Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Field Trial

Running behind on this blog again, but last weekend the Border Collies and I headed to the Sheep River Sheepdog trial. It was a lot of fun, and I had a great time with my dogs, and with my friends.

Brit ran in intermediate for the first time. That is a class where I stay at the post (no helping the drive), and not only does she have to do a drive away, but a cross drive too. Oh, and the outrun is bigger too. I was a little worried we were in over our heads. But I worried for nothing! Brit did a great job! In fact our first run she won first place! The second day we lost one. ;), and the third day was a good try but the sheep were heavy and fighting and Brit doesn't do well with that sort of thing. I got on her case a bit, and she quit. lol. That'll teach me. I need to find the balance between making her do the right thing, and taking her sensitivity into account. She is definitely a challenge sometimes! Our homework is to work more on taking a "Steady"- and whistles. She is so far away now that whistles are becoming neccesary- especially if it's windy...

This is Saturday's run. She came first in her class. I was thrilled with her cross drive on this one. Driving is not her strong point. Lots of things to work on though- my timing for one. lol. And steady- as in go slow.

Leo was in Novice and did a pretty good job! We had some trouble here and there- my timing, his pushy ways. Some wrong flanks. But-  We have been working so hard on our drive that I am just thrilled with how well he did on that part! He is getting it- slowly but surely. On the second run we lost our sheep. (same as brit actually). He was too forward and fast, and I didn't stop him in time. I thought he had caught it but I should have left them alone to settle a bit longer before walking him up. Live and learn! I need to learn to be more proactive with him- anticipate that he is going to be a little pushy and get on his case a bit. I didn't use my "time" nearly enough and by the third day he wasn't listening to it at all. He is a really fun dog to run though, I need to not get caught up in the excitement of him. lol. The best part of the weekend for him aside from the drives- was the pen on sunday! The sheep were very difficult all weekend and there were not many pens the whole weekend. But he had a great handle on his sheep on that last run and we got it! He came in first in the run.

This is Mondays run- the last day. I was pretty happy with him! 

So lots to work on with both dogs, and with myself. Each trial I come away knowing a little more about my dogs, stock, and myself. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

Agility Leo Update

Agility Leo is happy, and ethusiastic, and doing great.

If I managed my time better, and was more motivated to train he would be a lot farther along than he is. But we are having fun with the stuff we've done so I'm happy. ;)

I was hoping to have him running at a trial in a few weeks. Just Jumpers, BUT. My chute is not here yet, and he has done exactly two tires. So. We will wait- and in the mean time we will train some more. Leo likes that idea- a lot. He finds the whole running, jumping, running, tugging, running, playing thing very exciting. ;) 

photo by Cindy

photo by Cindy

restrained recalls over the a-frame make Leo a little crazy...

see? lol. I think the A-Frame may be his favorite thing.
agility leo is happy.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Wicca's Best Day

If possible I love this dog more each day. Today she came along on an adventure and had the best day. She completely stole the show, and truly was the highlight of my day. She is hilarious, and even at ten years old is the boss. Of everything.

She came along to agility practice, and the farm. She didn't listen at all, rolled in stuff, got in the way, nearly caused a stampede, chased gophers, and a cat or two. And just generally was awesome.

Some photos from the day...


toy thief

part of her victory lap after I let her do a tunnel. <3 Her Joy was heartwarming. 


Rolling on a dead worm

it was a good roll! 

mooching treats 'cause she worked so hard. 

at the farm. on chicken watch. 

a gift. 

she wasn't sure she liked it. 

In the lambing pasture. She was helpful. 

and pushed all the sheep out. LOL

She then spent the afternoon supervising the working dogs. It was a tough job. 
After such a busy day she is now sleeping in a sun spot at my feet. <3
Never change Woo.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Herding Stuff

my friend cindy and her dog pike @ Altapete

Scott and Jenny (Altapete) are off on their spring adventures so I am on farm watch again. I think this is the third year. It truly has been life changing. I am very lucky!  The whole herding thing really. Brit, and then Leo. All the things I've learned, all the things I've done, the people I've met. Just awesome. 

Anyway, that was a bit off topic. lol. 

Leo has the most amazing outruns. I often just stand and watch him. It's cool to think that he learned that. I don't know how even. But it's definitely amazing to me.  We are still working on the drive. He is getting it. I had a great lesson with Scott before they left. And have walked the fence line more times than I care to count. ;) I have Leo entered in Novice at the trial coming up- only because of that drive. Otherwise I'd be in Intermediate because he can do the bigger outrun. I am thinking that by the end of the summer the drive will be good enough to move up. So we will get some experience under our belt. He ran just once last year at a field trial- his very first time to the post. He did pretty great, and won his class (and a clock.) I am looking forward to trialing with him this summer. It's going to be fun! 

Brit isn't doing too shabby herself! The arena trials all winter really got her fast and keen, so i was a little worried when we started working on that outrun again. But after a few repetitions she is back to bending out- actually better than last year. Her top end isn't great so we are working on that. She either over flanks, or cuts in...I'd like something in the middle. And I'd really like her to take that stop at the top EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not just occasionally. I hate yelling at her. She is getting pretty good at driving, and as long as the sheep are good she will settle in behind them and truck along. I bit the bullet and entered her in Intermediate. A bigger outrun,  a drive away AND a cross drive. She is capable. I am excited to try it! The worst that will happen is she will lose her sheep, or I'll call her off.  As long as she is sound that day it'll be fun! She is having some issues. Issues that are getting worse instead of better. It's frustrating. And I'm not quite ready to talk about it. I tend to get sad and dramatic, and I think she deserves more than that. So I am going to get her looked at again and see if there is a more difinitive plan for her. To compensate for that we do little bits- a few outruns, some driving, and no farm work. So she sits and watches a lot, or will hold sheep. She likes that.  <3

Lots of fun herding stuff planned this summer. Trials, Clinics, Get togethers, and Fun!!!