Goats Free in the Barn and Horses Chilling in the Backyard

by Cedar & Sage Farm | Jul 23, 2017 | The Farm


I’m not sure if I should check the cycle of the moon, hire a paranormal expert, call the RCMP or just try and get more sleep; but things have been a bit strange around here.


Now I should probably preface this with just how much we have on the go right now. It is entirely possible that I have entered a new state of exhaustion and things aren’t quite as “Twilight Zone” as they seem.


As you may have read in an earlier post, two-thirds of our main floor is gutted, and we have all moved down into the lovely pink 1980’s cave of a basement. I may or may not be feeling a little bit cramped. The kids so kindly shared their latest virus with my husband and he “thinks he’s dying,” we have had baseball three times this week for two boys, horseback riding lessons for my daughter and I’ve finally entered into the homestretch of launching this online adventure.


But, a couple of nights ago we went out to feed the animals and do the evening barn chores only to be greeted by a barn full of very free and jubilant roaming goats. They were having a ‘hay day’ romping around munching on all kinds of snacks. While initially, it was kind of funny to be met by a herd of excited kids waiting to be pet, our immediate thought went to ‘how did they get loose?’ As it turns out, the side barn door was wide open out to their paddock. The only way to open this is from inside the barn, and the barn was locked when we entered. Perplexed, we did our chores, rounded everyone up and put everyone back in their stalls and double checked all the doors and locked up tight for the night.



The next morning I went out to do my morning chores, and all was still right in the world. Everyone was just where they were supposed to be…. Except for a few surprise newcomers: Tucked safe and sound in the corner of one of the bunny hutches was a squirming pink nest of baby bunnies. Their mama had made sure to make them a proper nest and lined it brilliantly with lots of soft fur. But where was mama? Who was mama? We were pretty confident that we only had female and fixed male bunnies residing in the barn these days. So with a sense of organized urgency, I got out the cage and nesting box I had just cleaned and put away. I layered it with all the necessary ingredients for a safe new nest for the babies so they could be safe from the other bunnies and I could begin the hunt for the mama of this new litter. It didn’t take long to find a panting bunny with a belly bald from her selfless gift of warmth. A few minutes later, all was well with the wiggling nest of new life; transplanted into a new home where they can grow and thrive.


I finished my chores, double checked all the doors and fences and made my way inside to help my dad and husband load the third dumpster full of demo debris. We spent the next few hours pulling nails, removing screws and staples, and sweeping up.


I entered the kitchen just as Andrew made his way around the side of the house, heading for the barn for more tools. I could hear the calculated calm in his voice as he called me outside.


I quickly made my way out the door to be greeted by two happily grazing horses in the backyard. Again, I was filled with a mixed sense of laughter and panic as I realized depending on what mood they were in this could be just fine or a royal nightmare. I booked it to the barn and retrieved a bucket of treats and threw a halter over my shoulder. Fortunately, today wasn’t the day for an all out stampede of defiance, and they sauntered behind me all the way back through the wide open gate (that I had walked by just a few hours earlier).



I locked them back in their abundant field and let my breath go realizing that they easily could have wandered right out of the yard. But, the questions are still nagging in my head. How did they get out and why? I’ve come to realize that the how I may just never know. Maybe it’s a conspiracy; after all the goats got to be free the night before. And as for the why…. I think animals, just like people are always looking for something more.


Since moving to the farm, I have come to appreciate the origin and legitimacy of so many sayings. One being, ‘the grass is always greener.’ There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see someone straining their neck through the fence to nibble on the grass that appears to be the same on their side (or at least to me it does).



I think my plan is to get some sleep and just choose to see today’s adventures as a mystery that turned out just fine. All said and done we gained new life on the farm and no one is lost. This is a win!

Meet Ashleigh

I have somehow been blessed beyond measure; I am married to a wonderful guy who shares in the great joy of raising our three amazing children. We recently picked up and left the city to follow our hearts, with the intention for a more simple and natural lifestyle. Both my husband and I are native Calgarians who have always been awed with the wonder of looking out at the Rocky Mountains. For us, transplanting into the foothills just made sense and we couldn’t wait to get here. It wasn’t until I was removed from the hurry of the city; that I was able to settle into my purpose and accept and celebrate the things that make me happy. Combining my love for bringing life into a neglected space, and filling it with a marriage of old and new, has enabled me to take on the challenge of rebirthing this 1980’s farmhouse. Being able to do this from home, while tackling the daily chores of caring for our farm animals is pure bliss and sits comfortably in my heart. I am chomping at the bit (along with our horses…) to continue to watch the evolution of our space take shape… And I can’t wait to fill this home with love, memories and the smell of Sunday dinners for years to come. I believe that the greatest gift in life is family, and I have been placed amongst a beautiful tribe (my late grandfather’s endearing term for our extended family). I yearn to give my children and their friends a place to melt away from the hustle; in a comfortable and pretty space, which I hope can be a refuge from a complicated and sometimes messy world. Although this move and new direction was not written down in my master plan (and I am a list and plan girl through and through), I am thrilled that the happenings which brought us here have unraveled just the way they did. I have dedicated this year to being grateful for our many gifts while also accepting my limitations with grace and courage. In addition to my home and family, I love camping, iced tea, Volkswagens and a good book… in no particular order. I hope you can find inspiration, relatability or even just a good laugh by following my blog posts as I figure out just what will unfold next.