When you move three hours away from home on an unpaid internship opportunity, your best (four-legged) friend doesn’t get to go. I miss my pony like crazy, but I’ve managed to slide the next best thing into my one day off each week – ponies away from home! Kaiser’s birthplace, Kokovoko Farm, is about an hour from KESMARC and the lovely owner and proprietor has welcomed me to her farm to play with her ponies whenever I can make it. I’ve never imagined the fantasia that comes from a whole farm full of Kaisers – I count myself so lucky that I have this home away from home here in Kentucky. I’ve now met Kaiser’s mama, BeBe, as well as many of his half-siblings and extended family. For a long time I thought Kaiser was a fluke, a mistake, but even after spending one day with Leslie’s ponies I’ve come to realize that he is just following family tradition. I’m going to keep missing my main man until I can get back to him, but in the meantime I’ve got quite a few ponies to
play work with at Kokovoko!
Kaiser’s momma, BeBe (the black mare) and her big friend Ilya. Seeing these guys move around with the ponies and the sheep is pretty much hilarious, but I got to tell BeBe all about how she has the best son in the entire world. Nevertheless, it’s easy to see where he got his huge head and his bone structure!
The herd on top of the hill – doesn’t get much better than picturesque ponies.
A few of Kaiser’s newest cousins! Foals are cute but Gotland foals are pretty much the fuzziest cutest friendliest things on the entire planet.
A week ago yesterday, I moved into a place I will call home for the next three months; the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) in Lexington, Kentucky. While most of my classmates are seeking employment after graduation, I am still working on something the rest of them would dread – getting BACK into school – but in the meantime I’m not the type to sit around and do nothing. Looking for new experiences and new adventures, I signed on to intern at KESMARC for the fall, where I hope to further my equine science education. Over the course of the week I’ve had my highs and lows, but despite a rainy move-in (see rather wet picture of Lexington above) and some frustrating days of learning the ropes, I’m pretty much settled in now and ready to rock n’ roll here in Kentucky.
KESMARC is a pretty remarkable facility – equipped with a equine swimming pool, an underwater treadmill, an ‘equigym’ (we just called it the hot walker at home in Indiana, who knew it had such fancy titles?), a vibrating platform, a hypobaric oxygen chamber, and a cold-water spa, it’s located close to some of the nation’s more recognized equine hospitals, and situated right at the heart of horse country. Horses come here for rehabilitation from injury as well as sports conditioning. We’ve got champion warmbloods sharing space with cheeky little arabians and racehorses settled in next to broodmares, which make this a unique place to get some industry perspective as well. I’ve always felt that many of my classmates get too focused on one track or job or discipline and forget that the entire horse world is going to be better off if we learn from each other and grow together. Not that everyone can’t have their strengths and preferences but like we tell kids, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Or, in this case, don’t knock it until you learn enough about it to form educated opinions.
Week one, and I’ve seen already so many things you don’t experience everyday; from laser therapy to the yearlings coming in every day to swim in the pool in preparation for the sales starting soon here in Kentucky. I’ll be keeping the world updated on this and other adventures here, so stay tuned.