Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles
Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Take Joy! She ain't no Quarter Horse!!
Let's see...what was I saying about taking joy? The animals are very good at it, and take joy each and every day. If you spend large amounts of your day with them, it's easy to pick up on that yourself! This horse is Carumba, and she's quite a character! She's a very good horse, and a very easy keeper. She is enormously respectful of the fence...as you can see! She is also mega-talented! (Notice the woven wire ram fence? Never tight, never straight...)
Now I'm not saying Quarter horses aren't. In fact, some can be quite amazing. But after having an Andalusian for a decade, I've learned with awe what this breed is capable of! This girl is TALENTED! She can make her body do things way beyond what any other horse I've seen can do. Never underestimate the talent of an Andalusian!! They are the gymnasts of the equine world. In fact, their talent is put to the ultimate test of military and bull-fighting trials, where the loser faces certain death. To see what the people of Andalusia have created in their marvelous breed is a true joy to experience.
When I see "Bumba" doing her amazing gymnastics, I always have to stop what I'm doing and watch. I can't help but start giggling as I watch her strive for any little blade of grass she can reach. She can do this without ever getting close to the fence, then will sort of stand up, move forward a bit, and go down again. She was taught how to bow as a young filly, so I guess she was smart enough to apply her education to real life skills!
Wheely Wooly Splash
Splash is out of Wheely Wooly Lerwick, and grandson of Wooly Bear
Here's a nice update on what little Splash looks like now. His horns continue to grow perfectly. (Did you read that comment about wider horns vs narrower horns??? What a good laugh that one was!! What will that group come up with next?? I guess if someone wants to believe you have to have bad horns to have good fleece, they can! Maybe it's a way to justify all the bad breeding of rams with bad horns. By the way...if I could afford it, I'd love to buy all the "good horn culls"! giggle,giggle) His nose still has that ever-so-cute splash of white sliding down off the side, as if he got into some ice cream or something! His conformation is nearly outstanding, and his wool is of high value. His face has that highly desirable brightness, with his eyes nearly glowing with happiness and friendliness at times. Friendliness is an understatement for this little fellow! He is a sweetie! All of my ram lambs get handled in a skilled way, to promote interaction, friendliness, and respect. He has never jumped on me, or ever threatened me, and he loves chin scratches. I adore this little guy so much, I couldn't sell him!
Post EDIT several hours later...I was enjoying surfing around Shetland sheep sites and landed once again on www.toprams.com. If you go there, you can see a photo of Island Skeld, the Shetland ram my sheep are descended from. Notice his horns???!!!??? Obviously, they are still coming through on my sheep here in America, and I love them!
Wheely Wooly Farm is committed to raising genuinely high quality stock, including high quality horns, for they are so beautiful when grown in right, and let's face it, soooo much healthier for the sheep who has to wear them everyday! It's a shame that a group would claim bad horns are better!!!!!!
It's not hard to take joy when living out here with hearts like Bumba's and Splash's. Even the hens can be a joy. For example, the other day, I was marveling at the mild weather we've had this month....so mild in fact, that I was able to get out and prune back the raspberry canes. I knew the hens would be upset, and they were....clucking alarm calls with each snip of the pruner. They all gathered around, getting underfoot as I worked, checking out what I was doing and pleading with me to not do that! Eventually, they accepted the disappearance of their beloved raspberry canes, and went on to joyfully scratching in the thawed ground.
Speaking of mild weather, (!) this year has been great so far! The last three years, we've had near or actual blizzards by now, with deep cold. This year, just lots of rain...a record breaker in fact....in some cases as much as 37 inches for the year! I know that will make Shetlanders chuckle! But remember, we live on clay and mud...so lots of rain equates to lots of flooding and mud. ...and speaking of Shetland....did you see that they closed schools last week due to high winds? Now THAT sounds windy!