I know this is a spinning and knitting site, but does anyone out there know where a gal from Nebraska can get classes on sheep shearing? I have been spinning for years, but I am only just now getting my own sheep (I used to buy wool from a lady I knew, and I would also spin my angora rabbits hair), I was looking online and found places in Washington state, Montana, and California that offered lessons on shearing but they were all classes held in like 2008 and such, none of them stated that they would be having current classes. I know it would not be that hard for me to learn, but it would be nice to have some professional training so I don't hurt my sheepies or myself.
Only thing I can recommend is contacting your local extension office and trying to get a name of a shearer. Realize that the majority of these shearers work on meat sheep and are not concerned about 2nd cuts (shearing the fleece, then going back and shearing closer), which is not desirable for fiber sheep.
The shearer may let you watch or teach you or she/he may know of another shearer that will.
Have you asked the lady where you used to get your fleece? (if she is local, that is)
I am getting the sheep from the lady who I used to buy the wool from. She used to shear her own sheep but has found that it works better for her to pay someone to do it, because she does not like how much time it takes her and she said he does a better job. She gave me his contacts and said since he is getting out of the business he may be willing to teach me but I have not asked yet. I will call the extension office and ask them if they know of anyone, I don't know why I don't just call them first.
Also, why not try a web search. I typed in - how to shear a sheep and found several videos.
I know one on one instruction is better, however, you might at least pick up some hints on how to hold the animal etc. - and you can watch as many times as you like.
I'd think any info would be of some value. No matter how you learn you must realize that it will depend on how much time you put in to the process. Practice, practice, practice is what it will take. Good Luck! Jean
Theres an idea! My mom has a poodle and she looks like a lamb, but she does not trust me to give her hair cuts. I think I will be ok with just the advice from my friend who sold me the sheep (I was overwhelmed in the begining and thouhgt I needed to know everything all at once, they won't even have their first shear until Febuary of next year). Thank you.