Lexington, Kentucky

Horse Country Through the Eyes of Mary Jane Speer

By: Mary Jane Speer

Mary Jane Speer has a knack for capturing the beauty of the Bluegrass, particularly when it comes to horses. Check out her top 10 photos taken around Horse Country, and learn the best roads around Lexington for snapping horse photos of your own. Instagram: maryjspeer

Instagram personality Mary Jane Speer shares photography tips with us.

To me, Horse Country beauty is equivalent to a lake nestled between snow covered mountains or the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. It’s a beauty that pulls you in, and you can’t help but stare. Luckily for us, rolling hills and grazing horses are only a short drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown. There are many routes that will take you to various farms that surround the perimeter of Lexington – everyone has their favorite backroad that leads through Horse Country!

I discovered my backroads driving from Lexington to Frankfort for work and during a short stint living in charming Midway. Before I knew it, I found myself leaving for work earlier in the morning and taking the long way home in the evenings. Wanting to capture the picturesque scenes, I began finding “pullover spots” to take pictures. Here are a few of my favorite roads and tips on capturing horse country:

horse country

Best Roads for Snapping Photos

  1. Yarnallton Pike
  2. Pisgah Pike
  3. Old Frankfort Pike (not the best road to pullover – but a beautiful drive!)
  4. W. Stephens Street, Midway
  5. Rice Road
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Tips for Photographing Horses

  1. As cute as they are, refrain from petting the horses unless told otherwise. I’ve never had a farm owner tell me I can’t take pictures, but out of respect for the farmers and possible liability reasons, it’s best to look and not touch.
  2. Jingle keys or a take box of mints to get a horse’s attention. This doesn’t work 100% of the time, however, one time I pulled over on Pisgah Pike where a photographer was already taking photos. He said he always carries a box of mints to shake when he wanted to get the horse’s attention.
  3. Introduce yourself to farm workers or staff if they walk by. They are usually more than happy to talk about their farm, the horses, or the weather – after all it is Kentucky!


More of Mary Jane’s Photos


Mary Jane Speer

Born a Buckeye, graduated a Volunteer, ended up in the Bluegrass and loving every minute. Discovered my passion for horse country while sipping sweet bourbon trackside at Keeneland. Currently living in Lexington and working in Louisville as a Digital Content Manager for Kentucky Venues. Instagram: maryjspeer

Explore things to do and create an itinerary
Make travel arrangements to visit Lexington