Ryan Carpe Staff Writer
January 4, 2014
ARCANUM – Ro-Da-O Farm has a long history providing delightful horse-powered rides for special events and the entire community, showingcasing their love of horses and passion for giving back.
The farm name, “Ro-Da-O” stands for Robin and David Oda, the owners and operators of the business, and emphasizes both their family and individual names as part of their business.
Robin and David feature more than 10 different carriages for Ro-Da-O Farm, ranging from an old doctor’s buggy, a surrey, a sleigh and show wagon. The family maintains 10 horses, with all but one as a Haflinger. They enjoy the breed due to its peaceful disposition, friendly size and beautiful color. Their other horse is a Percheron, which was a graduation gift for their youngest daughter.
The Oda family has a long history raising and showing horses, so much so that David mother even left the Darke County Fair draft show just to deliver him.
“He literally has been horsing around since day one,” said Robin Oda.
The Oda family’s history stems partly from the Oda and Sons Pony Farm in the late 1950s, where Kenneth Oda trained ponies and built several show hitch wagons for ponies and draft horses. His sons, Larry, Paul and David, carry on t that tradition to this day.
David and Robin Oda continue to show horses and also made the move to offer carriage rides for weddings, funerals, parties, festivals and church events.
The equine service came about naturally, and had a very practical reason behind it.
“The horses eat a lot,” joked Robin.
As a testament to their history, the Oda’s even keep a small jockey cart in their home which David’s father built for him to ride when he was only two-years old.
All of the farm’s show horses are geared around their 19-year old show Haflinger, Anna, and are trained to match her in looks and in movement.
“When you have a hitch, you want them all to look and move alike. And she puts on a show,” said Robin.
“She’s got her own personality. She doesn’t like being behind other horses. She wants to be in front. Even with people,” said David.
While they love their work, the Oda’s always keep their family at the forefront, with three or four generations participating and organizing in many events.
“Within 10 miles we have a hundred relatives,” said Robin.
The Oda’s have five children, Carlee, Ben, Colton, Jenny and Carsee, who have all grown to know and work with horses over the years.
The Oda’s family motto is “Where family is the hearth of it all,” which Robin thought of after realizing that family comes first.
“Our true winnings are the blessings of the family,” said Robin. “The horses really are an excuse for everyone to get together.”
But as family, they still love to share their passions with the community.
Twice a year, Ro-Da-O Farm hosts a fun event called “Horsin’ Around on the Farm” for around 150 locals visitors that are treated to horseback, hayrides, and carriage rides.
“We run nonstop that day for three hours,” said David.
Originally the event started out for the children of the Oda’s church, and eventually grew in popularity so that everyone is now welcome.
“We’ve just been very blessed with our passion and we wanted to share it,” said Robin.
The event normally takes place in the last Saturday of April and October.
Ro-Da-O Farm has also participated in each year in the annual Greenville Horse Parade, where they involve their family each year.
And the Oda’s even find ways for their horses to participate in unorthodox events.
For four years the family participated in the Salem Church of God Christmas program where they taught a Morgan Horse named Danny Boy to pull a sleigh up on stage with about 50 other actors.
The Oda’s also took Danny Boy to a nursing home in Eaton, where debilitated residents immediately opened up to the horse, and were revitalized for the rest of the day.
In the most memorable instance, a quadriplegic man who hadn’t moved in six months moved his hand to touch the horse and had everyone in tears.
So while many just know of Ro-Da-O Farm as providing fun-filled personal horse-powered rides, the Oda family is often out sharing their love of horses throughout the year in Darke County and beyond.
For more information about Ro-Da-O Farm Horse Drawn Vehicle Service you can contact them at (937)564-4115 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.