|photo by Michelle Bryan|
Monday was finally our turn to play. Brit and I were entered in two Novice runs. The morning was cool so it was perfect- I didn't have to worry at all about Brit in the heat.
Our first run was great- I was confident and not at all nervous. Brit listened really well- and worked hard to cover the run away sheep. I know that field, and the sheep, and had watched them try to break to exhaust all weekend so was ready when it happened. Thankfully my dog tends to overflank so we managed to get back on course. This part was much improved as she has learned since the last time to give ground to get it back. The drive continues to be awful. I am sure we lost most of our points on that. We did make the panels, but it wasn't pretty. I need to get her actually driving- and plan to work on the small stuff including that for the next while. But we made the pen!!! I was super excited as we've been struggling with that so that was my goal. We placed first in our class and won some cash even!!
The second run I thought had better moments- but our score was lower because of the lack of pen. For the first time we got the fetch panels though!!! I was so excited I almost cheered on the spot. lol. The drive was sloppy again- I think walking with the dog is a huge disadvantage because I just always seem to be in the wrong spot. We'll get it though- it's a skill that will be hard for her to master. And we did not get the pen this time. I needed to back out of their space a bit more. I thought I was being plenty patient but I can see that I actually pushed them out a few times. And you can see that Brit really, really does not like penning. Like at all. It is too intense for her, and she doens't like that fast, short flanks and stops. I am going to teach her to like it though. lol. Because the pen is a fact of herding. She's gonna need to learn to walk in and hold the pressure if I need. We placed 2nd in our class- just two point short of first. Darn that pen. ;)
Overall I am just so pleased with her. Both outruns were pretty good- although the top was a little (lot) tight. I know her though, and was ready to flank her over because of it. But that is just one more thing for us to work on! I was so happy with how hard she worked, and she listened really well. Her best yet for sure. I am looking forward to having some time to train again and work out these kinks before the next trial. I'd like to move to Intermediate- as soon as I get whistles and the drive sorted out. Both of which should happen pretty quick! This winter at the latest!
A quick thanks to my most awesome friends and teachers for helping me so much! Brit is a dog that requires a lot of patience, and a lot of help and I really appreciate it! So thanks to Louanne and to Jenny! You are both awesome. ;)