In 2012, the Kentucky Horse Park celebrated the grand opening of its newest barn, designed specifically for youth ages 13 and under.
The Kids Barn is an interactive facility with hands-on educational activities that are guaranteed to capture every guest’s attention. Kids have the opportunity to help our friendly staff groom horses, go on scavenger hunts, and jump their own course of fences, on foot, in the "Champion's Arena" located in the grassy area right beside the barn. Both children and adults can learn about the basics of horses and how to care for them. Included with park admission, the Kids Barn activities are sure to keep the young and young-at-heart engaged and entertained.
KIDS BARN DAILY SCHEDULE (Mid-March - October)
SELF GUIDED TOUR OF KIDS BARN:
Along with the scheduled activities in the Kids Barn, it is also open daily for visitors to explore in their own self-guided tour. Two of the barn’s stalls house a different horse or a pony everyday, while all of the other stalls have been converted into learning stations with different displays to teach guests about the equine industry and basic horsemanship. Please find a list of the different learning stations below. Programs, classes, and clinics that are offered through the KHP Education Department can also be found on the park’s website!
ANATOMY OF THE HORSE
Use our life-size charts and models to look at the horse’s outer anatomy, skeleton, and muscular structure.
See the streamline, light-weight tack that racehorses have to wear and on which jockeys have to balance.
AMERICAN SADDLEBRED FUNZONE
Check out information and posters on American Saddlebred history and competition. Kids can also enjoy some Saddlebred-themed puzzles and coloring pages.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EQUINE INDUSTRY
Learn about all the fun jobs that are available to horse enthusiasts! This station includes information on everything from equine dentistry to horse show photography.
Can you find the 10 things that are wrong with the way this stall is set up? A stall is a horse’s home, and learning how to make it both a safe and comfortable place is one of the most important aspects of horsemanship.
BREEDS AROUND THE WORLD
This station teaches you about a variety of breeds from across the globe and the jobs for which they’re bred.
Learn the basics of horse nutrition and digestion. Read all about the different types of feed and how they help keep horses healthy.
This station displays the basic safety guidelines people need to follow both when handling and riding horses.
Admire the Kentucky Horse Park’s own Breyer horses. We have an impressive collection, many of which are modeled after real horses who are famous in their respective disciplines.
Learn about the parts of the harness and sit in the driver’s seat of an actual vintage carriage.
COLORS AND MARKINGS
Look at examples of all the possible coat colors and the different markings that make each horse so unique.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend our daily Groom and Shine presentation, or you just want to learn more, visit this station to see examples of proper grooming kits and all the tools we need to make our horses shine.
This station makes you feel as though you’re looking at an actual horse loaded in a trailer! Learn all about how to transport horses and keep trailers safe.
FOAL EMERGENCY STALL
Catch a glimpse inside a foaling stall, and learn how veterinarians care for foals and their mothers following the birthing process.
GROOM AND SHINE: 2:45 PM
The horses and ponies in the Kids Barn need help! After playing in their paddocks all day, these dusty coats need a lot of work to make them shine again. The Groom and Shine demonstration will teach you the different grooming tools, their uses, and the techniques to groom a horse. Once our staff has demonstrated how to groom, it’s your turn to give it a try! (A great hands-on activity for children of any age).
Other Activities Throughout the Day:
Copies of our scavenger hunt are available everyday on both sides of the barn to grab on your way out. The hunt is a list of 10 different items that children can find around the Kentucky Horse Park while they are touring and enjoying the rest of our attractions with their families!
JUMP A COURSE
Located right outside the Kids Barn, the “Champion’s Arena” is a designated area where children can expend some excess energy on foot over a miniature-scale show jumping course (Jumps donated by Jump4Joy). Courses will be posted and changed regularly, but children do not necessarily have to jump the posted course. Parents can set the fences at whatever height their child is comfortable with jumping.
MEET OUR HORSES
The horses in the Kids Barn are typically switched out every day. There is always information about that day’s horse or pony and their breed’s history on the stalls. We like to have a variety of horses so guests can see different breeds and clean another horse every time they attend our Groom and Shine demonstration.