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Published February 5th, 2020
A horse walks into a bar...
Hank the horse walks into the Roundup, then critiques Carole Sinclair's pool stance on a recent visit to the saloon. Photos provided

What's to be done at the local saloon when there's no hitching post? Why, ride `em right in, of course.
It is certainly not an everyday sight, but that's what a posse of eight cowgirls led by Farmyard Darlings co-founders Kim Berry and Carole Sinclair, did Jan. 20 in a joint celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Berry's birthday at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette.
Before popping into the Roundup for a cold one, the girls had lunch at American Kitchen, `parking' their horses at meters, making sure they had put money in first, naturally. Staff from nearby Tutu's brought carrots out for the horses. And then it was on to the Roundup for a game of pool and a drink with their well-trained horses beside them.
Berry, who owns the Lafayette-based country home style store Farmyard Darlings with Sinclair, says, "It's a great tradition that we started several years ago when Farmyard Darlings moved to 20 Lafayette Circle."
Berry explains they wanted to find a way to really engage with the community, "And we thought what better way to do that than to ride through town on horseback and see the smiling faces of both young and old as we walk on by. Some of these people have never seen and/or even been able to touch a horse and we gave them that opportunity."
Sinclair says they try to ride downtown once a month or so. Like Berry, she loves all the people they meet, for whom this might be their first experience with horses.
"On the way downtown, a sweet 6-year-old came running out of her house on School Street yelling that this was the happiest day of her life!" says Sinclair. She explains the sight of the horses really does engage the community, young and old.
Sinclair says a comment from a gentleman in his late 80s was truly touching for all of them. "You guys remind me of my late wife! She loved horses so much! She's smiling down from heaven right now!"
Farmyard Darlings, now in their 10th year of business, say they aren't just farmyard-type-of-gals; they are also philanthropic-giving-gals who donate time and products through their Darling iGive Program. They are also part of a select group of Northern California cowgirls called Sisters on Saddles - a group of cowgirls with a mission to engage with individuals who don't necessarily have access to the horsey-world. Berry and Sinclair hope to become more active with this organization, visiting retirement homes and schools soon with their horses, Dixie and Hank.
Roundup Saloon owners, Mike and Karen Johnson love having the cowgirls stop by. "It's always fun to see them riding downtown," says Mike Johnson, "The Roundup is a central place and the horses blend in with the theme of the saloon."
The Farmyard Darlings say they are trying to raise money for hitching posts outside the Roundup.
However, at this point at least for Dixie and Hank, they seem just fine walking on in.
Details on the Farmyard Darlings' philanthropic program can be found on their website http://www.farmyarddarlings.com/

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