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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hay and Horses.

I suppose I'd better start with a somewhat belated 'Happy new year' wish to everyone.
I know it's a bit late but it's been a bit hectic recently.
Josh is finally back in Mexico after a four day journey missing a connecting flight at Philadelphia because of delays. He installed Skype on the computer before he left so we can now have regular free video contact. Isn't technology wonderful !
Ironically the sun reappeared today to coincide with his departure after having spent three weeks in the most depressing grey drizzle!
I think he was quite happy to head back to the South American climate.
The alpacas don't suit the soggy, humid weather either. They always look at their worst this time of year. Damp fleeces seem to hold all the dirt and bits of debris, and the cria insist on sitting under the hay rack whilst the adults feed and get covered in all the waste that falls out.
I've been told in no uncertain terms that a rethink is needed regarding the hay racks after a customer couldn't tell what colour a cria was, as he looked more like a walking haystack!
In the meantime if the likes of Popham and Patou could stop posting pictures of lovely immaculate cria it would make my life a bit easier.
Talking of cria, we need to start weaning this week now the weathers a bit better and also incorporate some quarantined animals into the main herd and separate older and younger males.Always good for a bit of head scratching as you sort out the logistics of who goes where?

I was reminded today of how easy alpacas are to manage when a friend in need called upon my services (or rather that of my horse box)to collect a horse she had acquired and move it to her place.

A sort of belated Christmas present for a teenage daughter.

After a 50km trip to the collection point the horse was brought out of the field to the trailer and absolutely refused to walk in.

For two hours various people were pushing,shoving,feeding, bribing,slapping ,coaxing and stroking the creature.

'Horse whispering' and 'Horse shouting at' were both employed to no avail.

"Any ideas?" I was asked presumably assuming that being in possession of a horse box I was familiar with the equine mind.

"Nope, If it was a alpaca I'd just pick it up and Carry it in" But when half a ton of ex-racehorse doesn't want to do something there is seemingly nothing you can do about it.

We made the journey back with an empty trailer and a tearful teenager.