Wednesday Jul 13 2022
If it’s ‘uniquely Utah’ you seek, you’ve come to the right place! Gardner Village represents much that makes this state great! Last week, we showed our salty side with a look at famous salt water taffy, made at Chocolate Covered Wagon using salt from the Great Salt Lake. Today, we’re going extra sweet with Gil, the singing cowboy/gardner/entertainer/humanitarian!
SAVING LIVES & SINGING SONGS
After working for years in Utah and surrounding states to rescue animals, Gil opened The Farm at Gardner Village nearly a decade ago, establishing a much-needed animal rescue in the area. In that time, he and his staff have rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed 112 horses and saved countless other animals!
“Gentle ‘em down… that’s what I prefer to call it,” Gil said. “We don’t ‘break horses,’ we use gentler methods to help them recover from past abuse and traumas, earning their trust and giving them new leases on life.”
As if saving lives isn’t talent enough, Gil is also a master of song. He can be heard serenading Gardner Village guests all day every day on his guided pony rides.
“Hearing Gil singing as he gives pony rides around The Village just puts a smile on my face,” Willow Hill Yarn Company owner Emily Dern said. “He has an amazing voice. I just enjoy it.”
Emily isn't the only one who enjoys Gil's entertainment. Even guests not on ponies stop to chat (and sing!) with him.
That amazing voice can be heard singing such songs as “Horsey, Horsey on Our Way,” “Happy Trails,” and “Don’t Fence Me In.”
Of course, if he discovers it’s your birthday, you better believe he’ll bust out a birthday tune!
WARNING: If you happen to pass Gil on his pony path and he offers you a quick pony flick, think twice. It could just turn into a quick pony lick! :)
Adding to the melodic magic, Gil is even known to teach his young riders yodeling and other musical techniques, including the trick to mastering the neigh!
It’s hard to imagine this experience being any sweeter, but leave it to Gil to pull out all the stops. On longer pony rides, there’s a good you’ll be treated to freshly-made caramel from Chocolate Covered Wagon.
Not wanting to leave anyone out, even the ponies partake.
Here’s a surprise you might not know about. Tucked up along the side of The Farm sits an impressive garden, alive with fruits, veggies, and herbs. Clearly, Gil’s natural abilities extend beyond his vocal chords to include a very green thumb!
LABOR OF LOVE
Those who know Gil will tell you his work is very much a labor of love. As if saving animals, serenading Village guests, and growing an abundant garden weren’t enough, he even manages to take therapy animals to local hospitals and care facilities weekly. This packa grinning alpacas is among his loving therapy crew.
Hopping in as the softest therapy animal on the planet, Gil recently added this velveteen rabbit to his healing therapy animal family.
No matter the season, you can expect to find Gil out there, putting music in the air and smiles on the faces. Stop by The Farm to meet him and his friends this summer and soak up yet another thing that makes Utah so wonderfully unique!
Happy trails, until we meet again... on social! Catch Gil's singing for yourself on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.