Horse of the Week
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DonkeysWe have a look-alike duo for our for January 19th, 2009 'Horse of the Week'. Abigale & Cole belong to Tina Horne of Maple Wind Farms in Hawkestone, Ontario. Tina's farm has a large assortment of gaited horses, and she is also a member of the Hoof Beat Outriders. We have featured many of her horses in past HOW's.

Tina tells us the story of her donkeys:

"Our first donkey came to us as a sweet little 6 month old jenny that we named Abigale. She is a charmer and loves being around the farm with us. Abigale would help us round up cows on our dairy farm, would be at every milking going back and forth behind the cows with us. She generally had free run of the farm as if she was a family dog!

Everyone who came into the yard had to be 'checked out' by Abigale and approved! For her first Hallowe'en, she was "Donkula"! By Christmas of that year, we brought her and 2 of our show calves around our neighbourhood to sing Christmas carols and we also entered the calves and Abigale in our first Orillia Santa Claus Parade as "Santa's Ranch" and walked them down the main streets of Orillia together! The early memories we have with baby Abigale are so much fun. Abigale had free run of the farm until she grew up a little more and if we weren't outside with her, she would go visiting our neighbours. Unfortunately, we had to contain her with the rest of the horse herd after that.

DonkeyAfter Abigale had grown, my daughter Haley decided she wanted to ride and drive Abigale. Abigale was a perfect mount. Anytime we have Abigale out for trail rides during the maple sugar season, the little children who visit choose to ride her. Abigale has always been very close to our family and is always the first to greet us (and last to be caught!). There is something so wonderful about a donkey and Abigale is a very special one! Abigale is now 6 years old and is a wonderful friend for us all.

Our second donkey is Abigale's half-brother. He was born on the same day as our son Cole's birthday, so the farmer who owned him, named him Cole. He also came to us as a 6 month old jack (now gelded) and we called him Cole Donkey just to keep things straight! Cole Donkey was a little more shy to be around people because he was put with the horse herd and not handled as much as Abigale had been, but he has always been really sweet and curious! We can count on the donkeys to keep the predators away from the pasture of calves too! Cole Donkey is now 4 years old and he will be trained to ride this year. Both Abigale and Cole are approximately 16 hh. We are hopeful that he will take to riding well and you never know - we may have a good barrel racing donkey yet!

Donkeys are very smart and have long memories. One swish of their tail lets you know a decision has been made... hopefully in your favour!! We love having the donkeys on the farm and look forward to many more wonderful years with both of them! Stubborn, yes.. definitely. FUN, YES...DEFINITELY!!"

Congratulations to Abigail and Cole for being our January 19th, 2009 Horse of the Week.

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