more information about this Kentucky treat, directions, menu, ect., visit www.windycornermarket.com

IMG_8444A must-stop attraction along the horse country tour would have to be Old Friends Farm, near Georgetown, KY. A farm for retired race horses, tours are conducted several times a day. You can get up close and personal (we’re talkin’ horse drool all over the hands, if you want) with some beautiful former racing thorobreds. If you follow thorobred racing at all, you will recognize the names of some of these horses.

IMG_8455There are a lot of great photo ops here. I lagged many times taking pictures, while my husband and son listened to the tour guide tell about each race horse, but no one minded.

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For more information on the farm, directions, etc., visit www.oldfriendsequine.org

IMG_8151Next stop on the horse country tour is Georgetown,  nestled right in the middle of Central Kentucky. This beautiful small town has a lot to offer photographers.

IMG_8147Downtown Georgetown recently got a drastic renovation with a lot of artsy attractions. Above is the Arts Center, decorated with regional favorite quilt squares.

IMG_8132The courthouse is new, but much of the downtown area still has original eighteenth-century architecture.

IMG_8134This little cabin is featured in a small creek-side park along with a couple of other original buildings from the Georgetown settlement.

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IMG_8136Old bikes have been made into three sculptures.

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IMG_8150For more information about Georgetown, click here.

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If you have read this blog very many times at all, you know that I live in Central Kentucky, home of some of the most beautiful horse farms in the world. My plans are to introduce readers to a few of those farms while I am on hiatus from school this summer. I share pictures of farms frequently, mostly taken from the road. Since my husband and son are interested in touring horse farms, my plan is to actually take part in some tours and snap a lot of pictures.

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I do some freelance submissions to the tourism cabinet and plan on using many of the shots for that. I will, of course,  share the pictures in this blog, in hopes of inspiring someone to visit Kentucky. If you are interested in visiting, here is a link for the tourism cabinet’s website. This link is for the website specific to the Bluegrass area.

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This state has a lot of great photo opportunities. Hope you will agree. 🙂

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It’s the most beautiful time of the year in Kentucky. Fortunately, and probably not coincidently, it’s also time for everyone’s attention to be on my home state.

IMG_7711Enjoy the Derby on Saturday. I will be enjoying the races, the scenery and the warm temperatures that are well-deserved after the winter Kentucky endured.

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am craazzy about high dynamic range photography. So it is only fitting that I include HDR photos in my series about using photos as dramatic wall art. I am going to show a series of before and after photos that illustrate why I love HDR so much. Each of the before pictures were taken recently locally of scenes that are much prettier in the spring. Each of them is pretty bland. However, since you have the option of manipulating one, two or three photos in Photomatix, I opened the single image and let Photomatix do its magic.

See for yourself:

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Before

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After

Wow, right!

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Before

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After

Beautiful clouds!

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Before

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After

Stunning!

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Before

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After

Pretty good, huh? Now without any further manipulation, these images are wall worthy. If you are a photographer who likes to push the limits of creativity, you may want to check out Photomatix.

Next up, watercolor collage 🙂

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Post two of where I come from
Another favorite stop of mine is the Kentucky Horse Park, located between Lexington and Georgetown.

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If you like horses of all breeds, this is where you need to come.

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There are hundreds of opportunities to take great pictures just driving the campus. There are regular attractions and museums, as well as yearly events.

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The Horse Park has hosted the World Equestrian Games in the past. For more information, a schedule of events and directions, check out the website.

In Kentucky, barns come in many shapes and sizes, from modest to grand.
Let’s look a three examples.
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1. Yes, it’s a barn. A barn that holds hay, grain and oh yeah, million dollar thoroughbreds.
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2. A very respectable, well made specimen if not as aesthetically pleasing as no. 1. This one holds hay, probably some tobacco and maybe a horse or two. There are a whole lot more of these in Kentucky than the first example.
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3. Okay, technically it’s a hay shed, but it’s really cute.
These photos are all HDR processed from three images in Photomatix.

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A young foal greeted the world on a sunny day last week. This was shot with my new 18-270mm lens set at 270mm. I had to sharpen the image slightly in RAW, but overall the quality was pretty good.

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