This year was kicked off with a beautiful walk on Cloughy beach on New Years Day.
Our very first visit to Towell House, they brought apples and carrots for Denis and Tinkerbell. Our logo was officially created! Robert drew a sketch of it and it was brought to life by Danica Designs. Burns Night! Mum made some traditional Scots meals and we all dressed in our ancestral Wallace tartan Our donkeys were written about in the Mourne Observer! ‘More than meets the eye’
February Denis and Tinkerbell went to Towell House to celebrate a 90th birthday!
We did a talk at Ballynahinch Baptist about our four-legged friends.
Walk through Newcastle after Slieve Dhu booking, met Amy of the Mourne Observer who has written a couple of articles about us now!
We started planning our Easter walk… which got cancelled!
Had a well-deserved family holiday in Donegal
March Peanut and Tinkerbell visited Campbell College. This was a trial run for us to tailor our donkey presentation to children - it went fantastically and we can’t wait to do more.
The month everything stopped so we started doing live videos to keep you entertained at home. This then blossomed into ‘Storytime with the Donkeys’. We started clapping for the NHS with the donkeys on Thursday’s. We live over a mile away from the town and could hear car horns and cheering every week. We joined quizzes organised by Brian of Laganview Arms.
April We reached 2.5k likes on our Facebook page. We launched a Farmyard Tour which then became ‘Through the Farmgate’ that we started uploading every week. We showed training donkeys, gardening and more!
We got some lovely ducks to join the farm,
May Little Sonny arrived at Kinedale, originally as a temporary solution until he could be gelded and a forever home found for him… but we fell in love with him and he’s still here!
Our favourite, the Balmoral Show, was cancelled. We still got dressed up to have a bit of fun and made a Tiktok! Our poem about Balmoral published in Farm Week, ‘An Ode to Balmoral’ Robert saved a bunny from being the kitty cat’s dinner. We celebrated VE day with a garden party - Mum made a beautiful afternoon tea for us to enjoy and we went live on Facebook to show everyone.
June We decided to keep Sonny and we paired him up with Mumford as they are around the same age - they have been inseparable since. Kinedale Caspian was born! We had 6 weeks of sleepless nights as Meg looked like she was ready to give birth at any moment. We made a special maternity episode of ‘Through the Farmgate’ where you can see Caspian only moments after birth. After seeing a lot of dog poo and litter on our country walks, we started doing litter picks with Luna and Hobnob. Richard and Amanda celebrated 29 years of marriage!
July Picked fruit at Finlay’s Place! There was an article about Amanda in the Irish Field, talking about her and the donkeys. Brigadier had a special dentist appointment - remember to get your equines teeth checked.
Our keets were born (baby guinea fowl) Tipple was born 5 weeks after Caspian.
August 4th August, we had our first booking! We lost our beloved Hector but now he has friends in Haggis and Angus. Bert arrived to be trained and handled by Robert.
Tinkerbell had an accident and needed a trip to UCD - she is fully recovered! The students loved her and took turns sitting with her so she didn’t get lonely. Their stables are built to accommodate big horses so they had to give her a step so she could look out her door. We got baby Haggis and we’ve enjoyed his cuddles since. Bert let us trim his feet for the first time! Some more hens arrived and Gabriel the rooster.
Halloween bookings, it was so fun to see everyone’s costumes and a bit of normality.
Trick or Treating wasn’t allowed so we created a donkey den for social distancing treats! We did filming with Cinemagic for a short film, ‘Rian’. It was a cold long day but so fun and we can’t wait to see it!
We had been tagged in a post from Irish Welfare Horse Trust about a donkey who needed an experienced home… a few days later and we had Captain Bernard! Remus collected our Christmas tree from Blue Cedar.
Caspian went for his first therapy walk and actually did quite well even if he is a bit cheeky. We got our gorgeous pheasants!
December We started getting milk from Rockhouse Farm NI Remus did some carriage rides and Comber Twilight Market The Mourne Observer did an article (thanks Amy!) about Bernard.
Everyone has been delivering trees and the donkeys are loving them so thank you!
We were able to do a couple of bookings just before Christmas!
Thank you to everyone who has visited us, liked our Facebook posts, donated money/trees/food, and brightened up our year. We made our hobby into a living and that wouldn’t be possible without you. We have control over how we choose to remember this year - it is the year we started chasing our dreams.
Lot's of love,
Kinedale Crew xxx