Pip is purely along for the ride. She's great company but useless in any capacity that involves sheep. I think she's decided that they're just big, grass-eating dogs. But she loves being in the car -
I call shotgun!
I'm hardly one to judge. I'm the least authentic farmer-type in the village. My own shepherding outfit this day consisted of a long skirt with multiple barbed wire tears in the hem, pink crocs, and a beaten up straw hat. Our misfit duo set off for Somerset and Mr. Baker's farm where we collected Roz -
Roz is an older, experienced ram who has serviced Mr. Baker's ewes for a few years now. After I checked my ewes' numbers to make sure there was no relation, Roz was chosen as a suitable sire.
Last year we had an unproven, young ram lamb, who did a commendable job siring offspring, but took a bit of time to learn his job. As I put raddle harnesses on my rams, they leave a chalk mark on anything they mount. The young ram lamb left his mark on ewes' rumps, but also on their heads and shoulders, and on the water tower, the water trough, the tractor tyres...well, you get the idea.
Roz knows his job. I dropped the tailgate on the trailer and he sauntered out, and casually walked over to my small flock of ewes. He sniffed each one almost methodically and within minutes...
Yup. And by the time I'd checked them the next morning, he'd covered three more.
The ewes with their tramp stamps
That's a win for age and experience over youth and enthusiasm.
My only job is to ensure the raddle doesn't rub and make Roz sore, and that none of the sheep go lame or seem unwell. And it doesn't matter that I don't look like a farmer, or have a lot of shepherding experience yet, because Roz knows his job. That's what counts.