After visiting Driftless, we drove a whole hour south to Black Earth, WI, where we met up with some fine-looking Friesians. Friesians are a breed of horse from the Netherlands.
My dad’s cousin, Dan (he is Doug’s brother, you can read about Doug in the Driftless post) and his girlfriend Joanne breed and raise Friesians on their farm in Black Earth. Their company is Black Earth Friesians, LLC.
A Knight’s Favorite
Friesians are graceful and nimble, especially for their big size. They weigh about 1,500 pounds, which is 500 more pounds than most horses. In the Middle Ages, Friesians were the horse of choice for knights in armour. Today, they are used for dressage, which some say is the highest expression of horse training. These horses are beautiful animals; their manes and tails are stunning. I wouldn’t want to comb them, though.
Rock Star Parking!
We arrived in the early evening. I think because I’m now a famous blogger, we got to park in the best spot: we pulled in right next to two Friesians! My dad took this picture the next morning.
What in the World?!
As soon as we parked, CoCo and I knew something was a little different outside. That’s when we saw them: the Friesians! We had no idea what they were! It was the first time CoCo and I had ever seen a horse!
We just watched them through the windows at first. I thought maybe they were giant dogs.
The horses seemed curious about us too. Two mares kept staring at us.
Then I found out that both of the mares had babies just six months ago. I got to go inside the stables and see the baby horses (I think they’re called fillies).
I also got to see hay for the first time. My dad asked me to pose for a picture on the bales of hay. It was scratchy.
Dan and Joanne opened the stables and the fillies galloped outside to run… and run… and run! I really wanted to join them but I was way too scared. Those are very big dogs.
So, I just watched them from the safety of my Uncle Dan’s side inside the stable.
And then they came right up to me!
And Then There Was A Bear
Whew. That was a little intimidating. But everything went okay. Once they figured out I couldn’t play with them, they weren’t really interested in me. But I made another friend on the Friesian Farm. His name is Bear. He’s a spry 12-year-old Labrador-Golden Retriever!
Bear warned me to stay away from the horses. He said they kick pretty hard. He grabbed an apple and asked me if I wanted to play. He didn’t have to ask twice!
We played! And played! And the three horses across the field watched us.
I think they wanted to play. And, so did the little, strange-looking horse who was in another nearby field.
Bear told me that wasn’t a horse, it’s a donkey and his name is Lewis. He is five years old and he loves to talk. He’s there to help the Stallions stay social while they’re in training.
Holy Mackerel! What a jackpot day! I got to see horses and donkeys and eat delectable goodies! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Tell me about your horse experiences!