SWANSEA – If you’re looking for a relaxing, fun-filled adventure that won’t break the bank, head out to Stony Creek Farm, where you’ll be greeted by Erin Babbitt, her son Sebastian Medeiros and a delightful host of colorful animals that will have you talking for days.
Medeiros, age 16, and a student at Barrington High School, has been working at the family-operated farm for several years. His partner in crime is Sonny, a handsome chestnut-colored pony with a shiny golden mane that takes well-behaved young children, much to the amusement of their camera-snapping parents and grandparents.
“Sonny has been around for a long time,” Babbitt shares, adding that the beloved pony is also 16 years-old – the same age as her son – and has appeared frequently in the famed Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, and in the Memorial Day Parade in Swansea.
“He’s done pony rides everywhere,” Babbitt continues, noting that the handsome equine often appears at charity events in communities along the SouthCoast.
“He’s really good around kids,” Medeiros tells. “I have a great bond with him.”
According to Babbitt, it’s important that Sonny to kept on a strict diet to maintain the equine’s weight and prevent laminitis, a painful and potentially fatal disease that affects horses, ponies and cattle.
“His main job on the farm is to appear at birthday parties,” Babbitt continues. “He is well known throughout the area.”
She adds that the equine is sometimes dressed in various costumes to mark special holidays and will be sporting a red, white and blue mane to celebrate the Fourth of July at the farm.
Babbitt reveals that she will soon purchase a new barn mate for Sonny as the equine moves towards partial retirement and a life filled with bright orange carrots and hay.
Medeiros says he enjoys taking youngsters on pony rides on Sunday mornings at the farm when the families shop at the Swansea Farmers Market. Guests are charged a nominal fee and enjoy a short ride filled with joy and excitement.
“It encourages people to bring their families every Sunday,” notes Babbitt, adding that visitors may also visit the farm’s spacious property daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to enjoy a picnic and a free petting zoo.
Visitors to the petting zoo will enjoy a menagerie that includes goats, chickens, miniature donkeys, sheep, miniature pigs and miniature horses, that Babbitt emphasizes shouldn’t be confused with ponies.
“They are a distinct breed,” she explains, noting that miniature-horses are bred to resemble a full-sized horse on a smaller scale. Ponies are smaller and much stockier than horses.
Babbitt invites families to pack a picnic lunch and to spend a few hours relaxing in the country. She adds that on Sundays, there is live entertainment and a variety of vendors offer baked goods, fresh vegetables, food and beauty products. The farm also sells grass-fed beef daily.
Beginning July 13, Stony Creek Farm, in conjunction with the Swansea Free Public Library, will host The Pony Boys and Girls Club at the farm. Participants will enjoy reading horse- and farm-related books, crafts, coloring, horse-related puzzles and more. For more information or to register, call Carol Gafford at (508) 674-9609.
In addition to the farm’s large boarding stable, guests will also meet Kye, an 8 year-old male Rhodesian Ridgeback that serves as the facility’s official mascot.
“He loves children and he is very gentle,” Babbitt says, adding that the large dog spends hours every day resting on a picnic table and never missing a trick.
“It’s a blast here,” she concludes. “Where else can you go to enjoy this beautiful slice of life?”
For more information, visit Stony Creek Farm on Facebook, or call (401) 465-4832. The farm is open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is located at 1210 Wilbur Ave., Swansea.