Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's New, What's Not

What a great time at the fair. I was there for 2 out of the 3 days and because I left the lovely Cora Belle at home I helped the goatfarmer of Herron Hill Dairy.
She had 14 goats there and it was never a dull moment. I don't think I have laughed so much in years. And because it's been years I have only one word, Depends.
It was goats galore for this goat loving gal. I got to show. I got to milk and I even got the reputation of being a stalker because I took so many pictures of people I didn't know. At one point people went up to a young mother and said, "Do you know that a strange woman is taking pictures of your little girl?" That's me, a strange woman. Luckily the mom was a friend of the goatfarmer and I was pardoned.

Sadly though I didn't win a basket in showmanship. I didn't win one for several reasons...

3. I was foolish to think that I would remember how to show a goat after 30 years.

2. The competition was fierce. It's hard to compete with ex 4Hers.....and people that have been showing the last 30 years and actually look good in all white.

And the number one reason I didn't win a basket.....I wasn't there. I was stuck on Interstate 5 in a traffic jam. I could have walked to the fair faster. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I would have made a fool out of myself. When I got there and saw the people showing in the ring I was so glad I didn't kill myself trying to get there on time. The goatfarmer and I had a good laugh that we had thought ourselves capable of joining this serious group of goat handler extraordinaries.

Here is the young lady that won hands down.

Now a few things are have changed in the last 30 years. For one, the goats are now suppose to go uphill. Meaning the withers are higher than their rump. I swear that it used to be, back when I had Farrah Fawcett hair, that they were looking for a level topline. Now the handlers are all poking their goats in the back to lower their backs. I never got the hang of the poke. When I'd poke the goat would jump. Undoing all my stacking and positioning. Another reason I wouldn't have earned a basket.

This Alpine doe is a lovely example of that.

Here is another thing that has changed.....

I am happy to report there were a lot of rule breaking rebels that dared to touch the animals, and then run outside to the thousands of hand washing stations that dotted the fair. I wonder how I ever survived my childhood.

What hasn't changed is this......cute kid faces.

Here is Jessie, she won a blue ribbon.

This is Poppy Seed from Poppy Patch Farm. She was Grand Champion Nigerian Doe. Isn't she lovely? I was blown away by the beautiful Nigerians at this show and Poppy Patch raked in the ribbons. Cora Belle is related to this doe. Her sire is a Poppy Patcher so we are in good company.

Another thing that hasn't changed in 30 years......scones! I ate 5!


Danni said...

Gorgeous pictures!! Hilarious story! I'm smiling reading about the wonderful time you had. I actually had the opportunity on Friday to come up there for the day (with my blog pal who was visiting) - my hay man, the local dairy farmer, wanted to take us, but it was just gonna be too darn long a day (5:00am - 11:00pm) - even *he* knew about the scones, telling me about the scone batter buckets that animal folks go and grab from the garbage piles because they make such great animal feed buckets. :-) The faces on those goats are priceless...and, personally, I think you would've looked great (all in white) and done wonderfully in the ring - if you'd made it. :-)

goatgirl said...

Oh farmgirl what a great surprise that would have been to see you and frugalmom there. Heck an 18 hr day is nothin'
I'd have bought you a scone.

Tracey said...

Sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot about the changes in the last 30 years.
So now next year you and your white outfit will be ready to go girl!

frugalmom said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Even if you got stuck in traffic and had to wear all white. Im pretty sure you could have gone in there and shown em how its done!

And I dont remember the scones being offered up as part of the deal when asked to the fair....

Far Side of Fifty said...

DEPENDS are funny! You have a whole year to come up with the most flattering white outfit ever! Love the goat pictures!!:)

Marigold said...

Okay, well, I am sorry, but I am a much better judge of a good looking goat, and I am here to tell you that Betty is MUCH prettier than the Poppy Patch doe. MUCH. So, get to feeding Cora Belle Peanuts for that sleek coat and next year you will show them what-for!!!

Heidi said...

Dont touch the animals... funny thing is, the animals are cleaner than the humans at times!!! LOL

Pamela said...

I think you should get yourself a white Marilyn Monroe dress. Like the one she has on while standing over the subway vent. That'll show 'em. Maybe even spring for the platinum blonde wig, too.

As always, your post was hilarious and such a good read. Really look forward to it every day. Thank you so much!

Deborah Niemann said...

Just found your blog and enjoyed my first visit!

The paranoia of city people and their germs! [rolling eyes] I remember when we first moved out here six years ago, we invited friends out after we had a few goats, and the moms were so nuts about, "Don't touch the goat!" and "Now don't touch your face!" and "We have to wash your hands!"

The other thing that's changed in 30 years are lawsuits. I suppose the fair thinks they'll have some kind of defense if someone got sick later and tried to blame the goats.

Our insurance agent tried to sell us a policy that would protect us in case one of our goats bit someone at a fair. That is just sad.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh Goat girl. I have missed you so much. How long have you been gone...3 weeks??? gah!

It could not have been only 3 days.
I checked your blog every day...and sometimes tow or three times a day for any update.

And now you're back! Or is just to restock your Depends? hehe

I'm so happy that you auch a good time that Depends were necessary. I love laughing so much that I havr to make sure my bladder ia fully empty! :)

That young lady looks SERIOUS. I wouldn't even think I'd have a chance against her either. Yikes! hehe

That's really weird that the goats were encouraged to have a sloping back topline. What goat organization was judging?

The SouthWest Nigerian goat show judge ruled out many a goat that didn't have a straight topline at our last goat show.
I wonder if confirmation standards vary in different parts of the country?

Your pictures are terrific. And
I swear that cute little kid with the mini-mustache is smiling at me. Too adorable!

By the way thanks for leaving such a wonderfully sweet comment on my blog today. You really made my day and touched my heart, dear friend. :)

Laughing Orca Ranch
New Mexico

goatgirl said...

Marigold, I would have to agree but they didn't ask me to judge. And I must say that Poppy Seed is a doll of a goat and well deserving. Hopefully next year Cora Belle will give her a run for her money.

Welcome to my blog may look but please don't touch the goats:)

twinville, It was an A.D.G.A show and it really wasn't the first time I had heard about the uphill stance. I don't think standards are that different across the country, just how a judge interprets it. I will keep an open mind and research why that is beneficial. It reminds me a bit of the German Shepherds and how they have made them so extreme in the rear. I did really learn a lot and had soooo much fun.

And to all who commented on my whites. I did find a pair of cute white pants from Landsend but when I got home I rushed out to feed my goats without changing and snagged my bum on the wire fence and tore a whole in them. So I have 360 days to find a new pair.

Deborah Niemann said...

Thanks for the welcome!

I show my goats, so perhaps I can shed some light on the uphill and level thing. When judges say they want a level topline, they just mean that middle part (the chine) between the rump and the withers. They don't want a dippy chine. They want really high withers, and I don't think there is any logical reason for it. People poke on the rump to make the withers look higher, which seems kind of silly to me since the judge can clearly see what the animal looks like before you poke them. In fact, when you hear a judge say that an animal looks good "on the move," it's because they know you can't fiddle with them when they're moving, so it's the most accurate presentation of the goat. BTW, I have Nigerians too! One of my girls is finished in AGS, and one is finished in both ADGA and AGS.

goatgirl said...

Thanks so much for that explanation Deborah. Now it makes sence.
I couldn't figure out why they kept poking them in plain view of the judge. And it is constant. Poke poke poke.
The goatfarmer did tell me about the "on the move thing" so I'm wondering why they even bother.
Yea, Nigerians. After seeing all the goat breeds at the fair, and we had a couple of National Champions there, they are still the goat for me. You have done very well with yours.
OK so now you can touch the goats...just make sure you wash afterwards:)
And a note to my editor, I meant hole not whole in my pants. I hate it when I do that. So does my mother.

goatgirl said...

That would be sense not sence. Hate it Hate it Hate it.

Danni said...

Wow! Some education *and* a chuckle first thing in the morning...what a delight! All this and my cup of coffee, too. What more does a girl need? Oh yea, probably some nigerian goats. sigh. :-)

goatgirl said...

The only thing that could have made it better is a scone.
And I'm sure we could find a few Nigerians lying around.

goatfarmer said...

I don't know what is wrong with me but I have to say something about the uphill conformation. It seems silly when you hear it over and over but I think there is a reason and a good one - form following function - for it. Probably the best explanation comes from the horse world.

The closest horse in conformation to the dairy goat (I think) is the tennessee walker. A classic tennessee walker will be built with very high withers. In fact I was at the National Goat Show one year and heard someone comment on a very beautiful lamancha (admiringly) that she was "built like a tennessee walker."

Those high withers translate into a tremendous amount of freedom of movement in the shoulder (which is why tennessee walkers don't fit regular saddles) which in turn translates into a very smooth gait.

The tennessee walker, with its well-known "rocking chair" canter and its silky smooth running walk, is not built for speed or for stock work or for jumping or for anything like that, and it is notoriously bad at those kinds of disciplines.

It is built for smoothness of gait and for its ability to walk walk walk walk walk all day long. It is a forward animal, plain and simple; it goes gracefully down the road.

A classic bulldog quarter horse on the other hand would be different - big butt, often mutton-withered, built for quick bursts of speed, for stopping quickly, turning, spinning, catching up with loose calves, cutting cows, etc. Not built to just walk gracefully and smoothly all day long.

You do not (I hope) need your dairy goats to be able to pen cows for you. You need them to be durable, to be able to walk out and browse the pasture, to be able to come in and out of the milk parlor 2x day for many years, to be durable, graceful, smooth, etc.

Plus the uphill conformation is really pretty.

Sorry for the long wind.

goatgirl said...

Wow goatfarmer, I don't think I have ever heard you say so much. What a great explanation for the uphill thing. I do think I remember you saying something about that at the fair...just not in so many words. Now I think I get it. And I agree it is very pretty. I know I'm all for having my withers higher than my rump.

Thanks for the lesson.

Danni said...

What interesting information you provided, goatfarmer! Fascinating to me because when we were first looking at the house/property we're in/on now, there was a Tennessee Walker horse in the barn. Quite simply, he was one of the prettiest horses I've ever seen. Friendly, too - he followed Jim everywhere when he walked around the property. His owner would take him way off into the back country for hunting - maybe he was initially chose because of his walking gait?
Funny that you would mention big-butted quarter horses. Since I've had donkeys (much smaller, more even proportions), I've been noticing the big a**es of these horses around us. Not very pretty at all - but after your comment, I'm realizing I'm not ruined to horses forever, just quarter horses. :-)