A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 13, 2007

Success in Santa Fe with Skirting Seminar

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Fiber, Alpaca Health, Alpaca Shows, Alpacas, General — alpacalady @ 7:07 am

Zin’s Fleece on the Skirting TableMy trip to Santa Fe to present a Fleece Skirting Seminar at the weekend was a great success.  The participants were eager to learn and brought with them some good questions and great enthusiasm.

The seminar was held at Dream Catcher Ranchito, the home of Mary Ann Andrews and her alpacas.   Mary Ann also runs a bed and breakfast at her ranch and we were spoiled with both Mary Ann’s hospitality and the beautiful accommodations of her unique Bed and Breakfast.  If you are looking for a special experience for your next stay in Santa Fe then check out Dream Catcher Ranchito , you can enjoy hummingbirds, horses and alpacas at this peaceful location which is only a short drive from downtown Santa Fe.

I started the seminar on Saturday morning with some explanation of what the process of fleece skirting is, how an alpaca fleece is judged, an explanation of the terminology used for various fleece characteristics, and how showing fleeces and focusing on the fleece you are working on can help with your breeding decisions. 

Having spent the morning on theory, we broke for lunch and then had an afternoon of skirting fleeces and discussing the qualities of the fleeces brought to the seminar by the participants.  As often happens when you get a group of alpaca breeders together everyone was interested to see everyone else’s fleeces and the conversation was flowing freely.  Some participants did tire toward the end but others would have been quite happy to carry on for much longer.

The evening was spent with several of us going out to dinner in Santa Fe, where we had great food and great conversation. The perfect end to a productive day.

We actually managed to cover more ground than expected on Saturday and so on Sunday we had a demonstration by Susan Sasser of AlpacaWorks on how to draw blood from an alpaca and how to microchip an alpaca.  The alpacas we used were some of Mary Ann’s weanlings that required microchipping and BVD testing before they start to show in the fall.  We took the opportunity to do some halter work with them as well, it was interesting to see how differently they responded and they all made progress with their leading during the course of the morning.

At the end of the seminar the participants seemed pleased with what they had learned over the weekend and all seemed more confident about preparing and entering their fleeces for show. 

So then it was time to head back to Clovis on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  It was an easy drive home and the New Mexico scenery was at it’s best, changing from the mountains of the Santa Fe area to the high plains as I headed south and east.

All in all it was a successful and enjoyable weekend, with a chance to visit with alpaca friends both new and old, human and alpaca.  


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