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Ben Cross Drives

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Ben didn't learn to drive until he was ten. He's still a little shaky on the concept. He's got to be managed a lot and then he gets kind of weird when I interfere a lot. The best we could do was a sort of casual follow for a few dozen yards with me watching for the sign that he was going to explode. We only got this far because last summer we went and got the sheep from distant grazes over and over, and walked them home. That made sense to him I guess and eventually he'd follow with confidence. I could never get him to stop and turn the sheep in a new direction - that was too much pressure and he didn't "get" it.


This morning I had to warm up a twin lamb in the house, and while she was toasting on the heating pad, I put her mother and sister up in the pen. Ben was helping -the easiest way since the ewe was running around frantically looking for the lamb that was in the house, so the easiest thing would be to bring the whole flock up to the pen (it's just a couple panels in the corner of the pasture).


Ben has the power to push a ewe from her lambs and it was handy this time. She came up, protesting loudly, but then I had to drop her off and push the flock away and out to the middle of the field so they didn't bust into the nicely furnished and stocked pen and gobble all the nice high quality hay and feed.


I had a lamb in my hands, a ewe that I was luring into the pen, and I didn't have time to go help Ben. He HAD to drive them to the side, and against a lot of pressure. I had to help just a teeny bit, but he started taking those stops and "walk ups" like he (or I) knew what we were doing. He drove them about twenty yards, exploded, rung them, and then kept going so they ended up about thirty yards away, in the field's approximate center, and then he settled them while I put the ewe and lamb up, put fresh water in, and then brought them back up the field with me so they didn't stampede the pen when I let them go. Wowza.


Eleven years old! If he lives to be twenty we'll be cleaning up in Open. :rolleyes::D

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