Horsin' Around in Kentucky

When people first think about Kentucky, they instinctively think of the finest horse racing in the world. With good reason too! Here in the Bluegrass State, farmers breed horses to be fast, healthy, and tall. We take our horsemanship seriously.

Because of these races, amateur cowboys, horse riding enthusiasts, and people who just want to be entertained corral to Kentucky. If you want to know what makes the state tick, checking out some of these horse attractions can give you an idea of the culture behind the derby, and make you feel like an honorary Kentuckian. Welcome to Kentucky Horse Country!

Down the Stretch—The Kentucky Derby

Date: First Week of May
Price: $80+ per ticket

Let's talk about one of the famous Kentucky horse activities! The Kentucky Derby started in 1875, and has since become one of America's favorite traditions. Not only does it combine gambling with competition, but the whole event encapsulates the era in which it was made—from the architecture to your get-up.

How to Dress

It's time to dress the part of a southern belle or gentleman. Throw on your high-class headwear and put on a nice suit or dress to get the full Derby experience. Be aware that the Kentucky Derby typically takes place in the first week of May when the temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (with humidity).

What to Bring
The main thing you should bring to your Derby experience is extra spending cash. Each attendee is required to bet on one of the horses before they are admitted. While you may not be a fan of gambling, you only have to bet a couple dollars at most. Regardless of how much you have on the line, the thrilling sensation of seeing your horse pace across the finish line is something to behold—particularly if you win.

Additionally, you should learn some of the Derby lingo before you get there. That way you know what you are betting your money on. Write down or memorize this list of terms.

Farm Tours

Price: $39.99 per person

You might be wondering where such impressive horses come from. Local farm tours are another great place to learn about Kentucky's horse culture and gain further appreciation for the process.

Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tours is the perfect destination for horse enthusiasts, and was rated the #1 activity on TripAdvisor. Not only will you have a chance to meet the famous horses themselves, but you'll be shown an auctioneering track, the thoroughbred farms innerworkings, and other famous equestrian sites.

Unique Horse Farm Tours shuttles you to the heart of horse country, where generational farms have sought to breed the best horse in the world. Some of the tours are hosted by legendary rider Shaun Washington, who shares the ins and outs of racing, breeding, and preparing. Learn about these legendary horses and about Kentucky Derby history on this fascinating tour.

Horse Trails and Kentucky Horse Park

Maybe instead of attending events like the Derby and Horse Tours, you just want to take your horse on a ride in a new place. Endless trails cut through Kentucky, allowing you to explore to your heart's content. If you don't have a horse of your own, rent from a local stable.

Wanna roam free on your own noble steed? Here are the top horse trails recommended on AllTrails. Price varies:

Shawnee Run Trail
1.3 miles

Purple Heart Trail
2 miles

Middle Creek Park Loop
3 miles

Holsclaw Hill Loop
6.6 miles

Want a more structured experience? Pop on over to Deer Run Stable, Whispering Woods Stable, or Kentucky Horse Park. Each gives guided horse tours for a relatively inexpensive price! Is it your child's dream to ride a horse of their own? Buy them a pony ride! KY Horse Park is one of the biggest Kentucky horse attractions in the state.

Kentucky is a special place. It emanates horsemanship, class, and an appreciation for nature. If you want a unique vacation that you can't get anywhere else, ride over to the heart of Kentucky. It's time to saddle up!

Planning your journey to Kentucky? Check out these attractions too!

Explore Mammoth Cave National Park

For those with more a sprig of adventure in their step, come explore Mammoth Cave National Park! Rock formations, cave fauna, and other surprises await you in this rocky highlight.