I'll try not to bore the non herding people with super detail, but this afternoon Sarah and I packed up Brit and Gyp and headed off to the AltaPete farm on our own.
I could lie and tell you we weren't nervous at all, but I won't. lol. We were both wondering just how hard it was going to be. And well, it was challenging. But nothing that we weren't prepared for.
We managed to get all the sheep rounded up and into the lambing pasture, sort off a bunch, and then put them in the round pen and sort them down further. It was really tough to get just the right amount- there are ewes with lambs and neither us or our dogs are talented enough to split those suckers up. So we ended up with more than we needed but it worked out alright.
The easy part was getting them to the arena-Gyp and Brit took turns during all these chores and they really compliment one another.
After all that we went and did some real farm stuff while the dogs took a rest.
I worked on my stops and flanks with Brit and her stops were pretty great- maybe even the best they've ever been. We've been working hard at home to make them better. I am pleased with the progress. I also worked a bit on holding to the fence, and on the L panel. The L was freaking impossible today. The sheep were in too large of a group and my dog just could not move them enough. It was frustrating and Brit didn't deal with the pressure too well and eventually would just flank them in the wrong direction. Sometimes I wish she was a grippy dog. Maybe they would respect her more. So we quit while we were ahead and most of our turns where spent on flanks and stops- which is what she really needs anyway.
Next time we will spend more time making sure we have no lambs, and a smaller amount of sheep. I think it will be less frustrating when working on the tight stuff if the sheep were actually acting like sheep and not like momma's....
All in all a pretty great afternoon. The sun was out, but not too hot, and I think we got a lot accomplished!