It was a beautiful sunny day and I wanted to build on my great time driving Finn yesterday, so Phil and I took Finn, Sputnik, and the sled to a quiet sloped street with good snowpack. We would lead the goats up the hill pulling the empty sled and then have them pull us down the slope. They’re not big enough or old enough to pull a big load, but we want to get them used to pulling some weight and to the driving commands while they’re still young. The hill was not steep, but it was enough that Phil and I had to scrape our boots along the ground to prevent the sled from overtaking the goats, which is why you’ll see our feet dragging in most of the photos.
I started with Sputnik. He’s a flighty little goat and put up a lot more fuss today than Finn did yesterday. I spent quite a lot of time untwisting him since he would sometimes turn suddenly around to face me–a problem you have when your vehicle has no shafts. Even so, he did really well for the most part and exceeded my rather low expectations.
Sputnik is extremely sensitive to being touched with the whip, so I had almost no trouble getting him to go. The problem is that he’s also extremely irritable about the reins and kept swinging his head down quite violently any time I tried to steer, stop, or even slow down a teensy bit. Then he would get upset by the action of the reins caused by his own dramatic movements and would swing even more. This is one goat who would probably do well in a check rein since it would prevent his being able to whip his head around to the point of upsetting himself.