Belle is the "Grand Dam" of Briar Gate Farm. She is a 31 year old, black Quarter Horse and the only mare on our farm. Her smooth ride and gentle nature makes her a favorite of beginner riders. She is definitely what we call a "been there, done that" kind of horse!
One of our favorites on the farm is our 18 year old Quarter Horse, Amigo. He has been used for Little Britches Rodeo in the past and now is involved in 4-H. He is a gentle soul with a big heart and a nice smooth ride. He also happens to be a distant cousin of our mare, Belle!
Ringo is a sweet, gentle 14 year old Paint with a background full of kid-friendly activities. He's been a lesson horse, has done summer camps and has been to a few horse shows. He loves to have his forehead scratched and his favorite riding game is Boots-in-a-Bucket! While Ringo no longer lives with us at Briar Gate Farm, he comes back for a few horse-related activities throughout the year.
Named after the Native American term for ghost when he was born almost entirely white, our nickname for Spirit is "Mr Congeniality". He is always at the fence when someone new arrives and is curious about everything. He is just the right size for the littlest kids to groom and braid his mane. Spirit was formerly a carousel pony and in a petting zoo, so he's no stranger to activities with children!
This beautiful Cleveland Bay/Thoroughbred cross is owned by friends of ours but is living at Briar Gate Farm as a long-term lease. He is a fabulous, experienced Hunter Jumper and a big friendly gelding. We are excited to work with him more this spring and summer and hope to show him at local schooling shows as well as the Boulder County Fair.
Over the years we've raised many chicks as 4-H projects and have kept a number of hens (and the occasional) rooster for farm-fresh eggs. Last year they got a new coop and are living in style now!
Baby chicks arrive in the mail!
New coop being built behind the milk house
No foxes or raccoons getting into this one!
In January 2009, we brought two friendly goats to the farm all the way from Ignacio, Colorado: Skittles and Springer. Since then, we have gone from the original two goats to a 18 and counting, and have become very active with 4-H and showing through the Colorado Dairy Goat Association. Skittles has had many kids over the years and we still own a daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter of hers!
Skittles: Megan's Nubian Doe
Springer: Molly's Nigerian Dwarf wether
Some of the herd -meet each one on the Goat page!
Meet Seger the llama! Seger is a regal and genteel llama we brought to the farm to "guard" the goats and other animals against coyotes and other predators (yes, llamas make great guards and will not only sound an alarm at the sight of a threat, but will also go after predators and stomp them if needed to protect the animals they're bonded to). Not only is he handsome and useful, he is a real sweetheart and loves to be admired.
Our barn cats, Dusty and Rusty, joined the farm in May of 2009. When they first came, they were tiny, adorable kittens who got so much lovin' from visitors to the farm that first summer that they are now just about the friendliest kitties you'll ever meet! And they are both exceptional hunters, keeping our mouse population in the barn under control.
Sunlight streams through window pane unto a spot on the floor.... then I remember, it's where you used to lie, but now you are no more. Our feet walk down a hall of carpet, and muted echoes sound.... then I remember, It's where your paws would joyously abound. A voice is heard along the road, and up beyond the hill, then I remember it can't be yours.... your golden voice is still. But I'll take that vacant spot of floor and empty muted hall and lay them with the absent voice and unused dish along the wall. I'll wrap these treasured memorials in a blanket of my love and keep them for my best friend until we meet above.