the Bluegrass


I posted this photo yesterday on my personal Twitter page (not the CAA’s Twitter page, at right, which is also “mine” but … as you might image … more driving-related than my own). But I thought you might like to see it here as well.

After our descent last week into the dreaded polar vortex, we were back up near the 50-degree mark over the weekend. And the sun came out yesterday. As I noted when posting the photo, I adore the “leafy” seasons, but I also love bright winter days, when the Kentucky Horse Park’s trees get a chance to show off their underlying structures.

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Of course, it was snowing today.

I was in the office earlier (Saturday afternoon), working on the August issue of The Carriage Journal, and I meant to post this photo. And then I forgot.

So here I am, with only about half an hour left on Saturday.

I took this photo on Friday, just outside the side door of our CAA office at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was a picture-perfect day…
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Given the time, I think this post will have to count for both Saturday and Sunday, if you don’t mind.

I’ve realized that I haven’t posted anything in quite a while that involves actual, living horses being driven. Of course, it’s difficult to find very many, or any at all, being driven this time of year. But you and I are in luck today! Although our weather here in Lexington is horrible today, and was horrible yesterday, Friday was nice (if a bit windy and chilly) and Saturday was gorgeous. Over the weekend, the CAA hosted a program of driving lessons and Driver Proficiency evaluations at the Gayla Driving Center in nearby Georgetown. The special-guest instructors and evaluators were John Parker and Susan Townsend from England.

I made it out to Gayla for just a little while on Friday afternoon, but here are a few photos of, first, Colonel Davis (the CAA’s immediate past president) and, then, Colonel’s wife, Kathi, taking a lesson with John Parker and their morgan mare, Dixie. Then we’ll see Debbie Banfield taking a Level 3 evaluation with Susan. And in the background of all these photos: the Bluegrass in the early spring …

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Earlier today, some of the participants in the weekend program (those, especially, who came all the way from California and are staying in the area for a couple of extra days) stopped by the office to visit with John and Susan and to have a cup of tea. I’ve posted a photo of all those folks on the CAA’s Facebook page … which, coincidentally, is easier to find now: just click on the FB link in the upper right corner of this page and it will take you to our FB page, where you can see everything (but not post or comment) without having to either sign in or even have a Facebook account.

For our final look at the 150th-anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Perryville, here are a few scenes from the reenactment itself:

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[Hey, I found an Internet connection!]

We’re (still) back at the Perryville reenactment for two more days …

While we were visiting with some of the folks in the horse-drawn artillery unit, we walked with a couple of them to meet another artillery unit and see their pieces, which were on display but not being used.

Over the course of the day, we learned that a unit of horse-drawn artillery would’ve had six or eight cannon, each pulled by six horses. As you’ve seen in the previous artillery photos, each cannon is attached to a limber (the front wheels of the four-wheeled device) with a box on top. That box carries the cannon’s ammunition (thirty-nine shells in the case of the twelve-pound howitzer we saw).

Each cannon, then, would’ve been accompanied by a second horse-drawn limber with a caisson attached, and each caisson carried another two boxes of ammunition. As you can see here, a spare wheel was carried on the back of the caisson.

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Portions of this particular limber and caisson are original, and it has all sorts of nooks and crannies and carrying cases for a spare pole, an ax, a hatchet, etc.

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Each unit also had its own blacksmith, who would’ve had a setup like this:

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