Yes, halter training finally got underway this weekend. Weather charts have been studied in great depth, halters and leads have been collected, cleaned and allocated to their respective weaners. Pep talks have been given, objections have been fielded and rejected. In general the Mighty Patou has been collectively girding it's loins ready for the big 'off'. The rain finally abated on Saturday morning and Sue and I were out rounding up in the slippery, slippery, slippery mud, not ideal for halter training but hey ho the time for talk is finished. Action was required .
We have been out again today as the sun came out and the show team are really getting the hang of it quite quickly. We have taken a different approach this year. Usually we drag, I mean lead them around the main alpaca field but this year we decided to take them out into new unchartered territory. Right behind our house is a ten acre field which usually has either sheep or turnips in it (we have lots of winter type stews when it's full of turnips). At the moment the field is empty, the gate was open, an obvious invitation.
So we rounded up and separated the show team. We then haltered and began. Initially there was the usual rearing up and general flouncing around on the end of the halter but then they settled down. After a few minutes to get used to the halter situation we were off.
I took the three girls, Runa, Reeya and Ruby May and Sue took the two little boys, Roger and Rico. The dragging began. However, after the initial twenty yards to the gateway they all became quite interested in what was for them a bit of an adventure.
I led the way with the girls and Sue followed with the boys. After a gentle stroll around the field Saturday's stint was over and all seemed happy. The only one who seemed to be still resisting was the carthorse that is Ruby May. I wasn't exactly dragging her but she wasn't exactly making it easy for either of us.
Today, however, they all seemed to get the hang of it and we did two very pleasant circuits of the field. Happy days!
On top of the hill we stopped for the obligatory blog photograph.
From left to right: Ruby May, Reeya, Rico, Runa, Sue and Roger.
I had taken the little Canon with us but the batteries went flat as soon as I switched it on, marvellous, for a moment I thought it was going to be one of 'those' days where the world was against me. I'm sure you know the sort. The sort of day when just about everything gets on your wick and you feel the only remedy is to punch 'the world' right in the face accompanied by some choice expletives. Are you with me? No? Just me then.
Anyway out came the Blackberry as back-up and the snaps were taken.
At this juncture I must point out that Sue is not a Wookie. It was a very windy morning and her hair went a little bit out of control. With my sleek streamlined look I had no such problems, obviously.
After that we nipped out for a very pleasant pub lunch to celebrate Valentines day together. What a splendid day.
Tomorrow the day job beckons so the damp all encompassing blanket of misery that envelopes me will return. One day. One day.