Well, my meltdown this year happened much earlier than usual (normally this happens about mid-June).
It went like this: (Tuesday afternoon of spring break...)
Carrie: "Dave, are you going to be around the buildings this afternoon to help us get the 4-H calves tied up?"
Carrie: "Dave, did you hear me?"
Dave: "Hmm? What?"
Carrie: "Am I the only one that is concerned about breaking Danny's calf? Do you realize that we haven't done anything with those calves since November? We are busy every Saturday morning from now until June! Once school gets out, I only have 4 days off until I have to be in Belvidere everyday for two weeks! Don't you understand that I'm NOT going to be around much in June? You can't expect us to work with these cattle for 6 weeks and then be ready for the fair! We're never going to be ready? Why don't you care? Am I the only one that is concerned about this?!?!?!"
Dave: "Whatever. I'll tie them up. You are over-reacting. Get a grip crazy woman." (I added the last sentence for dramatic affect.)
Well, this is how the rest of the week played out: We worked with the 4-H calves three afternoons during spring break. Each day, the twins haltered right up and we led them around like puppy dogs.
Danny's calf has only been weaned about 3 weeks. We needed to completely break her, so on day 1, we tied her to a post and took turns standing next to her and talking to her.
On day 2, we tied her up and took turns talking to her and petting her. When everyone was ready to be tucked back into the pen for the night, I was able to kind of lead her to the water tank at the far end of the barn. Mostly it was a lot of me holding on for dear life and her jumping in the general direction of the water tank.
On day 3, we tied her up and petted and combed her for awhile, and then after she was settled down, Danny untied her and led her like a pro!
In conclusion, one of the following must be true:
a. we've cracked the code on how to properly halter break calves,
b. we've lucked out with some really naturally calm 4-H projects, or
c. my meltdowns really work.
I'm going with choice 'c.'