We’ve had some awesome shearers over the years like John and Eddie. They’ve both done terrific jobs for us; but the past couple of years our schedules haven’t been able to work out. So last fall, we got a new shearer named Johnny Vargas, and wow. He’s incredible. He sheared Paul and Titus in October, but suggested that we wait to shear Rayado till spring, because sheared llamas don’t do nearly as well as sheep during the cold winter months. Not that we had any last winter, but we had no way of knowing that then.
We scheduled Johnny to come out and shear Paul, Titus, and Rayado, but then we said aloha to Paul, so had to set up a new date. This would involve getting Rayado into the barn; ever since he’d been penned up last summer because of an eye infection, he never would come down to the barn anymore. Bless Danny’s heart, he said he’d come over to help Johnny get Rayado captured.
Paul went into the barn just fine, and on Friday afternoon, Johnny drove up to where Danny and I were waiting. I’d never dreamed that he’d help catch Rayado, but he said he was happy to do it; Danny couldn’t have done it alone. Armed with a lariat (yeah, foa realz!), he and Danny climbed up to the forest, where I was pretty sure Rayado was hanging out. While I did the hard work of standing at the bottom of the pasture taking photos. Being a photo blogger isn’t all that easy, ya know.
Before I knew it, Rayado was coming down the hill, Danny and Johnny at his heels. Ricky and Miss B watched in fascination. Fortunately, they didn’t start galloping all over the place, as they’ve been known to do.
Well, Rayado decided that he didn’t really want to come down to the barn, and made a quick left hand turn towards the fence next to our driveway (without signalling, I might add). Danny and Johnny followed him over there, and back behind the trees where I couldn’t see, Johnny managed to rope him after they got him cornered against the fence. They dragged him out; Rayado was not a happy camper.
He dug in his heels.
Johnny has so much experience with sheep and llamas, and he showed Danny what to do to get Rayado moving again.
Rayado outweighs both guys, and he really didn’t want to move. He started to cush (lie down), but they got him up, Johnny pulling, Danny pushing.
Rayado decided that he wanted to make a U-turn and the guys had to move really fast.
Rayado began to hum; he was not a happy camper. I could hear him all the way down the pasture! He wasnʻt spitting, however, so that was good! But he clearly did not want to move.
Johnny had Danny gently pull Rayado’s tail sideways, to encourage him to go where they wanted him to go.
In case you’re wondering, it was really important to get Rayado sheared, have his yearly vet check, and get his infected eye treated. So some strong persuasion was needed; even though he didn’t know it, this was for his own good.
Did they get him to the barn? Did he break loose? Stay tuned for Part Two!