Horseback-riding goat a hit on B.C. farm

According to the farmer, Aimee Kootnikoff was shocked to discover a goat riding on a horse one day when looking out on her West Kootenay property. Arret the goat climbs onto Bouge to reach tree branches and rubs the horse in exchange.

About 26 kilometers west of Nelson, British Columbia, near Krestova, Kootnikoff manages the family farm Kootenay Acres. She claims that she found her goat, Arret, seated on the back of one of her horses, Bouge, about two months ago.

Kootnikoff stated, expecting it would only happen once, “Of course I didn’t have my cellphone with me, so I took a mental image.” A few weeks later, though, she witnessed Arret repeatedly hop onto Bouge’s back while standing on a bale of hay, with Bouge adjusting his body to make it easier for Arret to do so. Since then, the two creatures have been getting along well, with Arret spending “a couple hours a day” on Bouge’s back, according to Kootnikoff. 

Kootnikoff stated, expecting it would only happen once, “Of course I didn’t have my cellphone with me, so I took a mental image.” A few weeks later, though, she witnessed Arret repeatedly hop onto Bouge’s back while standing on a bale of hay, with Bouge adjusting his body to make it easier for Arret to do so. Since then, the two creatures have been getting along well, with Arret spending “a couple hours a day” on Bouge’s back, according to Kootnikoff. 

Since Arret utilizes Bouge to reach food from high tree branches and Bouge loves a back massage from Arret’s hooves, Kootnikoff claims that this relationship appears to be more like a mutually beneficial friendship than the usual usage of goats to calm nervous horses.
She says she eventually intends to ride another horse with Arret and Bouge by her side, and she vows to post about the experience on her Instagram page. Kootnikoff discussed the interspecies friendship with Sarah Penton, the anchor of CBC Radio West. 

Bouge has been a wonderful great safe horse for me for almost three years. Arret and Popo, two goats, were the first thing I bought when I returned to the Kootenays, and during the past year, they quickly multiplied into five goats. They would hang out in the horse corral together and swap hay. At first, it didn’t necessarily seem like a good connection. When I walked outdoors one day, approximately two months ago, it was more about sharing resources “Wait a second! Is my goat riding a horse, or what?”

I believe that Arret and Bouge have agreed on how to ride around the yard. Similar to how a human would encourage a horse to move ahead, Arret will prod Bouge’s shoulder or back to get him to advance. Arret works to direct Bouge toward the towering trees that he is unable to reach on his own while he is simply reacting to a routine command from Bouge.

He gets all the treats that the other goats can’t have since he’s on Bouge’s back, which is hilarious to watch. Rio, my other horse, will share the hay with the goats, but he will never give anyone else but a human access to his back. Rio ran this direction, Arret’s body went that way as he attempted to leap on his back, but that attempt did not go well. Rio didn’t give Arret any cues that he wanted to be on his back, but Arret just went for it.

I would estimate that it takes at least a few hours each day.
Bouge will pause in an apparent attempt to let Arret on as he follows him around. Arret will simply lean over Bouge’s shoulder and begin pawing at him “Hallo, mate! I’ll go now.” A few times I would simply take him up and place him on there, and the two would continue on their journey together.

There is lots of laughter. Many people have praised the horse for being so safe, and the majority of the responses I receive are either from people who are laughing and sharing it with their friends or who want to purchase the horse. He’s my heart horse, and although he’s great, we’re not parting ways, unfortunately for the rest of you.

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