Terry finds kind uses for animals past their prime
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — Bonnie Terry may have the most practical farm name in New Jersey: “Just One More Farm.”
“There’s always room for ‘just one more,”’ she said.
Located for now on rented property, the farm will soon provide a forever home for Terry’s team of horses and mules and her menagerie of petting zoo animals.
Her 9-year-old mules, Caramel and Apple, and her white Percherons, Mike and Ike, are busy all through harvest season carrying visitors to Melick’s Town Farm stand in Califon into the apple orchard or pumpkin field.
She takes the Percherons out early in the day during seasons when it gets hot by midday. The mules work during the warmer hours.
Terry likes working with Caramel and Apple because mules are smart. They earned the reputation for stubbornness because they refuse to go anywhere that is too dangerous, she noted. They also don’t colic because they eat what they need throughout the day.
She came to the world of carriage equines in a roundabout way. Terry showed American Quarter Horses and was an American Junior Associate Champion. She showed in 4-H, then attended Centenary College and road on that team. Later, she was a riding coach at Drew University.
Her husband, Paul, wasn’t as fond of horses as she was, but he told her about a horse for sale in Amish country. She ended up buying both Mike and Ike and calls the team “The Mike and Ike Express.”
“When the Amish have horses that lose their snap, they are perfect for me,” Terry said. She turned her purchasing from the Amish into a friendship.
“I would go out every two weeks, help them with corn and hay. I can stay at an Amish home,” she said.
It was always Terry’s dream to have a white carriage horse, she is sorry grey Percherons seem to be getting hard to find.
One of the reasons she uses two teams each day is that people think the horses are working too hard if they are out all day. She shakes her head at the ignorance of so many of the customers.
During the holiday season, the teams are busy in various cities with Christmas festivals. Terry said her husband gets the carriages to the destinations, “he’s the wagon master,” while she drives the horses in their custom trailer.
The kids she teaches to ride help out as well. They take turns taking money, greeting customers and doing other jobs around the horses and carriages or the animals she often brings to events for a petting zoo. They all answer questions about the horses, Terry noted, and they have to turn their phones off.
The animals from Just One More Farm have made appearances on television shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
Among the critters Terry takes to festivals are tiny Call ducks, small pot-belly pigs, a Jersey heifer and chickens. She also has Frank the llama and several goats, mostly French Alpines, and some Fainting Goats.
Her most exotic animal is a Zebu, a small breed of African cow, called Terminator.
Frank has posed with the Sugarland Band, Jennifer Nettles, Patricia Heaton and the cast of Duck Dynasty in ads for World Vision. Donkeys Betty and Ethel have been to Bryant Park and participated in live Nativities in New York City churches.
Several of the animals appeared at Trump rallies.
The critters have an agent who books appearances, Terry said.
Although the animals are her babies now, Terry has two children, Matthew, who is in the Army, and Meghan, who is a photographer.
Terry grew up on a farm in Long Valley, but notes her father has traded in his horses for Corvettes. The horse barn is now climate controlled, she said.
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