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Huge excitement, our first set of goat harness !

There is a buzz going around the barn at the Wittenham herd of dairy goats in Oxfordshire. Kenny, a yearling purebred Anglo-Nubian wether who has been kept to fly the flag for the award winning cheeses made here, has been introduced to his new exercise cart and harness.

Of course he is far too young to be put to the vehicle yet, but his education goes up a level now and when he grows a little more the harness will fit and he will go for little walks around the farm fully dressed!

As soon as the cart and harness arrived we couldn’t resist trying it on him, and he didn’t turn a hair, in fact was far more interested in the carrots in my pocket! We are all so excited at this new venture, it’s so good for this little chap to be offered a useful function in life, which (hopefully) he will enjoy and give pleasure to so many people as he progresses. The young staff at the farm have never seen a goat in harness before and are keen to get involved and learn the skill of training a goat to harness. My background is in horses and when young I worked in a carriage driving yard and I’m thinking this will be interesting for all of us, learning how to get the best out of an animal with a completely different mindset. And of course we won’t venture off the farm without a movement order from DEFRA, the biggest difference between driving a horse and driving a goat.

One of the cheese makers has even invited Kenny to her wedding next July, so we have a goal to work towards with his training. Will he be ready to pull her from the church to her reception just a few hundred yards away? Who knows? He will be 2 and a half by then; maybe we will just garland his harness so he can escort bride and groom. Kenny has the personality and love of people to pull it off.

Thank you to Angela Rickerby whose cart it was for her help and advice. And thanks also to Wendy Grantham and Sally Dixon for supporting enthusiastically a new member of the Harness Goat Society.

Linda Vintcent.

NB. This farm kids twice a year and there are usually beautifully marked Anglo Nubian and ANxToggenburg hand reared young stock available for sale. Call me on 07884 265562 if you are looking for a healthy and well handled youngster.

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