Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#195: The Gentle Barn

Vegan, a blind cow

The Gentle Barn. The name conjures a place where pot bellied pigs lounge contentedly in the sun, horses smile at you as you pass by, and cows lean in for a hug every now and then. The animals here are happy, no doubt about it. Check out the grin on this little guy:

At Santa Clarita's Gentle Barn, you'll interact with some of the sweetest and most inspiring animals you'll ever meet. It's hard to believe that all of these gentle natured creatures were rescued by the Barn from neglect, abuse and slaughter. These animals are living proof that you can bounce back from a lifetime of cruel treatment. Here's the heart wrenching story of how the smiling horse above named Bonsai found his way to the Barn:

Bonsai lived with an alcoholic woman for the first 6 years of his life. When she was sober all was good, but when she was drunk Bonsai would get punched in the face. At 6 years old, he decided he would never trust humans again. It took us two and half years to get him to change his mind. He now works with autistic kids and gives them all the gentleness and kindness he wishes he could have had when he was a baby. (~from the Gentle Barn's website)

Brad and I took the 35 minute trip out to Santa Clarita last weekend, and I can definitely say that my $5 entry fee was well spent. The place was surprisingly busy for a hot Sunday afternoon--families with their children, couples, young and old came out to nurture these lovely animals.


We started by paying a visit to Buddha, the gentlest cow you will ever meet. Buddha has arthritis, and she is the barn's therapy cow. When disabled kids come to visit, they gather around Buddha and hug her and pet her.

After giving Buddha a hug, we visited the horse area. For $2, you can buy a bag of carrots and feed the horses. The feeling of a horse's lips on your hands is pretty funny.

After petting the horses, we went to where the smaller animals were housed. Here we pet giant pot bellied pigs, docile goats, chickens, a couple of small cows, some shy llamas, a very vocal turkey, and a sweet emu.

photo from gentlebarn

On our way out we visited the gift shop and the Vegan food booths. The barn is open from 10 am - 2 pm every Sunday. This was such an inspiring place to visit. I highly recommend taking the drive to check it out!

Have you been to the Gentle Barn? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!


  1. I want to go back and squeeze that emu.

  2. The Gentle Barn is a great place to visit on a sunday and they are always looking for volunteers too!