I am so proud of Bonnie I am about to burst.
I have been working on her outruns. Lots of 'triangle' drills to work on bending her out combined with walk abouts, stops/starts and flanking drills. The wider she is getting and more reliable she is on the sheep (less goosing) the longer distance I am letting her go on her outrun.
The lift is improving too. She is still a bit of a speed racer at the top, but I can see her confidence building and begin to calmly lift the sheep. The pace on her fetch is still a bit too fast, but that will come.
Yesterday I worked her in the 'clover' field at Fido's. The 15 ewes that live in that field were spread along the far fence, mostly bunched in the back corner.
We walked about 1/2 way up the field and I put Bonnie in a down about 60 yards from the sheep. My intent was to walk another 30 or so yards ...get to a good position where I felt some bit of control - then send her. Usually Bonnie will hold a down for a long while and wait until I send her. Today she didnt - she took off like a bullet. I realized it was my fault, I bobbed my stick when I was walking.
I groaned. You know when you get that panicked feeling, your heart skips a beat, you cant breathe and you get a little dizzy? Then I let it go...I told myself "lets see what happens".
Bottom line I know Bonnie won't hurt the sheep. These are sensible ewes and they won't crash into the fence. I decided to not interfere and see how she would fix any mess she created.
She went nice and wide. I saw her hitch her step at about 3 o'clock and could almost see her thinking, she glanced back at me, I waved my stick at her and said "away". Bonnie bent out and came in well behind the sheep, weared a bit putting them all together - then fetched them right to me in a nice straight line (albeit along the fence line).
I was jumping up and down with glee by the time she got them to me.
Wow, what a good girl.
My joy was short lived.
She wouldn't stop. She got the sheep packed right up against me and started circling me ignoring my 'stand', 'lie down', "doGDammit Bonnie STOP!".
Oh well, not everything can be perfect or you won't have anything to work on later!
Next week we have a few hours scheduled with Scott Glen while he is at Fido's. We are also going to audit his clinic next weekend. I am really looking forward to seeing how Bonnie does with an instructor now that she has more confidence. This will be interesting.
Tomorrow is the first winter trial at Sue & George MacDonalds in Longbranch, WA. I had planned on attending the Kathy Knox clinic this weekend (audit) but I decided to audit only Sunday and drop in on the trial on Saturday and run Beth. I am sure it will be a 'learning opportunity" given how little work she has had since her latest injury. We haven't done much of anything training wise. I am at a point with Beth that I just don't know where to go next. I certainly did not have a great deal of skills in my toolbox to begin with, I don't have much more now.
The issues I have with her are beyond me and I know I need help. In more ways than one - that is for sure.
She moves faster than I can think.
On another note. Today I was doing the happy dance in my closet. I am down two pants sizes. I can finally comfortably zip my butt into a size 18.
I know, all you skinny people are saying "She is happy about wearing a size EIGHTEEN?"
Well, I still have approx 75 lbs more to lose, but I am a third of the way to my goal. I am learning how to eat correctly, changing my life, changing my tastes and palate. Learning how to be active and exercise regularly.
I am so happy that I an FINALLY back into a size 18 I can hardly stand it. So happy I went shopping.
It has been a long while since I was in a clothing store or a changing room. I was in for a shock, suddenly I felt like I was transported back to 1988.
Did you know they are actually selling STIRRUP pants again? Skinny legged jeans, leggings, big tops and stirrup pants. My doG, what are Stacy & Clinton saying about that?
Then I saw the potential - stirrup pants would be very handy in muck boots and rain gear. I think I need to get a pair. In a size 18 YES!
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