Aimee Kootnikoff runs Kootenay Acres, and while there are tons of cute animals on the farm, a goat and a horse have caught the imaginations of animal lovers everywhere.
There are 48 sweet animals at Kootney Acres Hobby Farm, including the recent stars of the farm: Bouge and the one-year-old goat, Arret.
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“Some of these critters often would have found themselves with a very different fate,” Kootnikoff told Daily Hive.
“I’m excited to give them a long, happy life with full bellies while free-ranging out little acreage.”
Kootnikoff works full-time, and she dedicates all of her hours outside of her day job tending to to the animals while capturing all their crazy antics on camera.
“I really enjoy showcasing their unique personalities and sharing with my friends and followers through social media.”
And on that note, Kootnikoff’s Instagram page has gotten a lot of recent love thanks to Arret and Bouge, an unlikely duo.
The two majestic creatures have found a daily routine that involves Arret essentially climbing up onto the back of Bouge and going for a ride. Arret really seems to enjoy it, based on the videos posted on the Kootney Acres Instagram page.
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Arret, a Nigerian Dwarf Goat, is described as a “class clown” and will be two years old this December.
“He’s always up to something,” says Kootnikoff.
Bouge is a 15-year-old semi-retired mountain horse. Kootnikoff told Daily Hive that Bouge used to be in the Rocky Mountains, packing people for hunting trips.
“We figure as a result of those years of hard work, he has some overuse injury to his hind end.”
How this unlikely bond formed
“Arret started to hang out with the horses instead of the goat herd last summer. The goats would be nibbling on trees, and Arret would be out to pasture with the horses.”
In terms of how the horseback riding phenomenon came to be, Kootnikoff says it was a surprise to her.
“I was outside quickly with my indoor dogs, and noticed that he was on his back. I didn’t have my cellphone so I couldn’t take a picture. I had thought, ‘Darn I had missed it!’
Lucky for Kootnikoff, Arret was [horse]back at it a few days later, and lucky for Arret, Bouge didn’t mind one bit.
“When the hay bale gets low, Arret will whine or paw at his side.”
Kootnikoff noticed something extra special about Arret’s relationship with Bouge.
“Bouge will respond to Arret’s pawing motions and move almost like the goat is giving commands to move forward. He also uses his body to balance, and has some sort of ‘stop’ command worked out so that Arret can tell him when to stop and he can munch on his trees. He also likes to take naps on Bouge’s back.”
This isn’t some sort of circus act. Neither of the animals were trained for this; it just kind of happened.
“I can’t really control when it happens. If people come to visit for a few hours and there are areas for Arret to get on Bouge, you are likely to see him riding around at some point during your visit.”
According to the Kootenay Acres website, Arret can also be found taking a nap on the front steps, “nibbling on the nape of your neck, or doing kickflips off the deck.”
Kootenay Acres allows families to visit and pet the adorable animals at the farm.
Arret’s name has a fascinating origin story.
Kootnikoff’s spouse came to a rolling stop one night after picking up two tiny goats that included Arret from a local community in the area.
“He swears he fully stopped.”
They were pulled over five minutes later, and Kootnikoff was sure they were going to get a ticket.
“I let him know that we just picked up baby goats. He thought they were adorable, expressed that he and his wife planned to have goats one day when they retired, and let us off with a warning.”
Kootnikoff and her spouse decided to offer tribute to the situation and named the two goats Arret, which means “stop” in French, and “the comical Poe Poe.”
To visit or support Kootney Acres with a donation, you can visit their website for all the pertinent information.