Merlin has found his inner horse Zen

Since Dream has been here, I have had little trouble catching him.  What a relief!  It seems his nervousness may have been due to being a single horse.

Last night we clipped both horses.  Dream stood there with just a rope draped around her neck.  Merlin didn’t think he wanted a trim and gave us some trouble catching him, but no where near as bad as it has been.  Once we started with the clippers, he settled pretty well and all and all, he was very good.  I asked Wally if he thought he was going to be as good as he was and he said no.  In fact, he thought we’d have to use a twitch to trim him.  What Wally didn’t know was that if we needed to use a twitch to trim him, he wasn’t going to get trimmed.

I didn’t ride Tuesday or Wednesday.  I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather.  Instead, I worked on the never ending job search.  A job that I am more than qualified for came up in Charlotte and I applied for it, but as my friend Helene said, I need to shut the door on driving to Charlotte for a job and wait for another one to open.

As I said I would, I unsubscribed from Sheepdog-L and am trying to avoid going to the Border Collie-related Blogs that I was reading.  It’s funny how we humans can be so self-destructive.  These mailing lists and Blogs do nothing more than suck energy out of me; I get nothing out of them besides irritation.  Why then would I bother to read them?

Why indeed.

Speaking of Border Collies, Gel proved to be very, very useful yesterday.  We had three young roosters that needed to be removed from the flock.  Young roosters are nothing more than raping terrorists.  They run the hens, rape them and are nothing more than nuisances.  Older, seasoned roosters ask permission before they breed the hens.  They do what I call the Rooster Dance.  If the hen is not receptive, they don’t press it.  Young roosters don’t care.

When I went out yesterday morning to let the chickens out, I forgot to catch the one rooster that was in the smaller pen.  I tried to catch him once he got out, but it wasn’t possible.  I went into the larger pen and tried to catch the two roosters that were in there, but it was proving to be close to impossible.  I called Gel in and he worked the chickens (and ducks) to me so that I was able to catch the two roosters.  In this pen, there are numerous perches built about knee high.  The pen is only four-feet tall so maneuvering in that pen well enough to catch chickens is all but impossible.  I put the two roosters I caught into a dog run and planned to catch the remaining rooster either in the evening or the next morning.

Later in the afternoon, however, I saw that one rooster not only running hens, but when they turned to defend themselves, he was fighting with them.  I called Gel and got him focused on that one rooster.  He helped me essentially run him down.  The amazing thing was that Gel was able to remain focused on that one chicken, ignoring the other chickens, ducks and geese.  This is a dog who usually refuses to work poultry.  The last time I had to catch roosters, I had to use Fern because Gel wouldn’t do the job.

Now we have three roosters put up where they can’t harm the hens.  In the next couple of days, we’ll butcher them and feed them to the dogs.

Meanwhile, Split is driving me a bit crazy.  She just about can’t be loose during times when she can gain access to the animals; any animals will do.  The only times I can let her out are in the evenings when the goats are bedded down and the poultry and the horses are up behind a closed gate.  Otherwise, she’s working them.  I suppose it’s a good thing that she has so much “herding drive” (Said term used in jest: I hate it when I see that term used in sale advertisements.); but working stock is not a solo activity.  Wally got after me last night for cranking on her.  I told him this morning that I’d commit to getting her out to work because that’s what she needs.  If I can work her tail off a few times a week, that will take a little bit of the edge off her.  I hope that as she matures, she’ll settle, but she may not.  It’s not easy keeping Border Collies in an area where they have access to stock.  Luckily, Gel doesn’t work the outside animals unless I ask him.  The only thing he does unsolicited is to break up cat fights.

Shortly, I need to go out and feed the animals and then head out to the local dairy and get milk.  I’ll be so glad when I don’t have to do this; although, the Jersey milk makes such wonderful yogurt.  I can’t buy whole-milk, cream-on-the-top yogurt around here.  I’d have to drive 80 miles one way to Whole Foods to buy it.  What you buy in the store is a poor excuse for yogurt once you’ve had it homemade from whole milk.  While I’m out, I have a few errands to run.  I planned to do them today because it’s supposed to rain.

Until later …