Monday, June 27, 2011

Ewesful Acres Day II & III

First I have to say THANK YOU to everyone who has written to me.  I am overwhelmed with your compassion and thoughtful emails.  I cannot verbalize how much it means to me. 

This Saturday & Sunday we ran at the Ewesful Acres Trial run by George and Sue MacDonald, Longbranch, WA.  We were scheduled to run Friday too.  I had signed Brynn up for PN and Beth for Ranch.  But a fever and yucky headache caused me to scratch. 

My lesson for the day on Saturday.  Listen to my dog & my gut. 

Brynn told me which way she wanted to go before we even walked to the post - by where she positioned herself at my feet and where she stayed on our walk to the post - she chose Away.  When I closed my eyes and visualized the run before we went out on the field...I saw Brynn going away. 

Then, why Heavens name did I try and make her go come bye? 

Was I beaten by a stupid crook?  Seriously?  WTF? 

The post was a corner of the Maltese cross.  That confused me.  When standing there, I was only able visualize  sending Brynn come bye. 

Obviously I was wrong - she crossed.  Not once, but three times.  Each time I called her back.  Then turned to the judge and he said "let her go away" and I did. Whoosh, she went on a beautiful outrun.

  Picture shot by Diane Pagel on Saturday, using my camera (Thanks Diane!)

I am happy though.  My goal for the day was to get her to slow down and acknowledge me on the fetch.  She did, she brought me the sheep albeit reeeeeeally fast, but they slowed down and went around the maltese cross nicely and we started our first leg of the drive - then she hooked them and I retired.  

Sunday dawned bright and clear.  We made our way back to MacDonalds.  Nursery ran first and I was second with Brynn. 

At the handlers meeting the judge, from England (coincidentally the same area my brother lives with his family, Derbyshire) patted me on the back and said "let her go right this time."  I laughed and agreed. 

Picture shot by Diane Pagel on Saturday, using my camera (Thanks Diane!)

Brynn left my feet beautifully on her outrun.  At about 2 o'clock she stopped & eyed up the sheep.  I gave her a quick short correction "Ah" and she moved a bit, got stuck again, so I yelled "Get Back!" which she took and disappeared from sight.  The next thing I saw were the sheep, coming VERY FAST and off line.  I whistled, talked, hawked up a loogie or two (ah ah ah).  She slowed down but we missed the fetch panels.

Picture shot by Diane Pagel on Saturday, using my camera (Thanks Diane!)

Then I did my second brain dead thing for the weekend.  The handlers post was the pen.  The sheep were supposed to circle around the pen for a left hand drive away. 

  Picture shot by Diane Pagel on Saturday, using my camera (Thanks Diane!)

So in my infinite novice wisdom I moved to the wrong side of the pen, then the sheep circled around the wrong way.  Yeah me! 

I turned and asked the judge, "do I unwind" and he said 'yep' which we did.  It actually proved to be a good thing - because it helped her to take a bit of time and listen.

  Picture shot by Diane Pagel on Saturday, using my camera (Thanks Diane!)

We started on our drive away.  The panels were in a ditch and partially blind.  I have no idea how we did it...but we got them!  The pace was faster than I wanted, but Brynn was taking my flanks and kept her head on & I managed not to project a bunch of anxiety to her through my voice.   Since I couldn't see the sheep or her I had to guess where she was and flanked her for the cross drive.  I flanked her a bit much and it wobbled, went offline enough to put them through the fetch panels then back online where we just missed the cross drive panels.  Then she brought them down to the pen - again too fast. 

  Picture shot by Diane Pagel on Saturday, using my camera (Thanks Diane!)

I left my stick leaning up against the pen and could have used it to prevent the sheep from trying to run over the top of me a couple of times.  But Brynn was too close and moving too fast.  The sheep circled twice & it was a bit haywire.  I got her backed off & slowed down a bit let things settle and tried again and we got our pen! 

We finally finished a nursery course!  I wish you could have seen the look on Brynn's face.  She was very proud of herself.  I was proud of both of us.  I was able to keep my anxiety under control, I felt very positive and kept telling myself that we could do this.  And we did. 

It is nice to know someone will qualify because we provide an additional number to make the class and we certainly shore up the bottom.  Dianne Pagel called it 'subsidizing'.  I had to chuckle at that... Someone's gotta do it.  I am happy to help out any way I can.

3 comments:

Karen said...

"I was proud of both of us. I was able to keep my anxiety under control, I felt very positive and kept telling myself that we could do this. And we did."

That says it all..... Good job!

sagechronicles said...

I'm impressed! I haven't tried Sage with herding yet, but it looks like fun.

pam said...

Great play by play. I really enjoyed it.