When I heard that the Disneyland Resort horses would be “on vacation” while enhancements are made on Main Street, U.S.A., I had visions of our equine friends donning sunglasses and floppy hats, cooling their hooves in a wading pool and sipping refreshing beverages from very long straws. Turns out, a vacation for a horse is very different than a vacation for people.
In the absence of regular shifts on Main Street, U.S.A., our four-legged cast members are following their usual routines in order to keep fit—both physically and mentally. Each horse has a schedule for grooming, bathing, driving, riding and ground work. However, they do have more time for play, which is an important part of being a horse. Horses, after all, are herd animals and it’s important for their well-being that they have time to be together. One way in which this is accomplished is through “turn-outs,” which is the horsey term for “playdates.” The horses are turned out in an enclosed arena, in groups of three or four, and they run together, kick up their heels and just move as a herd. Inevitably, each horse will find that perfect spot of ground on which to roll over and stretch their back and legs. Total relaxation, equine style. Maybe our vacations aren’t so different after all.