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Fur, Feathers and Fins Agricultural Petting Zoo

Kingston area's BEST Petting Zoo

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Cheyenne Dusty Clydesdale

It was May 2006. We had been operating the petting zoo for several years, and were at the Leeds County Draft Horse Club field day. I don’t recall who’s field it was, but I remember they were preparing a portion of it for planting, all with horsepower.

One of the Draft Horse Club members was also into Miniature Horses and had a team of them pulling a cart. One of them happened to be a mare with a two week old foal. Baby was tethered to mother’s harness and trotting right along with the team. Their owner brought her over to us and said we needed to buy her to add to our ‘petting zoo’. We had been setting up animal displays at community events for years, but hadn’t really considered ourselves to be a ‘petting zoo’.

The long story short, we mailed off the deposit for that pony a few days later. When she was weaned, she was trailered to our place with her mother, and left with us.

For the first few days, she was obviously upset, because she didn’t understand why she was in a new place, and why her mother was gone. We spent a lot of time with her at the beginning, and realized how much training she already had, just from experiencing life alongside her mother. I highly recommend that a foal be exposed to as many things as possible when it is very young. It really does help it become a more confident horse later on.

We named her Cheyenne Dusty Clydesdale. The name came from the movie ‘The Apple Dumpling Gang’, which features Don Knotts, Tim Conway and Bill Bixby, and has a female character by the name of Magnolia Dusty Clydesdale who is otherwise known as ‘Dusty’.

Cheyenne is sort of the main animal who got our petting zoo off the ground. Shortly after we got her, we booked our first actual, paying gig and were advertised as having ‘a miniature horse the size of a goat’. Since then, she has experienced pretty much everything. Even the ‘sprinkler’ from a big Kingston Fire Truck’s roof mounted nozzle. This was an event held on a very hot day a few years ago. I easily convinced some kids to take her into the sprinkler to cool off.

She’s even been in the house a few times. It’s really hard to believe she’s been her as long as she has, it seems like she just came.

 

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