There aren't enough adjectives to describe the Budweiser Clydesdales: impressive, majestic, gorgeous, magnificent, adorable.
Wait. Adorable? A horse that measures up to 6-foot-3 at the shoulders and can weigh up to 2,200 pounds? But when you meet a newborn Clydesdale, "adorable" is likely to be the first word out of your mouth – right after a long "Aww!"
Spring is baby boom time at Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, with a second surge in births in the fall. Up to two dozen foals are born each year, so whenever you visit, you're certain to meet a youngster or two and fall in love. The moms are very patient with the paparazzi that fill their stall doors, even if they start out a little protective of the new addition to the family. And some of the foals are so curious, they want to welcome every visitor.
If you haven't been to Warm Springs, you need to book your tour today. If you haven't been for a while (say, a week or two!), you need to book a tour. They're held late March through early November (every day except Wednesday).
See where the legends are born. Check out the huge tack they wear to pull the Anheuser Busch beer wagon. Discover what it takes to qualify to become part of the touring hitch teams. Pet one of the gentle giants and get a selfie – they know how photogenic they are!
In the past, the horse-training facility for the Clydesdales was in New Hampshire, but it was recently relocated to the state-of-the-art breeding farm in Boonville. Although the training will not be scheduled to coincide with tours – there is always the possibility you can see the young horses (and drivers) learning the skills that may lead them to join one of the famous show teams.
Warm Springs is a magical place. No matter how often you visit, there's something new you'll find enchanting. On my latest visit, the horses were feeling chatty – delighting me with the variety of neighs, snorts and whickers they use to greet their herd mates.
On a previous outing, five "ladies-in-waiting" (the next group of expectant mothers) were near the barn, waiting their turn to introduce more "adorable" into the family, while a spectacular – and gigantic – stallion kept watch nearby.
You need to visit the ranch for the Holiday Lights event in December. And make it to the home opener at Busch Stadium to see the hitch circle the field to the Budweiser theme song while the crowd cheers. And go to an appearance by one of the traveling hitches. When it comes to the Clydesdales, a bucket list never ends. Enjoy the show!
Written by Barb Brueggeman