It’s a weekday afternoon in Eddies Cove West on the Northern Peninsula. The town of less than 50 is quiet. Except for one place. Down by the water, husband and wife Jaret and Amanda Plowman are busy, out with their animals at their seaside ranch.
The evening sun is at its peak and everything is cast in a warm buttery glow. Jaret is shovelling hay for horses Venus and Jenny. Amanda is walking towards him with Spencer the goat, and Bud the chocolate lab. If you couldn’t hear the sound of the water, and see the mountains of snow you’d think you were in Colorado.
“I wanted horses all my life. I mentioned it to my husband he said no. My parents said no but I didn’t give in. Here I am now with two horses and a goat,” smiles Amanda.
With a fenced in barn and field of hay, they’ve built what looks like a picturesque ranch parallel to the dark blue Atlantic. The seaside ranch came naturally for the Northern Peninsula couple who says they love animals, just like they love their rugged coastline home. The school bus stops and their two children run, not in the direction of their house but the open field. They drop their book bags in the snow and Madison, 11, runs for the horses as Ryder, 5, sprints towards Spencer.
“They [Madison’s friends] are saying it’s amazing that I have such loving animals.” says Madison when she gets down from Venus
Spencer is like a little kid. He hops and jumps alongside Ryder as he walks, and tries to butt heads with him much like real brothers do. But Ryder is not having that. “No Spencer,” he says as he runs in circles in the snow, laughing and teasing the goat who clearly isn’t buying Ryder’s rejection.
The animals are more like an extension of their family than barn dwellers. “I love it. They love it,” says Amanda.
A strange sight today, Amanda and Jaret’s setup is like a painting of days gone by. Horses ran the fields of Eddie’s Cove West years before Venus and Jenny. Most people on the Northern Peninsula had horses. Doctors used horses to travel to patients. Families rode horse and buggy. Many of the people who grew up in this region can remember horse-driven winter sleigh rides. The Plowman’s say they are proud to be breathing new life into a tradition that died in the 60s.
“Jim Offrey here. He tells me all the time that they used to have horses here. For in the woods, hauling firewood and logs,” says Jaret after taking a break from shovelling hay.
The horses are mixed. Jenny, 17, is almost a full Newfoundland Pony but she’s also 25 per cent Belgin. Venus, 7, is part Newfoundland and part American Quarter Horse. The family plans to breed them this spring, and are looking into adopting other animals to add to the rugged landscape that works as a warm home to their extended family. But they have one rule. The Plowman’s aren’t interested in slaughtering the animals they breed, just loving them.
“I can’t even hunt a moose,” laughs Amanda as she walks towards her house.
It’s finally time to get inside and have dinner. Spencer doesn’t mind, he makes a dash for the house and beats Ryder to the front steps.
NTV’s Leila Beaudoin paid the Plowman’s a visit and has a special glimpse at ranch life on the Northern Peninsula.