Monarch – 1990 Norwegian Fjord gelding
Monarch is the oldest herd member who takes responsibility for the herd by doing things like making sure that everyone drinks water on a hot summer day. In his former life, he was a three day eventer outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. He does not give his heart easily because there have been times in his life when he has been frightened and disappointed. He is cautious, kind, and one of our wisest equine therapists. He has never met a piece of fruit that he didn’t like.
Kasper – 2003 Norwegian Fjord gelding
Clover Oaks Farm Ivar (“Kasper”) was born in Florida and is an “extra special” Fjord, as there are only about 120 registered geldings in the US that are a grey dun color. His favorite snack is ripe bananas and his nickname is Casserole. In FL, he was a valued babysitter who cared for foals shortly after they were weaned from their mothers. With crazy hair and a goofy personality, he makes friends easily and reminds us all that it is important to have fun and not take life too seriously.
Clyde – 2005 Norwegian Fjord gelding
Clyde was born on a South Carolina farm and taught a strong work ethic early in life. He is very good at striking a balance between working hard when asked and savoring apples and sun baths when he is off the clock. He is very friendly and fiercely loyal…and won’t share his watermelon with anyone. His mohawk mane is often cut in a “piano key” pattern.
Leo – 2010 Ardennais gelding
Although we were not planning to add another horse to the herd, in February, 2011, we met an amazing colt named Clover Oaks Farm Leopold and we knew that his destiny was to touch the hearts of Triple Play clients. Leo is is still learning the ropes. He has a short attention span and loves new adventures, like the time that he climbed into the water trough. With his beautiful feathered feet and bay color, he looks a little different from the rest of his pasture mates. He is trying to find his place in the herd and learn all about the expectations of his new job, home and horse family.
Moose – 2006 Miniature gelding
Moose Tracks, so named after the ice cream flavor, is a miniature horse with one blue eye and new swagger because he has just learned how to pull a cart. Within the herd, he is a playmate that all of the bigger horses indulge him with a strange tolerance that we call “The Moose Factor.” He is playful, self-protective and mischievous, but ultimately just wants to be with his herd.
Maisy – 2005 Miniature mare
Maisy joined the herd at Christmas time in 2012 and was initially very wary of everything in her new home. After a lot of patience and allowing her to initiate relationship, we have convinced her that humans can be a source of belly scratches, companionship and carrots! She is in training to pull a cart as part of a team with Moose and recently wore a specially made Christmas outfit in the North Mecklenburg holiday parade. Her luxurious, two tone buckskin mane is her pride and joy and she can rocket across the pasture in a few seconds flat!
Emma – 2000 Thoroughbred mare
Emma joined our herd in early 2013 and took quite a while to not feel anxious about her new surroundings. She is a rescued OTTB that came from our sister organization, Race2Ring and has proven to be have many valuable lessons for our clients. She is eager to connect, but a worrywart at heart. She has an endearing habit of “begging” by curling a front leg and loves nothing more than a big, fluffy pile of orchard hay of her very own.
We believe in keeping our horses as naturally as possible. For us, this means meeting all of their needs to the best of our ability:
Food and water
First and foremost, we invest in excellent quality forage, usually orchard or timothy if possible. If their weight warrants it, they will also receive regular feedings of a Progressive Nutrition grain product/diet balancer. They always have access to fresh water and a mineral and salt block at all times. Our herd’s feed is supplied by Greenfield Feed (www.greenfieldfeednc.com) of Maiden, North Carolina. We encourage you to contact them for a consultation about your own horse’s nutritional needs.
Safety and companionship
Our horses live and move as a mixed gender herd with as much turnout as possible. Here in North Carolina, there are only a handful of days a year that the weather is truly too inclement for our turnout. Our senior horses are blanketed if needed, but we believe that the natural habit of foraging and constantly moving keeps them healthier mentally and physically. They are then also free to develop the relationships with other horses that give them a sense of safety and enrich their lives.
Play and problem solving
If all of their other needs are adequately being met, we also try to make sure each horse has his own assigned staff person in charge of training and enrichment. That is the person that picks him first every time out of the pasture. We believe that a consistent relationship translates into better manners and a greater sense of purpose for the horse. We try to provide each horse with “cross training” opportunities each week, which may include round pen work, in-hand obstacle training, ground driving, carriage driving, draft work, and/or pleasure riding in the arena or on the trails.
The ten Triple Play chickens, a mix of Orpington, Silkie, Cochin, Polish Crested and Belgian d'Uccle breeds, were hand raised at the farm starting in the spring of 2011. Some are past their egg laying prime, but are a tight group of hens that enjoys walkabouts and any table scraps that you are willing to spare. Their names are Zen (white Silkie), Gumpy (black Silkie), Spike/Chica (buff Orpingtons), Regina/Phoebe/Gretchen (mottled bantam Cochins), Nancy (Polish Crested), and Cady/Janice (Mille Fleur d'Uccles).
Lemon the Lab has been on the farm since 2008 and despite his sour-inspired citrusy name, he has literally never been in a bad mood. During the summer, he loves to submerge himself in the 100 gallon water tanks a la hippo, and always manages to squeeze in through the classroom door when he is not supposed to. He is earnest, cheerful, uncomplicated and loyal to a fault.
Percy the Pug came to Triple Play via a local rescue, where he had been confiscated from an environment with at least 40 other dogs and had amputation of his right front leg at some point. He is joyful, friendly, curious, and skitters around the farm like a rabbit. He has been known to tangle with any stinkbug that crosses his path and loves to play with his big yellow buddy, Lemon. We feel lucky to have found him and believe that he has many lessons for us.
Milo is a tri-color Nigerian Dwarf goat that is known for his leadership skills within the goat herd. He is the first to investigate and say hello and is decisive and confident. His current favorite trick is to make eye contact before showing you his famous back up trick in the hopes of a handsome goat treat reward.
Otis is a black and white Nigerian Dwarf goat that is typically the most affectionate goat in the herd. One of his favorite hobbies is to plop down in the nearest lap while he nibbles on your shirt sleeve, earlobes or hair. He loves an occasional animal cracker snack.
Fig is a light caramel Pygmy goat who is also the smallest of the herd. He does take the longest to warm up to new friends so you will have to be extra patient before he will trust you with his friendship. He has very special markings and a distinctive dot in the middle of his back. Every day he tries to convince Gilbert to share just a little of his pig chow.
Newton is a grey agouti Pygmy goat who, thanks to his healthy rumen, looks like he may have swallowed a bowling ball. His markings also make him look like he is wearing black kneesocks. He is friendly but will let no head butt from another goat go unanswered...he doesn't have a skull and crossbones on his collar for nothing!
The two guinea fowl (Eeny and Meeny) are a free-ranging game bird at the farm that roost in the rafters of the barn at night. They forage all day for insects over about a half mile territory and will often be found loudly bossing clients into their cars after session. They are very distrustful but provide constant comic relief at the farm.
Gilbert is a rescued potbellied pig who came to Triple Play via Red Dog Farm in Greensboro. We believe that he was initially raised in someone's home but then relinquished to Animal Control when his size and habits became too much to handle. He is a sensitive pig who believes that he is entitled to all of life's greatest comforts and will let you know if dinner is served even a minute later than expected. One of the cutest things about him is watching him run headlong back to you from anywhere on the farm when you call him.
Pearl is a young female potbellied pig who was Gilbert's "plus one" at Red Dog Farm. Initially, we weren't sure that we were ready to adopt two pigs at once, but we are so glad that Pearl came as part of this package deal. She is a shy, extremely sensitive pig that doesn't give her heart easily. She spends most of her days supervising Gilbert, which is a full time job, and hoping to come across a stray marshmallow or jelly bean. She is a sweet soul.
Barnaby Boppington (Bebop for short) is a young Flemish Giant rabbit whose full grown weight should be near twenty pounds. He lives in a three story bunny condo with attached exercise pen in the bunkhouse. His favorite snacks are carrot and cilantro and you will often see him performing a rabbit "binky" by corkscrewing into the air, a rabbit's version of jumping for joy.