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My First Ox

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January 25th, 2009

11:40 am: Work Ethic

We've been hauling all the cedar posts down the the clearing to set later when friends come with an auger. Albert can pull down two horizantals and two verticals, Push can take the corner/hings posts one at a time. We switch them out after about 4 loads each, let them eat.

Of course, at some point, us being gentlemen farmers and not the real thing by any means, we have to stop for coffee, so Marq and I come inside. I'm greeted by disgruntled "MEEEEEHHEHEHEHEHEH!!" through the front door. This is what I find when I open it - a goat and moo, both rather impatient and ready to work again, please! ; Both were just staring at the front door, waiting, waiting for a human to come hitch them up again.

Albert is wound up, wants to run with his loads, took off once with the singletree flopping behind him across the clearing (note: work more on wait there command), but he did come when I called him, so it wasn't a complete loss, and he happily went back to work. He's not an easy animal, and geez, I wouldn't wish him on a beginner trainer, for sure, but he's so much fun and will be a great animal when he grows up.

January 12th, 2009

07:29 pm: Cow bells and working companions

Here's an older pic of Pow and Albert, Albert wearing his official non-touristy cow bell a client bought him at a livestock store in Switzerland.  Hand made, really nice tone, really really really loud.

07:24 pm: Albert pulling brush

blogger video of Albert working with me, pulling brush and stuff to the burn pile, with Marq running the burn pile.

07:00 pm: Two women, a chainsaw and a steer does not equal 3 men
NC Dog Training for Herding and Obedience - Golem Kennels Working Shelties: Two women, a chainsaw and a steer does not equal 3 men:
Monday, November 10, 2008
Two women, a chainsaw and a steer does not equal 3 men

Two women, a chainsaw and a steer do a MUCH better job.

Robin B. came over to help me with logging out the woods - getting to the graze area so maybe I can seed it in the spring. Now, Marq and two guy friends came over and Sat and had a trial of errors trying to get going on it, and then Marq attacked it on his own some on Sunday, but there wasn't a huge amount of damage done.

The team of Robin, Claire, Shiner(corgi), Brick and Albert however - kicked some ass. Albert can pull trees about 2.5" or slightly more in diameter, 3 at a time, out of the woods, and man, that helps a lot. This was the first real trial of his new hames and collar harness, and it works perfectly. Albert just gets tied to a tree, lays down and chews his cud. We get a load ready, ask him "ready to go get a load?", he gets up, stretches, we hitch him to it, walk out the slack, say "hup" and off we go. No loads that he balked at or had trouble with at all. He's not really conditioned, so we'll work up slowly. He's still a baby anyway.

Shiner and Brick just hung out, lying there watching us wrestle brush. Probably laughing at us.

December 27th, 2008

04:26 pm: Oliver is going to be a good little draft dog


Oliver has had a harness for a while, since he was still trying to bite me (before much training and diet change). I still need to fully machine stitch it, but he thinks it is comfy enough to pull just fine. Here he is with a cart that weighs more than him, which he pulls with ease, even on this rough ground. He tackles turns with terrier attitude, making him one dog that I didn't really have to train much to pivot, he just throws himself into the shaft and pushes, crossing over in front as necessary.

Pulling the mini Christmas tree across the clearing, with Marq with the real one.

October 30th, 2008

06:58 pm: Back to work, finally!

On our trip up to PA, I stopped at Smucker's Harness to pick up my order - a set of wooden hames, two sweat pads, some hardware. Tried it out with a bit from the harness that came with the two wheel sulky I got a couple of months back - Albert seems to think it is comfy and could easily pull me sitting on a pallet. yay. Just in time to have some friends over to harvest some firewood for their wood stove - some time helping in the woods with the new equipment will be good for him.

October 2nd, 2008

01:46 pm: Video of Pow and Frost working
Had to put down the resolution - there's only so much I can handle on dialup!

September 28th, 2008

09:47 pm: So proud of the boys...
Pow and Frost did wonderfully at the demo - Pow pulled a load of brush, and Frost pulled a cart showing how to use
a dog for trash pickup.  Here's some pics of Deep River's Let it Snow - Frost-doing what he knows how to do best-impressing people.
Frost picsCollapse )

September 25th, 2008

11:51 am: We shouldn't get our hopes up
but it might be possible for Frost to get his carting title if the rules don't say anything about deafness or blindness specifically, and we can find a local judge. They'll do a test as an individual with American Working Collie Association.

Their tests are a combo that reguires driving in the beginner level, which, heck, we've got down fine.

Kathy and I will get a new copy of the forms and test info, keep your fingers crossed.  She's talking about his versatility title and stuff at the 2012 Nationals.  Long time from now!

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