Spring finally sprung. The Black Hills Pack Goats will begin their first year of real load bearing services this summer. Time to break out the saddle and start getting the boys used to it. They'll need to become familiar with the straps and cinch, the extra weight, and the new clearances when negotiating thickets. The other three saddles are still being made out of state. The pack panniers are at an embroidery shop to apply custom logo's on the bags. But for now, we just went out for a late afternoon spring hike. We started with the lead goat, Custer, to set the example. He is the smartest and most adventurous. Custer handled his saddle just fine. Notice in these pic's how the other goats accept Custer as their leader.
Sorry about Google insisting on randomizing and reversing the photo sequences.
Sidebar: We stopped on the hike for refreshments. While we were milling about, another hiker, a stranger, came our way with three dogs. (Dogs are the most common enemy of goats.) Custer was great. He assumed his proper role of herd protector and kept himself between the other goats and the hiker and his dogs as they passed by. Sylvan, in his role of Safety Warden dropped back to define a rear exit, in the ready to lead a retreat if needed, while uttering warning alerts to the others to keep their adrenline up. Harney and Sturgis huddled with me between Custer and Sylvan. Our herd is in order. I was greatly proud of Custer for his selfless heroism.