Friday, September 14, 2007

A Lesson in Gardening & Racehorses

I have grown up around flowers and racehorses all my life. My dad is a farrier and my mom was a part-time florist. You don't know how many times when people would ask me what my father did, I would say "he's a farrier" and they would say, "furrier"? I would shake my head, no he is like a blacksmith. Now, I work for a restaurant with a rich history in horse racing and is surrounded by beautiful flowers, many of which I planted this year. Above is a garden on the side of the restaurant. We planted those sweet potato vines and they have just taken off. The idea was to have them go up the lattice and around the columns. They have done a nice job this summer, I'll be sorry to see them go.

The columns are replicas from the grave setting of the race horse, Kelso. Kelso is buried a few miles from the restaurant on a farm where he lived. The surrounding area around Chesapeake City is known as "Horse Country." However, the decline in horse racing over the years has led to the closing of many farms. In the 1980's, the area was booming with big farms associated with famous race horses and equestrian riders and trainers. The largest was the United States farm of E.P. Taylor, Windfields Farm. Windfields is famous for the legendary, Northern Dancer. My father used to take me with him to Windfields when I was young to swap the flies around the horses legs while he was working on them. This helped them to stay still and not stomp around. I would use this stick that had the fibers of a horse's tail on it felt like their own. I could go on all day about the farms and the times I had out there...but it is late and I'll stop. I hope you enjoyed the lesson. For more info, click on the links...they have some very interesting information in them.


Victoria Williams said...

Interesting stuff. Love the garden photos, it is a beautiful garden.

Traci Lyn said...

Yeah...I'm one of those dorks that said...A what?

Great info, Bug!

Victoria Williams said...

Just tagged ya.

k said...

beautiful photos!
i've never heard of a farrier- thanks for the info. my daughter is obsessed w/ ponies & horses so i need to learn these things.

Anonymous said...

My hubby is a racehorse farrier and my middle daughter grew up doing much the same as you....holding horses for her dad, swishing the flies away with a towel....just happy that she could spend time with both him and horses at the same time.......westcoast canada