We learned quite a bit about horses and horse history during our visit and even enjoyed a typical Kentucky lunch tradition in horse-racing circles — the soup known as burgoo which was very like Brunswick Stew. The folks manning the different areas in the Park were friendly and helpful and enthusiastic about horses for sure. Particularly interesting to us was the gentleman in the draft horse barn. He was a fund of information about working horses and even knew what we needed to know about mules. The most surprising thing we learned about the working horses is that the biggest of them, the Shire and the Clydesdale, are really only used for shows and the pleasure they give their owners. Their feet which are highly “ feathered ” require at least an hour of care everyday because they are highly prone to fungal diseases which cost $2000 and take at least 2 years to cure if the disease is curable at all. Therefore, no one wants to use them in fields or woods since their feet would be wet at all the time. Farmers and loggers don ’ t have an hour a day to spend on horse foot care. So we see Clydesdales pulling Anheiser-Busch beer trucks and Shires carrying boldly dressed pleasure riders who like being atop a really tall horse.
This gentleman also told us that there is a real renascence in the use of horses for farming, especially among small farmers. Actually, he said more horses are being used in agriculture and timbering than
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