Back in March Steve and I decided that we would contact our local 4-H group to see if there was anyone interested in working with our alpacas and showing them in the Erie County Fair. We were Blessed to be connected with Megan McNulty. She is just an awesome, wholesome girl who was going to school, working a job, a 4-H member AND wanted to get some hands on experience with alpacas.
Since we were both new to showing alpacas for 4-H, we had many more questions than we had answers to start. I originally was going to let her use boys. Then we found out that they required that all males over 12 months had to be neutered. Since the real world indicates that neutering a male alpaca before the age of 18 months could be harmful to their health, we decided to look at the girls that might be available.
As the fair began to loom in the near future, we learned that there were additional things that MIGHT be included in the obstacle course. These included showing the teeth, backing the alpaca up through obstacles, lifting the foot and
jumping a bar. Now, if you know alpacas, you know that they don't like to have their feet messed with. I was so proud of Megan and the girls when they mastered the "foot" command.
Megan used the area between the trailer and the fence to work on the "back" command. It took the girls only a couple of times before they got the hang on that.
While all this was going on, my husband built a jump obstacle. I was quite impressed when I came out to the barn and discovered our new obstacle one day. Wow is all I could say. We sat the bar low for the girls and then proceeded to raise the bar. To be honest, the girls weren't all to sure if this was something they wanted to do. Hallie seemed to understand the concept before Condi but she could also prove to be very obstinate.
By the time of the fair, we were as ready as we would ever be. To make a long story short, both Hallie and Condi did the jump, the back up, the pool, the stuffed animal, the steps and walking across the rug. The surprise obstacle that we did not train for was to hang a large bell type necklace on the girls. Hallie was ok with this one but Condi said NO WAY.
Megan looked like she had been in many 4-H shows and handled the girls
excellently. She and Hallie won Reserve Champ and she and Condi won 3rd
We have all learned a lot from this adventure and we are truly looking forward to expanding our program and having more kids take advantage of this opportunity!!!