If you’re not familiar, Warm Springs Ranch is located in the heart of Missouri, approximately 10 miles from Boonville and 20 miles from Columbia. Established in 2008, it is home to over 100 world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales. The Warm Springs Ranch is open to the public for tours (by reservation only) and provides not only the chance to meet these beautiful horses up close, but also an educational tour and breathtaking scenery. Case in point:
As we entered the gate and drove down the winding road toward the barn, Clydesdales could be seen scattered across 300+ acres of rolling pasture, enjoying the cool June morning. The pond, the barn in the distance, and the tall grasses waving in the morning breeze were beautiful! After parking in front of the barn, we were greeted by a very enthusiastic and friendly tour guide perched atop a 1903 custom-built Studebaker-built beer wagon. Along with about 40 other guests, we watched a short video and the guide gave us an overview of the history of the Clydesdale breed and their association with the Budweiser brand.
Our tour began outside near the exercise pens where we saw our first Clydesdales up close. My daughter (22 mo), who had been practicing her “horsey” noises for weeks, was awestruck and smiled ear to ear! There were plenty of chances to take photos of the horses in the outdoor pens while the guide shared more facts with the group. I thought our KCMB readers would appreciate these facts in particular:
- Clydesdale mares are pregnant for an average of 340 days … that’s 11 months!
- An average labor for a Clydesdale takes between 5 and 35 minutes (yes, minutes).
- Clydesdale babies (foals) weigh over 150 pounds and come out front hooves first (as if diving) … !!!
- If you think your grocery bill is high, try feeding one of these guys. They eat over 50 pounds of hay and drink over 30 gallons of water per day!
During the 1.5 hour tour, we visited and learned about the veterinary lab areas, foaling areas, grooming stalls, the visiting horse quarters, and the luxury semi trailers that transport the Clydesdales to their various appearances across the country. We got to hold a Clydesdale horseshoe (they weigh over 5 pounds and are 20 inches across!), pet a foal and took our photo with a full-grown mare.
Our trip to Warm Springs Ranch was very educational and memorable. If your kids love animals and the outdoors, I’d recommend a short nap-time drive to the ranch this summer or fall! For more information and to schedule your visit, visit their website.
Note: One contributor received a complimentary trip and expenses in exchange for this review; however, opinions expressed in those post are those of the contributor who wrote them.