It's kind of like what gardening or hiking does for me. When I focus on "just" gardening or "just" hiking I find that my mind clears, the internal chatter subsides, and I feel good about life. For me its a form of mindfulness practice.
The potential problem is, goats are like horses in the sense that, when problems arise the handler (me) needs to stay calm and mentally at peace. You see, they are prey animals and the people around them are their leaders. They look to us to see if they should be afraid. They are wired to pick up on emotions, both positive and negative, as signals for whether they can safely stay or should flee. Goats, like horses, also don't like change. Again, prey animals, they don't know if the new space is safe. If they are separated from their herd that is scary too. Think of animals in the wild, the one that gets separated on "Wild Kingdom" was always the one the ended up as a meal!
The short version is that goats who have been moved to a new home will be scared and will need you to reassure them that their new world is safe and friendly.
Which gets me to another aspect of mindfulness, being at peace in the midst of chaos. One of my new does is having a hard time settling in to her new home. She's older and a little less flexible than her barn mate, who is doing just fine. The good news is that Espy is really well socialized and trained thanks to the wonderful folks at Black Mesa Ranch. Because she is so well socialized, she immediately calms down when she sees me. She trusts people!
But she is afraid of her new milk stand. It is wood, her old one was metal. It also is a little lighter weight and feels different under her feet, maybe a little less secure. It shifts a little more than her metal stand. I'm going to have to do something about that to make it safer for her. (See what I am doing? I am trying to imagine what the goat is experiencing as a problem-solving strategy). With guidance from Kathryn at Black Mesa, my next project will be to gently desensitize Espy to the stand. (Be sure you buy from a breeder who provides follow-up support!). You can't force things with goats, and you can't get upset at them, it just makes things worse.
So, mindfulness practice again. I need to stay calm, imagine what my goats are experiencing (based on known facts and experiences, not fantasy), and act accordingly. In this case it means feeding Mignonette on her milk stand, while encouraging Espy to feel safe by putting her food on the deck of her milk stand. My plan is to bring a nice travel mug of coffee (or glass of wine in pm), and just hang out with them as they eat their meals *on* their milk stands. Goat watching is a big part of goating, you can see if they are sick, it helps you bond, and is often entertaining as well:)
BTW: If you are looking for fabulous nubians and I don't have anything available, go to Black Mesa Ranch in Arizona. They offer awesome nubians at fair prices and the customer support is amazing. I also recommend attending their workshop.