LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) — An open farm, with some of the most stunning horses in the world, is just a way of life in our state.
"There is something about them that is therapeutic to be around in whatever capacity you can be," said Hallie Hardy, Executive Director of "Visit Horse Country."
Hardy is helping introduce Kentuckians and visitors to the therapeutic nature of horses. She's stepping out onto some of the most cherished land across the commonwealth — surrounded by barns, paddocks, and landscapes you only see in a magazine.
You're met with instant, unique tranquility.
"It's our mission to connect guests through experience to first and foremost, the horse," said Hardy. "But also, the land and people here, to really inspire a love of the animal of the horse."
There are 22 member farms giving tours right now. Hardy can't help but embrace the experience Kentuckians, and visitors can get on horse tours from "Visit Horse Country."
"There's nowhere else in the world where you can in one day go see a distillery and go hop on a horse farm," she says.
If you've been around horses, and you're a Kentucky native, does it ever get old? Or boring? But seeing multiple different farms on this tour makes it a one-of-a-kind experience.
"We each have our own approach to raising a successful racehorse, right?" said Hardy. "If there was one way to do it, this would be really boring, and you could see one and you'd see them all."
Because, once you experience it, it's something that finds a way to capture even the smallest piece of your heart. And sometimes, it can be like love at first sight.
Hardy says a young man fed a peppermint to a mare and was even though he was afraid, she very carefully took it out of his hand.
"I would imagine that young man is going to be a fan for the rest of his life," she says.