Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sheep Shearing!

My buddy, Dan, came for a visit. On his second day in New Zealand, one of my Kiwi friends called me and invited us down to join in the sheep shearing. We watched them in action for a while before jumping in and giving it a go ourselves. We each sheared the final half of a sheep, and I can say that it is way more complicated than they make it look.

Here's a video of our shearing skills. I'm in the front with Michael coaching. Dan is behind with another local guy talking him through it. 

Just for comparison, here is the video of the Speed Shearing we went to INSIDE one of the local pubs here in Otautau several weeks back. And when I say it is for comparison, there really is no comparison...

And here are some more pics from our shearing day:

They make it look easy. Little can you tell that every part of their body in contact with that sheep has a very important role in making it easier to shear them. They're not just pinning them down. It's a lot of applying pressure, traction, tension, etc, with your leg, then your hand, then your foot. 

Kieran was the 'rousie' - the wool collector - for the morning. Half of the sheep were his. He and Michael (and Poss in some of the other pics) happen to be the same guys I hunted with the first day I was in Otautau. 

One of the recently shorn sheep snuck around the woolshed and came in the front door. Little Harry got a kick out of that.

Harry helping Poss sort the sheep. 10 seconds after this picture, a sheep tried to tackle Harry, but luckily it missed him and just flew into the next pen over.

Men at Work. Me and Dan getting in on the action. 

Dan's making a clean job of it.

Getting a feel for it.

We both needed a little extra guidance here and there.

Almost finished. Dan and I agreed that one of the best parts of it was when, after you are finished, you grab the sheep by the butt and reverse granny-shoot it behind you through your legs and down the little tunnel slide that goes down to the lower pen and on outside. 

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