The annual Estes Park Wool Market was last weekend (June 10, 2011…someone needs to get on the ball about posting. Yeah, that’d be me). Thousands of woolen creatures–sheep, goats, alpacas, vicunas, llamas, rabbits–all there for the petting. Oh the cuteness.
A handsome llama waits for the pack-llama judging to start.
If he were my llama, I’d name him “Bucky.”
Such a chill, smart-seeming goat. I think we really had a connection. Had I a farm, I’d have taken this one home with me. It could have ridden in the back of the Subaru, right? I’d name it Cleo. I promise to trim it’s hooves.
Wooly goats…oreo style.
Baby goat! The ultimate in cuteness.
The day wasn’t all cutness. There was also the eating of cute animals. There is something a little disturbing about a lamb sandwich for lunch before you go pet some lambs, but only if you think about it too much.
Under the tomatoes and delicious Greek yogurt sauce was some Colorado-grown lamb patty. Yum.
Chowing down on Greek-style lamb patty on a pita.
Then, something we’d never seen before, or even heard of–llama agility. I snagged some front-row seats in the shaded arena where we watched llamas compete in a complex agility course. It was really cool to see the relationship between animal and handler–most of the obstacles really seemed to be about the llama trusting its human.
The tire walk. Seemed like the objective was to get the llama to have all 4 feet inside the tire at the same time.
The water obstacle! The little pool was filled with water and floating plastic balls. The llama had to walk through. This guy kind of jumped out at the end.
For this one, the handler rolls an excercise ball around a kiddie-pool. Seemed like more of a human-trick than a llama trick.
The “up and over” challenge.
Towards the start of the course, the llamas had to walk through a pile of branches.
Here, the llama is supposed to face its handler and scoot sideways along the hay bales. More than one llama came to this challenge and was all, “snack!” chowing down on the hay. Um, no, llama. That’s not how it goes.
In this one, the llama has to walk along this narrow carpet between some rocks, keeping all its feet on the carpet.
The hoola-hoop. The handler would pass the hoop over her body, down the lead, onto the llama, and then back the way it came. The llamas mostly just stood there and took it. If I were a llama, I think I’d have been spitting about this. There’s probably a point deduction for spitting, though.
After llama agility, there was “leaping llamas” and “llama limbo.” There was one small llama–looked more like an alpaca–that won the limbo on account of being so short. The crowd really got into these events, cheering on the llamas and giving them a collective “Awwww,” when they’d knock the bar down. It was also pretty funny to watch the handlers. Some would jump the bar, others would try to go around, but that usually confused the llama who was like, “You didn’t jump, why should I jump?” Videos captured the action better than stills. Enjoy!