Thursday, February 23, 2017

Horse Heaven

I am surrounded by horses. Big, beautiful horses! We are staying at Grand Oaks RV Resort which is on the grounds of a beautiful equestrian facility. There are arenas and horse paddocks scattered throughout the idyllic green hills peppered with majestic oak trees. Folks can rent cottages of different sizes and bring their horses with them so they can train all winter. If they have an RV, they can stay at the "resort" and stable their horses on the property. There are a lot of carriage horses, including Bud and Weiser, two lovely Clydesdales who pull a wagon for tours of the property. We see horses pulling carriages in front or behind the motorhome on a daily basis. What fun to hear the clip-clop of hooves as a pair of horses trot by! (I was a bystander at a recent clinic and learned that two draft horses are called a team, and two lighter breed horses pulling a wagon are called a pair. If you have four carriage horses they are called a team because they pull as much as the two draft horses. Interesting!) It is even more awesome when a four-in-hand (two pair hitched one in front of the other) of high-stepping Friesians trot past the motorhome! Tucker and Gypsy have been on their best behavior. They haven't barked as the carriages have gone by, and on our walks they enjoy sniffing noses with curious horses that come up to the paddock fences as we walk by. However, Gypsy did take exception to one of the Percherons and snapped at the air trying to drive him back when she felt that the horse was moving in on her space. But, can you blame her? The Percheron's head is every bit as big as Gypsy! The facility is used for clinics and horse shows, as well as other outdoor events. While we have been here they have had a pleasure carriage driving show, a Gypsy Vanner Society evaluation clinic and the Gala of Royal Horses. This weekend they are having a dog coursing event and next weekend there will be a hunter/jumper show. Perhaps I've gotten my fill of horses for the time being, but then again, maybe not!

Here are a few of the sights I've seen in the past two weeks:

A team of European Sport Horses trotting in step with each other.

A Gypsy stallion. He has a teddy bear demeanor!

Four-in-hand Friesians. Such large, majestic animals.

And then there is small.... the tiniest miniature I've ever seen. He was 28" at the shoulder.
A horse trotting behind the RVs.

And now a team goes by.  They aren't phased by the barking of our neighbor's dog. 

And here come the Percherons, Blaise & Gideon,  pulling a tour wagon in front of our motorhome.

These are the guys pulling the wagon. 

An exhibition of the Royal Horses, the ladies were on Lipizzaners and
the gentlemen were on Friesians.

René, the trainer, on his Lipizzan stallion

A neighboring equestrian center had a cowboy mounted shooting competition.
The Gypsy Vanner Society had several exhibitions demonstrating the versatility
of the breed. Here a stallion was used for a "dance" with a garrocha. 

A unicorn hitch (two horses at the wheel led by a single horse) of Gypsy Vanners.
All are offspring of the stallion seen on the left.

Bud and Wesier are led by a golf cart on their way back to paddock after pulling the tour wagon.
Tucker and Gypsy weren't fooled by theses Chinese style horse statues.
There were a number of them in this paddock which may have been used
for a carriage driving obstacle in the past.

I guess you can see why I love this campground!


  1. Oh, you got a mini pulling, thanks. A pair, not a team, I learned something new! My guys are 36", though I've never sticker them. I should though. I doubt I'd ever get my fill.

    1. That was the only mini at the show. They had some ponies, but no other little guys. I thought of you when I saw the mini and put the post up! I've enjoyed seeing your progress with your guys.

  2. Now that had to be a great time. By any chance was it the facility owned by Gloria Austin?

    1. Ding! Ding! Ding! You win the prize. This is/was Gloria's place. She is still here. She drove a four-in-hand by the motorhome on the weekly "parade" on Friday. I put up a video on Facebook and she's in it.


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