Giddy Up N Go Ponies provides hands-on experience - Farm 2019
BY DENNY SCOTT
Early last year, a new kind of agriculture business, Giddy Up N Go Ponies, relocated to just outside of Auburn with a focus on giving hands-on agricultural experiences to locals and tourists alike.
Since 2015, Stephanie Morrison has been bringing her love of farm animals to the general public through Giddy Up N Go Ponies.
Having started in Dundalk, Morrison and her family moved to their Blyth Road home in January, 2018, wanting a bigger space for the family’s crew of farm animals.
Morrison explained that their Dundalk site was four acres and they wanted a larger space, making the move to Auburn a logical one. She said the family found a fixer-upper and made the farm their own.
“We wanted to find a bigger, affordable property,” she said. “We found it was cheaper to buy here, and picked up a fixer-upper as is.”
While the property was more affordable, Morrison said there was work that needed to be done before her family and the animals could move in.
“We had to do a lot of work on the barn,” she said. “It just had a roof and supports when we moved in. We needed to put walls, stalls and insulation in.”
The site made sense, she said, because the business does have her on the road quite often, and Auburn is a good central location for a lot of travel.
“I’ve been around animals since I was very young,” she said. “My mom and dad had a hobby activity farm, and I’ve been around race horses and beef cows most of my life.”
Before owning the business, Morrison worked with standardbred race horses.
Morrison wanted to share her love of farm animals, leading to the creation of the company, which she says puts a focus on getting hands-on with livestock.
“When you have a pet, like a bird, in a house, you can hold it, but it’s not really as unique as when you get to get hands-on with livestock like ducks,” she said. “It’s for children of all ages. There is a lot of love for animals.”
While in Dundalk, the focus was on touring with the animals, Morrison said, but she wanted to have more people visit the farm, which led to the decision to find a bigger space.
“This year, we have farm dates on our website,” she said. “We’re trying to reach out to people who are visiting the area, like campers, to give them a chance to visit.”
She said that the farm provides a great atmosphere where families can visit with the animals and see the farm.
“We have the Giddy Up train, a playground and a corn box and people can ride ponies,” she said. “All the animals are friendly and good with the hands-on activities. They like being brushed and played with.”
While touring different locations with the animals for petting zoos and parties, Morrison said that she loves hosting people on the farm not only because of the activities they have, but also because there is just so much more to see than she can take on the road.
Aside from the on-farm business, Morrison said she still will travel with some animals, highlighting activities like the miniature pony play dates.
“We bring them out and, while some children can ride one pony, others can brush the miniature ponies or put hats on them. The kids dress them and, for events like a birthday party, it makes sure children aren’t waiting for their turn to ride.”
She said that cuddling with the bunnies is also a highlight, as are the baby animals they bring, like lambs and kids.
“The kids always like to interact,” she said.
“We’re setting up more activities like the unicorn photo booth parties we added this year, llama birthday events and goat parties,” she said. “People love goat parties. They are just so much fun to be around.”
Morrison also said that she can facilitate “Kiss the Cow” fundraisers, which are a great way for organizations to raise money.
While they do have young animals on the farm, almost all of them become a part of the business long-term Morrison said.
“We’ve sold maybe four lambs to one farm in Mildmay,” she said. “Aside from that, if the animals come to the farm, it’s usually to stay.”
For more information, visit www.giddyupngoponies.com