Thursday, February 26, 2009

Horsies and Sheepses

So this is actually from last Wednesday, when we had our horse and sheep practical revision, but I just got the high res pics from Anik, so here they are! I was very glad we had this revision, as I missed the horse session the first time around back in August, and it was nice to practice on the sheepies.

Our group was first with the sheepsies, and we had lots of fun remembering how to do various things such as:
  • remembering general husbandry practices
Free range lamb - it was born early, so it gets to roam around with the ewes!
  • flip them over and general handling and restraint
Anik remembers how to handle angry sheep.. "Baahhh Rammm Eeeweee!"
  • check their age by their teeth (baby teeth are called "milk teeth"; the first pair of adult teeth coming in at 1 year 3 months, then another pair come in every 6 months after that. There are 4 pairs in all, so if it's got all 4 pairs of adult teeth you know it's over 2 years 9 months.
After looking at his teeth. The old man was not happy.
  • guestimating their weight (always a fun task since I'm not used to kgs) (most adult ewes are between 70-80 kgs, rams are 100-120kgs)
  • checking to see if they're male or female (harder than it may seem, specially when you factor in castrations and whatnot, but which will earn you an instant fail if you get it wrong, eek!)
  • assessing body condition and overall health
Bahh Bahh Black Sheep! So cute!
***

Next we switched with the other group, and got to play with horsies. We learned how to:
  • go into the stable and haltering the horse
At first the horses seemed curious, but the one we used 'Flint' (not this guy) quickly got tired of being led in and out of the stable by 8 separate people.
  • walk the horse up and down to assess gait and lameness issues
Anik coaxes 'Flint' out of the stable
  • trot the horse (or trying to)

video
A video of me trying to get the old man horse to trot. He was not pleased and wouldn't trot for me. Grr.

  • We also learned about all the different types of brushes used on horses (which led me to believe that horse people are somewhat anal retentive and OCD about their horses, as you have like 9 different types of brushes that can only be used in certain ways, and while some are intuitive, some are not at all)
  • We learned how to lift up the front and back feet, which is useful for checking for rocks or bad shoeing, etc.
  • we also learned how to put a stable bandage a leg, the purpose of which is to add stability to the legs of a horse if it has hurt one of it's legs (contrary to what you'd think, you bandage the other legs because if one leg hurts, the horse will be shifting weight onto the other legs, and as horses are not particularly well-designed animals, they can injure other legs unless you give them stable bandages.
  • Finally we learned how to put on and take off a horse blanket
All in all, it was very fun, and for once I wasn't too unhappy about coming home smelling like animals. Sheep and horses don't smell nearly as bad as cows or pigs. My only problem was that I once again had to suffer a cold shower because the plumbing in my flat stinks.

But that's okay, because I'm moving in 3 days! I may not be living there full time for awhile yet, but I will be there to study, shower, and possibly sleep. Ok that's pretty much everything I would need to do, so basically I'm going to try and get in there as quickly as possible, as the fire alarm that some silly young'un set off at 5am this morning. I can't wait to not live in a dorm!

Tomorrow I'm going shopping with Anik for new flat stuff, and then the rest of the weekend is devoted to studying and more studying (and getting extremely psyched and a little bit packed to move!)

Anyway, so long story short. Animals are fun, I can't wait to move, and my life is going pretty well right now! :)

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