WE RECENTLY VISITED the Red Barn located in a quiet orchard on the Stanford campus. When Leland Stanford bought 650 acres for his Palo Alto Stock Farm to breed trotting horses, he built this lovely Victorian-style Red Barn as a training stable on the grounds. In the 1880's this was a jewel in the heart of the countryside -- and it remains a remarkable sight today.
This was the site of Edward Muybridge's famous photographs of "horses in motion" that proved Stanford's theory (and won a friendly wager) that a trotting horse has all four feet off the ground for a brief moment. Analysis of the series of photos had an additional outcome: it ultimately led to development of the moving picture industry.
Today the Red Barn serves as an equestrian center with stalls, stables, and arenas, and is popular with local horse entuhsiasts and owners. We enjoyed wandering through the paddocks and meeting the horses nose-to-nose. The university offers classes on training, riding, and horesmanship in connecting with these magnificent animals.