Photo Essay

Spring Is Sprung at A&T Stables in West Creek

Mar 21, 2018
Gabby Bowie with her lop-eared lionhead rabbit.

Spring has come to A&T Stables on Route 9 in Eagleswood. The baby goats and lambs born in January are cavorting in the not-yet-green grass. Miniature pot-bellied pigs are wagging their tails as they root in the dirt. Pygmy and boar goats and sheep all vie for corn and bagels handed through the fence by passing strangers who also love to feed the Belgian and Percheron horses.

Several years ago, Bonnie Poling and her husband Al bought the historic Kelly Farm in Eagleswood after running a farm and stables of the same name in Jackson for 28 years.

Her daughter Angie Bowie and children Gabby and Shane help with the chores of feeding, grooming and caring for the animals including the five horses, miniature pot-bellied pigs, numerous pygmy and boar goats and their kids, sheep and their lambs, lop-eared bunnies and an aging burro.

The Polings pay for the $1,500-a-month feed bill by renting out the horse and carriage rides, staging children’s pony rides for parties and appearing at festivals with their traveling petting zoo. “The farm is self-sustaining,” said Bonnie. “We don’t eat the lambs or goats or the pot-bellied pigs, and I have an old donkey that will spend the end of his days here.”

The Belgian and Percheron draft horses were purchased from the Amish, said Bonnie, because they are well trained. “They are done planting and they have a good life here.”

Gabby Bowie is particularly fond of her lop-eared lionhead bunny that she carries with her, inviting calm people to touch the silken fur. Shane helped raise the baby goat, a runt that was abandoned by his mom, by feeding him bottles four times a day.

Bonnie has hopes for a children’s farm camp that is in the planning stages.

To rent a pony, horse-drawn wagon or carriage or petting zoo, call 732-237-5544.  —P.J.

Bonnie Poling, owner of A&T Stables with her husband. (Photo by: Pat Johnson )
(Photo by: Pat Johnson )
Draft horses purchased from Amish farms.
(Photo by: Pat Johnson )
(Photo by: Pat Johnson )
(Photo by: Pat Johnson )
This miniature pot-bellied pig won’t get any bigger than a dog. (Photo by: Pat Johnson )
Shane Bowie with a spring lamb. (Photo by: Pat Johnson )
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