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A few weeks ago we took out the 'newbies'. They have been out in the woods with no weight before and this time they had on packs and were expected to go a little farther.

My problem - they spook and start running. They don't run far but my concern is that I hike with my husband (he can handle the spooking/running goat) and two little kids who are 6 and 10. The 6 and 10 year old can't manage the spooking/running.

We are usually in a line - my husband is first and he has the lead goat on a lead rope right behind him. The other goats (this trip we had 3 total) follow the lead goat and then the 2 human kids and I'm last. The two loose goats would be walking and all of a sudden spook at something and charge back to the kids and I. Everytime they stopped and didn't run us over but it was still enough to get your heart racing. At one point one of the goats was behind me because he was being lazy and he got spooked and started running at me.

Is this an age thing? It is kind of scary when you don't know what they are spooking at (nothing was visible when this happened). I worry they are going to knock my kids down and there are some places you have a pretty good hill down one side of the trail. One of the older goats that we have been hiking with for 3 years was even spooking and he has NEVER done it until he started hiking with the newbies.

Tonia
 

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I'm guessing they were spooking at bear smells. This is always my thought when Cuzco appears to spook at "nothing". They have good reason to be scared of such a thing, but they can learn to get over it if you take them out enough so they get used to it. You might think about carrying a staff that you can plant in front of you if they turn back suddenly. Make sure your kids are behind you so you can be the roadblock. Or you could have the kids walk between you and your husband and make all the goats follow behind. If you hear them charging up, turn and block them with your stick. Yell if you have to. We had to do this with Cuzco because he would spook and try to charge past us. It wasn't fun, so we put a stop to it. When we hike with more goats we make them all walk behind. The young ones try to sneak past a lot at first, but we are firm about making them get back in line.
 
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