During our outing in Amish Country, we stopped at a farm to buy some fresh produce. Imagine my surprised delight when this farm turned out to be the Disneyland of Amish Country. There were buggy rides! There was a petting zoo where you could feed baby animals! There were giant Belgian Draft horses that you could ride! I stood there like an eight year old wearing plastic Mickey Mouse ears, my mouth slack-jawed and my eyes wide with joyful wonder. My friends took me by the hand and led me to the petting zoo to see the baby pigs, sheep and cows, who stole my heart with their liquid brown eyes. There were also goats galore providing constant comic relief as they climbed around their enclosures. Oh, and did I mention there were puppies?
The star of the show was “Big Ben,” a Belgian draft horse that stands a staggering seven feet tall. Every visitor in the place posed for a photo with him. The farm also boasts two extremely rotund steers and an odd horse-zebra hybrid they called a “zorse.” No, I’m not making that up.
Towards the back of the building, visitors could partake of horseback rides. Unlike any riding experience I’d had before, the horses were harnessed together in a circular contraption that resembled a living merry-go-round. You got to pick the horse you wanted to ride (I went with Big Ben’s shorter, stouter cousin) and then were led around the ring five times by a friendly Amish girl. In my excitement I didn’t get a good picture of this operation but I did get one of my horse.
The cherry on top was our buggy ride. After squealing, “buggy!” every time I saw one on the street, this was a fitting end to our farm visit. A chatty Amish man named Abe drove us on a loop around the farm, sharing interesting tidbits about the animals and asking us questions about ourselves. He specifically wanted to know where we were from and was tickled to learn that I was visiting from China. He said that he’d met people from 98 countries and was hoping to break 100. I loved his curiosity about the world!
Pricing: pony rides 1 USD; buggy rides 3 USD