I have been having trouble finding people to ride with because, well, they all have jobs that get in the way of their riding time. So, I decided to take Kahlua out alone for the first time. Solo. Just me and her. I know what a pain in the ass she is to just get her to walk away from the group, so I couldn't imagine how badly this was going to go. I tacked her up, loaded her up, and drove over to the other side of the lake. We got out ... and she was on high alert. I mounted, and asked her to go forward, and she backed up. I persisted, and she went forward. We went about 1/8 of a mile, and she was looking for every excuse to turn around and go back. I persisted. She'd back up, and I'd let her, and then ask her to go forward when she was done, and she would. She wasn't winning, and figured it out in the first mile. This was a huge step forward for me, because this is something I would not do with her on the irrigation canal for fear of her backing up ... right into the drink ... or in case she decided to do something stupid if I pushed her. So I picked this battleground and it worked out great. We had a lovely ride after this ... and it was so peaceful. We rode for three hours, and I loved every minute of it.
I took a bunch of photos ... but there's no one in them except her ears. So here we go.
This was a bald eagle ... my camera phone sux, though.
This was, by far, one of the best rides I've had with Kahlua. It was just me and her, and she tested me over and over again in the beginning, and I stepped up to the plate, and I think I gained her respect. It was an amazing feeling.
On a completely different note, I'd like to congratulate Jaenne on the awesome job she did at the trial this weekend with Mo. Jaenne has taught Mo everything she knows, and has competed with her in arena trials as well as field trials, and is currently running her in open. Jaenne is an excellent handler, an expert at remaining calm, cool and collected. (Something I definitely missed the boat on.) So congratulations, Jaenne! You'd better get bragging on that blog now! :-)
Mo is out of Melissa Reasoner's Jen x my Zip. This is the same breeding as Kat Suphin's Deucey and Foxy, Brittney MacNeill's Skarlet, and Phyllis Steveley's Rook, among others. While I'd love to take credit for breeding those litters, I can't. They have matured into really nice dogs, credit due not only to Melissa for the breeding itself, but the skilled handlers that are lucky enough to own them. If there was ever a dog I could shoot myself in the foot for letting slip through my fingers, it's Rook. Presence, power, a keen eye, a huge engine ... and gorgeous to boot.