BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Cars honk or stop by to watch the two young mares stumble in the pasture, hear the chickens cluck a few feet away and take in the Bar Harbor farm. But it was not always so peaceful.
Four years ago, this farm was a mess. The state seized almost twenty badly malnourished horses from the previous owner. Then, the property was foreclosed. Sandi Read saw an opportunity and bought the farm.
Marc Jaffrey, the stable manager at Wild Iris Farm said the property was a mess, "All the windows in the house were blown out. There were dead raccoons in the house, the barn was in shambles...The fields were torn up. There was barbed wire down everywhere and metal everywhere in the pasture."
It has taken three years to rebuild the property from the ground up. Sandi Read will tell you, it was no easy task, but the locals support has made it worth it.
Read said, "The neighbors have been totally supportive and could not be nicer and happier to see the horses here. So that makes it perfect."
The farm has also introduced carriage rides through town, the first horse drawn carriage on the island in over twenty years.
"They love to hear the clip clop of the horses of the horses hooves and everybody is nostalgic," said Read.
Locals, tourists, and shop owners always stop to watch the shires gallop down Main Street. Those horses pulling the carriage, Griffin and Dickens are quite the show stoppers.
"Whenever I hook them up through town it is like a special event. It is almost like being at Disney World everyday, " described Jaffrey.
But even with the joy and waves you get from people, it is no easy job. Read and Jaffrey work hard and continue to make improvements to the farm.
"It is a labor of love and it is obviously worth it, but you have to have a passion for it," said Jaffrey.
The horses have a passion for it too. Jaffrey said if one of the dynamic duo is left behind at the farm, they become jealous and upset.
Wild Iris Farm also offers year-round boarding and lessons on how to drive your own carriage.