Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things are Sinking In & Other Nonsense

Working my dogs every day has the distinct advantage of helping me solidify flanks.  I am finding I do not have to think about which direction is which, they just come out, almost automatically.

The bonus of that is my confidence has increased and I do not second guess myself when I give a correction.

For example, when Brynn takes the wrong flank, I can correct her immediately, instead of thinking "Did I say the right flank" before I correct - which can screw up your timing.  Additionally I believe I am able to project confidence in the correction.

It remains to be seen if it is making a difference for Brynn (I hope so).  Regardless, it has made a huge difference for me.  Instead of having a training session be catch-up from the last time, I can pick up where we left off the day before.  Continuity = confidence for me.  Let's hope I can bring that same confidence to the trial field one day.

I have this quote on my wall, it helps to keep things in perspective. 
"To succeed you must first improve, to improve you must first practice, to practice you must first learn, and to learn you must first fail."
-Wesley Woo

It's all just steps in the journey. 

That reminds me, last week at the Rocky Ewe trial we actually completed a pro-novice course (score was 55, 1-2-12-10-10 timed out at pen).  We made drive panels, yes!

 Thanks to Diane Pagel for shooting pictures for me

The urge to walk away from the post was strong.  It is just so automatic.  We are getting better, slowly but surely.  I am in no hurry.  My goal is still good work over a score.  Meaning my emphasis is making sure Brynn works correctly and not allow the work to be shabby in exchange for a number. I imagine I will be walking away from the post much more over the winter, until she gets it through her head that she needs to trust me and listen - regardless of where we are.

The people we rent our pasture from came out on Sunday to enjoy the trial.  They were able to see Monique run Lucy.  They did a kick ass job and placed second that day, 3rd overall for the weekend.

Lucy is one of my favorite dogs - and I love to photograph her.  This picture is not technically good, but Lucy's expression as this ewe leaped over her makes the shot.

I cant wait to get pictures of Lucy and her son Rye in the autumn leaves.  

Monique helped me figure a few things out the other day.  Brynn has been cheating her flanks in various scenarios.  I am now finally able to see what is happening and can correct it.  Her come-by flank is gorgeous, the away flank sucks.  Her eye pulls her in on the away side.

John told me the other day that he is going to run Beth this weekend in the "Left Behind" trial at MacDonalds.  But he is not sure he wants to trial as a regular thing and cannot make the commitment to work Beth as much as he needs to.  Even with our own sheep he can't seem to find the time.  I am disappointed.

John is back to working 12 hour shifts again.  It always seems to happen.  His schedule will lighten up, he will have time to work her, then  - whammo - he is swamped with work.  In the grand scheme of things work takes priority, as someone needs to pay for the dogs and sheep, dontcha know. 

I wish you could have seen Beth today when I took her out to do chores.  She was bouncing around my feet like a puppy as we were walking to the gate.

She likes to work for John, but you can see she is confused by the change.  I am  sad about losing my partnership with her, I think she may be too. 

John's schedule will determine how many trails he will be able to enter this winter.  We will see. 

One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
— Sigmund Freud


Laura L. said...

I'm so happy for you that things are coming together. You deserve every bit of it!

Kathy said...

Isn't it wonderful to have this continuity of training/working your dogs! I am happy for you and your dogs.