HANSON — Early morning the sun shone on 25 yogis of varied skill levels that stretched on their mats Saturday, June 22.
Amid them were three very spunky, friendly goats nicknamed the ‘Golden Girls,’ after the TV comedy — Dorothy and Blanche, both miniature Nubians and Rose a Nigerian dwarf goat.
Red Horse Farm is a serene space set slightly back off 300 High St., in Hanson.
Each weekend they host Goat Yoga —just as it sounds, the yoga class is with goats. If you love getting an intense stretch and possibly a nose kiss from a curious, furry face you may have found your niche.
Nicole Riley owner and trainer of Red Horse Farm works with the goats as local yoga instructor Kristina Northrup teaches the class.
“The interest has been amazing! We thought we’d get a few people who’d want to attend, but we’re packed every weekend! And it’s not just Hanson; we’ve had people drive all the way down from Boston to attend… which blows me away,” said Riley.
The goats are trained to participate with the group and introduce slight, weight-bearing additions during several poses. Riley is inside the fenced area and entices the goats with food pellets.
“Kristina Northrup, our yoga instructor, has done such a great job,” Riley said. “We needed to train the goats prior to launching the class in May and she’s just been game from the very start! She has such a great way about teaching and we’re lucky to have her.”
A mix of genders and ages attended the Goat Yoga class.
Nick Collazo of Taunton who was adept at yoga and fitness was in a full downward facing dog and held his pose as if he barely noticed the two Nigerian dwarf goats that gently danced on his back. Eventually he lowered himself laughing with the people around him who also took a moment to snap some cell phone pictures.
Quite possibly the goats offer a balanced enlightenment to the perfection some impose on themselves during yoga. The audible laughter and amusement blended well in the breezy, summer air.
Nicole and her husband Paul also shared their love of the outdoors and a fairytale wedding on the property when they married in 2015. They purchased the property in 2014 and are close to completing their renovations on the homestead, which was built in the 1800’s.
Their friends who own Hobby Knoll Stables in Duxbury brought their wedding party down High Street in a horse drawn carriage with neighbors looking on in delight.
The bride called her wedding day “magical.”
The farm also hosts a hands-on program called Little Farmers Morning for children. They learn about the goats, chickens, and horses. It is geared towards children ages 5 to 11, with hands-on learning of horsemanship skills, goat and chicken care, egg collection with an arts and craft project or storybook.
One of her favorite parts is watching the faces of the little ones light up.
“It is the best feeling,” she said.
The RHF is primarily a boarding farm but they wanted to add things that people could enjoy in the outdoor atmosphere.
“I think its fun for those not accustomed to being around horses to hear them neigh during class or see the chickens from the yoga ring’” Riley said. “The goats, ‘The Golden Girls,’ are a riot — each with their own hilarious personality. And there’s as much laughter during class as exercise!”
RHF also offers riding lessons, and farm fresh eggs.
They are located on three acres of land, which abuts conservation land with riding trails.
There’s just something about this little farm and it’s peaceful feeling …being in the fresh air with animals is good for the soul and we hope people enjoy visiting, she said.
Upcoming events and classes, which run through October along with sign ups, are located on their website. RedhorseFarmHanson.com.