June 26, 2012

Lexington Ponies - Part 2

Continuing my story from yesterday, we left Keeneland racetrack and decided to do some (what I call) “freestyle” travel photography. It’s a method where you throw caution and planning to the wind and just wing it. Turn here. Turn there. Oh, that looks pretty over there! Get the idea?

The narrow roads and adjacent stone fences around the Lexington area present a serious challenge to this type of adventure. The patchwork of stone fences is similar to an Irish countryside. Immigrants and slaves painstakingly created them over two hundred years ago. They are quite beautiful, but the stones are not conducive for safely parking vehicles out of the roadways. 

My husband was able to park in a grassy area far enough for me to pop out of the vehicle and take this long-distance photo. Amusingly, the horse was nibbling away at its wooden fence.

We kept twisting and turning down the country roads, enjoying the pastoral scenery, but not finding any other places to pull over. After about a half hour, we passed a large homestead and horse farm with an Irish name. In fact, its name was the same as a famous Irish castle that now serves as a genteel country estate hotel. A flood of old memories of our Irish travels came back to us, and we briefly reminisced about our visit and stay at the castle. We cruised on down the road. 

Within a short mile, we came up to a 90-degree bend in the road. Hooray! There was a big pull-off area and some beautiful horses were grazing near a fence! Our luck had finally turned for the better. Jim stayed in the car, and I sprang out, camera in hand. Hello, handsome!

While I mindlessly conversed with a couple of gorgeous thoroughbreds and snapped their photos, a car drove past. A minute later, the car turned around and came back. A fellow got out and started a conversation with Jim. I was a bit of a distance away, so I couldn’t hear the conversation. I figured it was a local resident who was going to offer us some suggestions on where to take photos. Or else he was warning us to not bother the horses! I took a few more photos and came back to the car shortly after he left.

Do you want to hazard some guesses on who the fellow was and what he was suggesting? Go on. Guess. 

It was the owner of the horse farm with the Irish name! With a melodic lilt to his voice, he invited us to go back to his farm and tell his security and staff people to let us in and show us around. We had his permission to go the barns and take some photos of the “wee ones” recently born. 

Photograph spring foals and their moms on a thoroughbred farm?! Are you kidding me?! Here we are, total strangers parked along the side of the road. And he stopped, came back, and extended a generous helping of old-fashioned kindness and hospitality. In this day and age, can you believe it? We must have a totally harmless look! And this chance encounter demonstrates one of the beauties of “freestyle” travel photography. You never know what’s going to happen! 

Photography Advice: Always use the hood on your camera lens. Yes, it prevents light flares and protects your equipment. But it also makes your lens look bigger and gives the impression that you know what in the heck you are doing (even if you don’t)! 

~~~ To be continued! ~~~


  1. Well you're not kidding about throwing caution to the wind.

  2. laughing at the hood advice. and so glad you a) found a great spot to pull off and catch these beauties and b) found a true gentleman who was willing to share his ky bounty with you!

  3. Another gorgeous photo, Donna... You've made me interested in visiting that area sometime.

  4. I like your throw caution to the wind approach and it paid of handsomely too.

  5. Very cool. I really like the first image.

  6. How wonderful of him...these are fabulous!

  7. I love me some freestyle photography! Like you I'm lucky enough to have a husband who will indulge my whims in that area. Your horse and fence shot is beautiful. Although I would like to ask him why he's eating his fence (while I rub his velvety nose).


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