What an amazing weekend.
What excited me the most?
Was it the well explained theory of better stock handling from chief instructor Sean Barrett?
The fantastic cuisine presented by Auntie Ando and her trusty crew?
The growing camaraderie fueled by a few quite rums after the evening spotlights had dimmed or the anguish evident during the final days competitive “Oakwood Challenge” where students plied all they had learned in a trial of courage, wits, leadership, dominance and compassion. This challenge was won by a young up and coming stockman from Surat. Congratulations Simon Twidale.
For me the overwhelming aspect of the ” introduction to stress free stock handling” school was the demonstration by some of the dogs of their innate ability to calmly dominate and control livestock. With the clever dogs the sheep and cattle moved to the desired position, be it through a gate or another part of a paddock, because they wanted to be there. 200 years, or more, of selection for these traits by canny stockmen of old is really paying dividends for modern livestock handlers.
The near perfect demonstration trial by Sean was an inspiring close second.