Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Larson Clydesdale's...Worth the Visit

Last week my husband saw an article in the local paper.  It was about a local attraction that we had vaguely heard about, but never gave it much thought.  It was an article about Larson's Famous Clydesdales.  We learned that this farm owned 14 of the most award winning horses in the United States.  They have competed with Budweiser horses and those owned by the Campbells soup fortune.  They aren't allowed to put advertising signs out but somehow people come in large numbers every year to see these amazing animals.  It costs $15 for adults and $5 for kids.  The Tuesday afternoon show includes a grandstand performance.

Every other Tuesday, during the summer, we have our second youngest grandson.  Since this was the last Tuesday before school starts, we thought we would check out the Clydesdales.  We called ahead which is recommended.  Sometimes they have bus tours and don't have room for everyone.  As luck would have it, our daughter and her sons were also available to join us.

When the gates opened we were allowed to walk up to the driveway to the first set of horses.  You can go right up to the fence and pet them.  They love having their faces rubbed.

Jack with the Mama horse 
Heather, Ewan and Dylan with Big Reggie and Max

The photos above don't show how big these horses are.  The yard we are standing on is up from the ground the horses stand on so it's easier to pet them.  The horse on the left is named Reggie White after the famous Green Bay Packer player.  He stands 19 hands tall and was voted the best American Gelding in the United States.

When the music starts playing the horses know it's time for them to go to the fence and get in their spots to be fed.

Judy Larson who owns the farm with her husband Calvin begins to tell the history of their journey raising these amazing animals.  She takes you around the place showing the horse trailers, the awards, the wagon they use in parades and introduces you to all the horses.

She introduced us to Joey.  He is only 7 years old which is how long it takes for these horses to become fully grown.

The Larson's grandson bringing out Joey. 

  They have huge feet. 
Judy shows how big the horseshoes are compared to a regular sized horse. 

They showed us how they get the horse ready to hook up the cart.  When they do parades, they take six horses to pull the big wagon.  Each horse has a job.  They brought Joey out to show him pulling the cart and how light they are on their feet.  The horses are trained so well, they respond to the slightest command.

Lastly we saw the baby Scottie.  He is four months old and is already bigger than Big Reggie was at that age.  They have hopes that he will also be a grand champion horse.  The Clydesdale mares are pregnant for eleven months but ultrasounds can see if a mare is pregnant at two weeks because of the size of the baby.  The mortality rate for Clydesdales is very high.  It is due to the fact that most babies have a condition similar to the RH negative factor in humans.  When the babies are born, they are tested.  If needed the babies are infused with nine bags of plasma from the mother.  It is a long process, but worth it in the long run.  Big Reggie actually needed eighteen bags of plasma, but look at him today.

The Larson's newest baby Scottie.  Four months old when we visited. 

It was a surprisingly awesome day.  We had no idea we had these famous horses only a half hour away.  I wonder what other local attractions we don't know about.  This is the link for the original article that prompted our visit.

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