Pueblo packgoat show
We didn't get "in the news", but I figure this is still news. Wink

Phil and I helped run the Pueblo County 4-H packgoat show this past week at the county fair. They're trying to start a club. I gave a little talk and handed out a lot of "Packgoats Banned???" pamphlets, PackGoatCentral.com business cards, and NAPgA business cards. Hopefully NAPgA will get some more members soon!

We set up an obstacle course and judged a competition. It wasn't much competition. No one there brought a real packgoat, but the kids had fun. One little boy and his Boer market wether were particularly good. The little goat followed him everywhere and did everything he asked of it. We saw a few Nigerian Dwarfs and young dairy does, but not even one proper packgoat prospect. Hopefully a few kids will get interested enough to start some real packgoats for next year though. A couple of little girls took turns borrowing Pac-Man for the competition. They took charge and put him through his paces. I couldn't get him to go over the jump, but they worked with him and had him jumping by show-time! Pac-Man loved them and followed them quite willingly. I think he really likes kids, which is a wonderful change from crotchety old Cuzco who wants nothing to do with them.

We had ten obstacles. I'll list them here in case anyone else wants to use these ideas for their own packgoat competition.

1. Narrow "footbridge". I laid two 12-foot poles on the ground parallel to each other about 14" apart. The person had to walk in front between the poles and the goat had to follow without stepping out. This one was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Cuzco showed everyone how good he is at walking along the top of one pole during our demonstration of the course. Rolleyes

2. Jump. It was about 14" high at the low end and about 2' 9" at the high end. Most of the goats would not or could not jump it. I said I would give extra points if they jumped it higher up. No one did except Cuzco, who is still capable of jumping in the middle. Once upon a time he could clear the top end easily, packsaddle and all. He gave it a try at the show but I didn't ask him to keep going. He rocked back on his hindquarters and started to lift his front feet, but he was looking at it rather hopelessly so I backed him off and asked him to jump in the middle instead. He looked very relieved and cleared it smoothly.

3. Walk-under. We put it about 3' high on the low end and 4' high at the high end (I had to put it that high so Cuzco could squeeze under with his packsaddle on). We dangled baling twine from the pole like pretend foliage so there was something for them to push through. A couple of the goats thought the danglies were weird and tried to go around.

4. Bridge. We used the bridge from the horse trail class and I put a tarp under the bridge to mimic a creek. No one balked at this!

5. Jumble poles. These were just a bunch of 12-foot rails laid in a haphazard pile to mimic deadfall. The goat had to cross carefully but without hesitation and not knock the poles around.

6. Back-around. This was the hardest one for most people. I set up three cones in a triangle. You had to lead your goat all the way forward between one outside cone and the middle cone, stop, then back him up in a circle around the top middle cone and stop after passing between the middle and other outside cone. A few goats were dragged around backwards by force, but most ended up doing most of it forward or not at all.

7. Ground tie. You had to stop at the cone, drop your lead rope on the ground, and walk in a circle around your goat without touching him. This one was totally hit-or-miss. Not one goat knew "woah" except Cuzco. Several of them, by sheer luck, stood blinking gormlessly, several others wandered vaguely away, and a couple of them made a desperate bid for freedom and had to be chased down. I think this was my favorite obstacle because it seemed the most practical and the one requiring the most actual training.

8. Weave poles. I placed them less than 3 feet apart, so you had to be careful not to go too fast if your goat was wearing a pack. I had the trash cans in Cuzco's pack so it was almost as wide as the space between the poles. He and the llama (yes, we had a llama show up at our packgoat show!) had to be careful not to cut corners because they only cleared the space by a couple of inches on each side.

9. Stand on the stump. I couldn't get Pac-Man to put more than his front two feet on the stump, but one of the little girls had him jumping up there like a champ! Cuzco doesn't fit onto such a small space any more (it's his creaky old joints more than his size these days) and would only put his front feet up.

10. Get into the truck. I put a ramp and a jump stump behind the truck and you could choose which one to use (if any). Everyone went for the ramp. The only goat that absolutely refused to have anything to do with getting in the truck by any route was Cuzco. Our "seasoned" truck-riding goat showed everyone exactly what it looks like when a big goat gets stubborn! If I'd been at home I'd probably have smacked him with the driving whip and made him fix his attitude, but it doesn't look very good to spank your goat in front of strangers. I eventually dragged him up the ramp, but it was under extreme protest, and he sulked for half an hour afterwards and wouldn't take cookies.

And that was our our county fair packgoat show! A friend of mine got a few pictures. I'll post them if she sends them to me (and if they're worth sharing).
What an awesome opportunity to work with kids, spread the word about packgoats and the potential ban of packgoats! I think you two should get an award for all you do to promote packgoats! Big Grin

Those would be fun obstacles to set up at a Rendy.
Goatberries Happen!
I think that would be a super fun training course. My youngsters are curious enough to check out any new stuff but they are being raised as packers. Such a great promotional thing for our pack goats.

I like the idea of a trail course for rendy! We'll have to think about that one!
Charlene in Central Orego
News worthy indeed Smile Would of love to have been there.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale. http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
What would be embarrassing is if some boring Saanan milk goat won the trophy.
Hey, Charlie, my does resemble that remark!
Charlene in Central Orego
If I'd brought Lilly or Nubbin we could have won (had we been competing). Lilly could probably clear the high side of the jump easily, but she' probably pull it down with her udders. Wink

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