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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A small breakthrough ...

Wow, this blog is hard to keep up with. I'm convinced I will never remember to post in it every time I work the dogs. I'm going to continue trying though.

Well, an update since the last time I posted ... I went to Vegas, met up with my sister and my best friend, gambled and partied all weekend, and had a blast! We stayed at Caesar's on the 42nd floor in a completely comp'd room ... with a jacuzzi and t.v. in the bathroom! There was even an entire bowl of fruit, cheese and crackers, chocolates, etc. welcoming us. Such a nice place. Got my tattoo, won some money, and came home tired. A great time was had by all!

So last night, I was in a funky mood ... so I decided I needed to work the dogs. I was frustrated because I can't wear anything on my foot because of my tattoo, so I went out in the wet pasture with one boot and one flip flop on. Desperation, baby. Desperation.

Anyway, Tess went and got the sheep for me. She kept her head and didn't split them to holy hell. She took my downs and we kept control of the situation. I am trialing her this weekend, and I suddenly became painfully aware that I haven't done any pen work with her. So I had her put the sheep in the freestanding pen a couple of times. She did great! She took my downs, she understood that I only needed small flanks. She felt her sheep, and only got excited once and blasted the sheep all over the place after she put them in the pen. LOL. So then we learned how to take them out of the pen by going around the backside and waiting. The got out of the pen and bolted. I sent Tess. She did a great job gathering them back up.

So then I had her put everyone in the round pen. That was much more of a challenge. The sheep know what happens in the round pen. Tess and I had to work pretty hard to keep it all calm, cool and collected. Again, she only blast in once. But she is taking small flanks, listening and starting to feel her sheep and understand what is correct.

Another thing we started working on is ... usually when I am up against the fence, her job is to hold the sheep to me. What I started having her do was flank around and come to my feet, and then keep going, essentially pushing the sheep off of me. She would only do it on the come bye side, and that was ok with me. I was thrilled with her progress.

So I'll work her again tomorrow night. We have "movie night" at Donnie Mac's tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Days!

Wow! This blog is hard to keep up with. I know it's been a lot less than a week since I worked my dogs. Hmmm ... I'll have to pay better attention to this thing.

Well, Gem State Herding had their Roy Sage clinic at Janie's house this weekend. It was tons of fun! Zip and I set stock in the morning for the #4 course. That was a bit frustrating, but Zip and I eventually figured out the best way of handling it. I agree with Janie. We need to redo those pens. Zip ended up lame after all was said and done. He seems to be feeling better today.

I worked Tess on the ranch course. We have quite a bit of work to do before we will even be entering the started class with that. She really needs to kick out so she can release the pressure and to see what it's like to work without creating all that pressure.

I had the opportunity to put Echo on ducks, so I though, "Ah, what the heck?" Well ... I had no idea. Here's a sample ...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Different Perspective

Worked Zip last night. I have one of those giant wooden spools in my pasture (don't ask) so I figured I'd use it. I rolled it over to where the handler's post would be and turned it on its end. I then climbed up (gingerly ... it's werry werry wobbly) and stood on it. Sent Zip on his outrun. (Saying "outrun" when you're referring to my little pasture is almost a joke.) Very nice. Lift. I can see the entire thing! Fetch ... I can see him! I loved it. So we actually worked a miniature ISDS style course and I could see him the whole way and correct him the second something was not going right. My neighbors were doing something with their barn, and probably thought I had lost it altogether. Oh well. It was fun!

Good job, Zippy.