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Issue link: http://loumag.epubxp.com/i/718671
26 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.16 A BIT TO DO cvs.com waterstep.org In a state known for horses, Western saddles and cowboy boots are hard to come by. Not at Circle Bar C Ranch, a 100-acre property just north of La Grange. My husband and I drive up the gravel path to the ranch a little after 9 a.m. on a Saturday. Owner Jason Cornett is a big guy who wears blue jeans, spurs on his boots and a straw cowboy hat. Cornett saddles up Candy, a feisty brown mare he chose for me because of my riding experience, and Whiskey, a blond, mild-tempered mare he picked for my less- experienced husband. Cornett mounts his blond horse, a recent acquisition, and asks his wife Ashley if he looks OK on it. "It's like that John Wayne syndrome," he says. "Too damn big for my damn horse." He leads us on an 11-mile ride (there's up to 50 miles to roam). His blue heeler/Lab mix Ruger (named after the firearm) tags along, running circles around the 1,000-pound beauties and darting ahead like a bullet. Cornett loves to tell stories. About neighborhood gossip, his brush with major wealth, his ranches out West, his years as a rodeo competitor. What's true is for the visitor to decide, but it's at least entertaining. We ride under foliage and along black fences, whose paint, Cornett says, comes from leftovers at Ford plants. Neighboring horses come up to the fences by the mob, poking their necks over the edge to greet us. We walk through a creek every now and then and let the horses have a drink. Their tails swat at a pesky horsefly. Cornett says to come back in the fall to see the leaves change color. After a couple hours, he asks if we want to go on an extended trail or head back to the barn. It's pushing noon and we have things to do, so we head back. But it won't be our last time out West in the Bluegrass. — Mary Chellis Austin