Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three Chimney's Horse Farm

Three Chimney's Farm is a Thoroughbred  horse breeding farm in Kentucky. If you know anything about Kentucky, you knew a visit like this was coming! Horses and bourbon are a Big Deal here y'all.

We got to visit and have the president give us a tour. (Pic from Patterson Flicker page.)

Now there is a lot about breeding horses I never thought I wanted to know, but it's a very lucrative part of the Kentucky economy.  They have breed a U.S. Triple Crown Winner (Seattle Slew) and other various winners (Smarty Jones, Chris Evert, Big Brown, if horse names mean anything to you!)

It started off as a family farm that hosted other peoples horses during breeding and racing season and then slowly expanded. They now own and breed their own stock as well as host others. The cost of breeding is super expensive to someone who doesn't know anything about horses. Stud fees range from $3,000 to $35,000 for this season!

$35,000 just for the DNA of a horse!!! It doesn't have any proof of any excellence or anything! You can look at their virtual stallion brochure for 2013 here: http://www.threechimneys.com/brochure/#/1/.

Also, breeding is much more complicated than I had originally thought due to horses mating season. Some horses are even shipped Down Under to breed in the off season from North America!

This lucky guy was getting a bath right as we left:

See you around the globe!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ashbury Challenge Course

Yesterday (August 23), as part of our orientation the first years (aka my class) went to Ashbury University's Challenge Course. A little about the course (taken straight from their website):
The Asbury University Challenge Course is designed to support leadership, personal skills development, and self-confidence in an alternative setting. Sometimes referred to as “Experience-Based Training and Development,” a well-designed program can be an appropriate vehicle for addressing process issues that can frequently get in the way of group effectiveness and goal accomplishment.
We all thought it might be a little awkward to go, since we had just met about 3 days ago (not counting our economic bootcamp that many of us had participated in), but it wasn't. In fact it was an AWESOME day with lots of fun team  building activities.

There was both a low and a high ropes course. The low ropes course was misleading, it only had one set of ropes. Everything else was on the ground, but involved balance or communication. It was really a get to know you and your future classmates. It helped us build trust among the people we will be working with for the next three semesters. It was something that will pay off as we also learned how to communicate with each other (and learned some names to boot!).

One of the things we did was a trust walk, where one person was blindfolded and the other person led them around by directions only. Here's an action shot:

The low course showed us how we can have a really high learning curve, but then things speed up once we get the hang of things!

Then there was the high ropes course...this one was all about you. And your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries. Now I'm not one to say I'm afraid of heights, but I do definitely respect them! So when you are attached to a small rope and not just ziplineing, but rather walking across little wobbly boards. It was a lot more difficult than I expected. The only thing that kept running through my head was "I hope this is ok with my heart!" and "this is out of my comfort zone. This is what they said it was about." and "You can DOOOOO it!"

The best part of the giant swing part of the high ropes course. Yup, a giant ropes swing. Of course I had to do it!

Here I am listening to the nice man walking me through every little thing he is doing as he unhooks me from the only thing keeping me safe and hooks me onto a swing. A Swing. Too bad pictures don't come with the sound of my heartbeat and how I was asking if this was really what "out of my comfort zone" was all about!

You can't even hear the scream of utter terror! But it was so exhilarating!

See you around the globe!

*Photos credit of Patterson School Flicker Account*