This is Arret and Bouge, a one-year-old Nigerian dwarf goat and a 15-year-old mountain horse. They are two friends that live together on a farm in Krestova, B.C.
Goats and horses usually get along, but this is a unique relationship. Arret rides Bouge’s back. What a strange-looking cowboy!
Amiee Kootnikoff owns the farm. She found Arett standing on Bouge’s back about two months ago.
Kootnikoff told the CBC that she thought this was just a one-time occurrence at first. But then it happened again … and again … and again.
Now, Arret rides Bouge for a couple of hours a day.
Goats have been known to help humans relax, and sometimes they’re even used to calm nervous horses. But according to Kootnikoff, these two use each other for different reasons.
She says Arret uses Bouge’s height to reach tasty tall branches and Bouge gets a nice back massage from Arret’s hooves. It’s a win-win!
Kootnikoff believes they figured out how to communicate with body language. Apparently, Arret lets Bouge know he wants to hop on his back by putting his little goat hooves on Bouge’s left side.
She even thinks Arret may be giving the horse commands to move around the yard. Yee-haw!
Can animals really be friends with other animals?
According to a New York Times article, scientists were skeptical of interspecies friendships until recently. Friendship was usually seen as something unique to Homo sapiens (that’s Latin for “the clever human”!).
But research has started to show that other species may share some abilities that used to be considered exclusive to humans, like feeling emotions, being able to count, and understanding language and morals. However, some scientists are still doubtful that animal friendships offer anything more than simply an adorable sight.
A lot of these viral interspecies interactions that we see in videos happen in human-controlled environments, like farms or zoos. Scientists say that this may make some animal friendships like Arret and Bouge a result of human impact, rather than a biological phenomenon!
Social media stars
Kootnikoff says she enjoys sharing the duo’s personalities on social media.
When she’s not tending to the other 46 animals on her farm, she’s busy capturing the pair’s aww-worthy moments on camera.
Arret and Bouge bring a lot of fans to Kootnikoff's Instagram page. We can't wait to see what they stirrup next!