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Spooling Up for Show Season

Herd Manager Kim Duprey introduces CCNF Bataclan to the concept of a halter while working in the roundpen.

Funny how just a few weeks ago we had dismissed winter as something that had come and gone. Then the temperatures dropped into the single digits again and now we are all of a sudden staring down a nor’easter that could deliver a foot or more of the white fluffy stuff before it’s done with us. Not that any of that would matter all that much — late winter weather events such as this one are only a “surprise” in the current context of climate change and the ginned-up drama of named storms on the Weather Channel: even the Aprils of our childhood routinely brought such snowfalls here in Vermont — if it were not for the simple fact that Jen and Kim are still  in the midst of halter training 25 +/- new recruits to the show string.

Though because of the date and it’s location in Denver, we chose not to attend the upcoming AOA National Show this year, 2 weeks from this coming Thursday we will be at the North American/Northeast Expo double show in Springfield, MA, followed just 2 days later by a departure for Kansas City and the the Futurity. Spring show season is always kind of a gut-check time in our calendar year and I will freely admit that it is something I have long had a love/hate relationship with. Hey man, regardless of my other feelings, at least there’s good BBQ in KC. Eyes on the prize and all of that.

The head trainers finished getting all of the new juvi female trainees through their initial round pen work last week and as the decidedly whinier boys (something which this post is demonstrating, with striking clarity, apparently applies to males of the human species as well) begin to go through that same process, so the walk-a-thon begins. Yours truly is in charge of both making sure that the yearling and token 2 year old holdovers from last fall’s show string remember what a halter and lead are, and then finally walking all of the juvis once Jen and Kimmy have put them through their full paces. Mind you, this is not because I’m viewed as some kind of high end show animal finishing school but rather because any rookie show animal that will walk on a slack lead for me, is generally deemed to be sufficiently bomb-proof that it would likely walk for anyone.

In between all of that other stuff, we both had herd health days — March toe nail trimming always feels a bit like doing penance for our time away over February break, a trade we will always gleefully make — and we took the time to take fleece pictures of the vast majority of last year’s birth class, something which is always eye opening, particularly when comparing some of the little farts to their older full siblings from prior years. Though mid-winter always feels a bit early to be in that mode, we also have already chosen and consigned two lovely females that will be representing us at this years Parade of Champions sale in early June, though more on that duo later. For now I hope everyone is staying warm and looking ahead, believe it or not, to the first day of spring in just over a week. See you out there!

Follow me on Twitter @CCNFalpacas

2 comments to Spooling Up for Show Season

  • Jandy K Sprouse

    Ian….. I am completely bummed you and Jennifer will not be in Denver… but we do hope to see you in Kansas City…. our very last show as the poop scoopers and support team for Halo Ranch who bought the herd. Love the piece….. I was just there last weekend checking in on my son at Middlebury who had his fourth concussion in October…. The good news is that Brad and I are going to be on the road… having fun… and the northeast is on the agenda…..seriously have had Cape Breton on the radar for the music fests up there… so beware…. the yak raising Sprouses just might give you a call to buy you a few beers at some point on our wayward way…. 🙂

    • Ian

      Yikes! What did your son do to get his 4th concussion? Anyway, hope’s doing ok – that’s always scary. We will see you in KC for certain! Also, the Sprouses will always be welcome around this fire anytime you find yourselves in the neighborhood! 🙂

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