Children called to name that pony
MONTGOMERY – Sam Harer spent most of his life growing up in Montgomery, but not on a farm. But he always wanted a place where he could have some animals and share them with his family and community. The perfect opportunity came along last Thanksgiving when he found a 17 acre property for sale on Cemetery Road in Clinton Township that was formerly owned by Harry Staib.
He especially wanted a horse so he recently purchased a miniature pony that he saw on Craig’s List that he couldn’t resist. Harer and his friend, Joe Okkelberg (Okkie) own the horse together and they plan to share the pony with the Montgomery community. “He is bred for pulling carts,” explained Harer at his farm known as Trail End Ranch. Harer and his family are able to board three other quarter horses where boarding stables are pristine and kept clean three times a day.
However, the pony has no name. This weekend at Montgomery’s open house, the pony will be in the park for all to enjoy and pet him. “He is very gentle,” said Sam who has been bringing the pony back and forth to the flea market. “We want to make him our mascot,” said Okkie, “but he needs a show name.” And so a contest is in place for children to see who can come up with the best name. He has chestnut colored fur and a huge bushy mane.
Harer is also the track and field coach for Montgomery High School for the past six years and graduated from Montgomery High School himself in 1985. He will have a basket placed next to the pony for kids to put the names in and a prize will be given out for the winning name to be announced shortly after the open house which will be from 11 to 4.
Harer said his main goal is to share the pony with other children in the area who have not had a “farm experience” and bring him to community events so he can pull kids in the cart. “My goal is to keep kids off the street,” said Harer and he is getting help from his 16 year old daughter Sammi. The Harers are also planning on opening a food court sometime in May at the Montgomery Flea Market.
“When he is two, the pony can pull a good sized cart,” said Sam, which includes about two small children. Currently Sam and Okkie are looking for an old cart to restore. The pony gets lots of exercise everyday on the side pasture of the ranch and he likes to eat grain. “We also have trails in the woods here for him to ride,” added Harer.
Plans to build a corral for the pony at the flea market location are also in the works. Harer owns two of the booths at the indoor flea market, Wells Fargo and The Saloon. He specializes in military wear and sports cards among a variety of other collectibles.