Korinne & Doug Johnson
Why goats? Because they make me laugh, and laughter is the best medicine.
2015 was the Year of the Goat according to the Chinese New Year calendar. I sent Doug a video of an orphaned baby African Pygmy goat named Benjamin and told him that’s what I wanted for Valentines Day. We each did our research and learned goats are herd animals and do best with a friend of their own kind. Two baby goats! I had no experience and knew nothing other than they were the cutest little animals I had ever seen and I needed them in my new barn! When you have no expectations, it's easy to not be disappointed, however these little critters are more than I could have imagined. They are smart, personable, funny, sociable, adorable and love nothing more than to be around their herd and they wag their tails!! Friends came to visit and bottle feed and we all fell in love. As it tends to happen with animals at our place, 2 baby goats became 32 goats of different shapes and sizes and backgrounds (oops! 43 now!). The more we learned and the more friends came to visit, the more enamored we became with the animals. We might even be a bit obsessed.
In 2017, we heard of something called Goat Yoga. We have goats. We have friends. We met a yoga instructor adventurous enough to come to the farm. We tried a class and it was a hit. We hosted another one because of how much fun it was. 4 years later, we have hosted hundreds of people at our venues in Palm Beach and Broward County and have been warmly received by our new friends in the Gainesville area.
Our motto is leave the rest of the world outside the gate for a little while and join the little goats for a little yoga and a lotta laughs. We do have fun! Our classes give our clients a safe space to come and unplug for a moment. We offer beginner friendly classes that are all about the goats and having fun. There is none of the pressure you sometimes find in a yoga studio. We have people of all ages and abilities coming to share their mornings with us.
Our goal is to bring the antics and healing laughter of our little, and big, goats to anyone who needs them. Our focus is first on our veterans. We know that animals offer healing energy and teach us to accept others as they are and just be honestly kind. We know that yoga offers a way to quiet the mind and connect to the breath and give our veterans an outlet for healing. Combing the animals with yoga will allow us to reach those people who may be resistant to yoga or uncomfortable in a formal studio type setting.
Many animal assisted therapy programs and animal assisted activities focus on patients. We all know of animals visiting hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up patients and residents. And we all know it works! Our feedback from representatives from Childrens Miracle Network and other organizations is that our caregivers need us. The doctors and nurses that care for patients and residents; the parents and siblings who care for loved ones; the first responders who are there when we call are to be our second focus.
Our “regular” classes which are open to the general public will be the main source of funding for our “targeted” classes. We have also been invited to private events and corporate events promoting wellness with employees. These will also allow us to provide services free of charge to those who need. Each of our regular classes has a limited number of free spots available to our veterans and first responders. We are honored to have you as guests at our classes. Simply use that option to reserve your spots. And thank you for allowing us to opportunity to pay you back in some small way for all you do for all of us every day.
This has been a wild year of growth and change for us personally and for Downward Goat. In April we sold our home in Loxahatchee and moved 46 animals and 2 people to our new farm in Archer, just outside Gainesville, Florida. We were finally able to host our first class at our Archer farm on July 24, 2021! We are still building our dreams here and are blessed to have met so many wonderful people in our new hometown. In a happy turn of events, our Palm Beach County venue believes in our mission and continues to host our classes. You Farm, in Loxahatchee is a faith based urban farm working to provide food for those less fortunate and educate children and families about farming. Erinwood is our partner farm in Western Broward County who hosts our classes using her own goats. This is all actually her fault as our very first goats came from Erinwood. She raises and shows dairy goats and has been able to incorporate other farmers into a farm share program on our yoga class days. She milks her goats, sells raw milk, and makes cheese and yogurt. She has been my mentor in all thing goat care related. We have new partner farms in Daytona and Kissimmee who will be hosting classes again when the weather cools a bit. We are so very blessed and excited to see whats next.
Thank you all for your support and believing in what we do. None of it would have been possible or even imagined without you.
Meet the Goats
Opal is the brains behind this operation. She & Daisy were the first two goats here at the Krazy Hearts Farm. They showed up as Valentines Day presents and nothing has been the same since. These two are always happy & always up for fun. Opal is named for Korinne's Granny. We know Granny is thrilled!
Daisy is the boss babe! In addition to being the inspiration for our name & logo, she works 24/7 keeping her little herd of goats in check. She is kind & friendly but doesn't let anyone push her around. Every time Daisy comes out of her pen she scratches her neck & chest on the ground, & of course we don't have a camera ready at the time!
She is impeccably turned out in her boots and black lipstick and even rocks her beard! She is friendly but a bit reserved as you might expect from a fashion icon.
He has a selection of mats, soaps & decals he has collected & offers to his new friends in exchange for donations to his favorite charity. He also works hard around the farm assisting wherever and whenever he thinks he is needed. He's a big goof & tries his best to make the girls like him. Franklin is Lilly's twin brother & just refused to be left behind when we brought her home to the farm. We are so glad we listened. He is always entertaining & the first to try new treats.
Oreo came to us when his previous pad was sold out from underneath him. His family shares him with us & we are so grateful. We are always laughing at Oreo & he takes it all in stride. Oreo gets along with everyone & while he is very curious about all going on, he prefers you just admire him for the handsome fellow he is. He tends to back away from hugs, its just his way.
These twin girls are registered Pygmys and demonstrate quite well the typical body type of the Pygmys. They are just about as round as they are tall and care not even a little bit how we laugh at them when they run around the bar. They are super sweet and though they don't often make an appearance at class they prefer a slow yin practice when they do.
Our first full size goat, Garnet is a Nubian and was a surprise birthday present from our friends at Erinwood Sporthorses. How could we not love her! Since my birthday is in January, her name is of course Garnet. She cracks us up prancing around in her gogo boots. She is the life of the party and hates being left out of anything. When she is old enough she will be providing raw goats milks to rescues needing milk for orphaned puppies, kittens, and even horses.
Holly and her wattles stole my heart from the second I met her. She is another one of our single bottle babies and 2 years later still remembers where I keep the bowl of grapes in the kitchen. Given half an opportunity she is thru the door in front of the kitchen sink waiting impatiently for her treats. Who could say no!
Penny was our first registered African Pygmy Goat. She was a bottle baby and came home when she was just 8 days old. The single ones are always a bit more spoiled. The bottle babies live in the house with the Labragoats until they are old enough for their humans to believe they can safely live in the barn as a goat should. Penny may very well be the only goat to ever have fairy hair in her beard!
Pixie was born at Krazy Hearts Farm in April 2018. She was the 3rd of triplets and her mom Penny was already busy cleaning and tending to her brother and sister. Pixie was so tiny when she was born that we don't believe Penny even realized she had another. Pixie weighed less than a pound at birth and was born in a ball still in her amniotic sac. We got her breathing and made sure mom got her all cleaned off too. When you enter our world this way, you stay.
Blueberry bunked at our place when she was expecting babies and her mom had to go out of town. We fell in love and just kind of kept her for our own. She is a Nigerian Dwarf Pygmy cross and makes most wonderful Baby Berries. Rosco, her first went to stay with a lonely goat who lost his friend. Huckleberry and Dewberry are goat yogis at Goat Yoga Northport. Gooseberry and Junebug are now helping kids learn about careers in agriculture.
Blueberry's younger sister who looks to us like she has ice cream dripping down her forehead. Flower is one of our expert assistants in classes and always knows just where our yogis need adjusting. We are super pleased she has chosen us as her people.
Ariel is a Nigerian Dward who was born with a genetic condition called parrot mouth. This makes it nearly impossible for her to nurse since the shape of her mouth prevents her from getting good suction. Her owner was a high school student in an agricultural program. She worked very hard to bottle feed Ariel. She was donated to us when she was about 6months old and proves that sharing love is not dependent on your start in life.
Since Garnet needed a friend, I decided Doug should get a present for my birthday as well. We found Sapphire at the South Florida Fair Goat Show where she won 2nd in her class. So lucky to have been chosen to bring her home. If only she could learn another word besides "Maaaaaaa." She knows we love her and is free to be her goofy self!