Today was AMAZING! Phil and I loaded the boys and their wagon up in the truck and hauled them down to a quiet paved street near the local golf course so we could concentrate on driving our team without the distraction and discomfort of bumpy gravel, hills, blind corners, and traffic found on the road next to our house. It’s also helpful to get them far out of sight and sound of the other goats so we can keep them focused on us instead of on home, buddies, approaching suppertime, etc. It really is the perfect road for driving practice–smooth pavement, hardly any cars, very low speed limit, excellent visibility, mostly level with a few gentle slopes, and a really nice length loop so we don’t have to turn around and backtrack.
The boys behaved almost perfectly right from the get-go. I have to say, it is MUCH easier to drive a team of goats than just one. They seem to enjoy walking with a buddy a lot better than walking alone in front. We always had trouble getting Cuzco to walk without someone in front of him. No such trouble with these guys!
Phil and I took turns driving. There were only a few short times when the person walking had to help lead the goats to get them straightened out or moving. For the most part they stepped right out and kept going, even past a few barking dogs.
I punched more holes in the neck straps this afternoon so the breastcollars are now in the correct position. I also buckled the tops of the neck straps to a ring on the check hook to help transfer the weight from the yoke to the saddle. The only adjustment I still need to make is to let the traces out one or two holes. The yoke was pressed a little hard against the stop. A very easy fix!
Shortly after this photo, when the goats were going very, very nicely together, I softly asked them to “Whoa”, gave a gentle pull on the reins, and when they stopped almost perfectly, I got out and Phil and I led them the rest of the way back to the truck to give them a break and tell them how good they’d been. If they go on like this I think we’ll have them ready in time for the 4th of July parade!