This weekend was jammed full of things to do. I had to get a lot of stuff gone and organized before leaving for the Bluegrass. We leave next Saturday at the crack of dawn. First things first, this weekend!
Saturday we went to Fido's Farm to set stock for the AHBA trial. I decided a bit last minute to run Mick in the arena trial class on sheep. I'm trying to pick up the last few points to finish his championship. The run was amazing. I haven't worked him in months, he's been training Tanya. I really wasn't expecting anything phenomenal to happen. I knew we could score over 80 points, but I haven't worked with my buddy in ages. We walked into the arena and we could totally read each other's minds. He took every step exactly like I asked, he was so soft and easy. I was totally grounded and centered, just feeling the zone. Our High in Trial winning run was 99 points out of 100 possible points. We lost 1 point the whole run. I achieved a near perfect run while in a state of mental bliss, I want to do it again. Hope that mojo sticks with me for the next few weeks.
Molly was great! I used her to set sheep. It was a great opportunity for her since we have been trying to get her calmer at trials. I had an opportunity to work her in the trial atmosphere, but in a place where I could be close by and help her out, keeping her from getting frantic. She stayed pretty soft and relaxed until she began to get tired and the sheep began to get obstinate. She gets frantic when she loses confidence, this is always amplified by distance. She's coming along on her own time.
During the day I did get to work Z. I just worked him a little bit. I took him out to Clover and pushed around some yearling ewes. He did nice work and I pretty much left him alone. His stop still needs some work. He nearly has 2 gears for his walk up, the flanks are 90% square and snappy. The come bye out run is looking almost as good as the away to me out run, so much so I feel pretty confident sending him in either direction. He's still not quite getting to the right place on the come bye, but I see improvement every time. He's plenty deep enough that he seems to sort in out on the walk up. He's still stalling out a bit at the top, but that too is getting better every time.
On Sunday I worked him up on Whidbey Is. Pretty much did the same thing I did on Saturday, tried not to pick on him. He did much better out runs on Sunday. He also likes to push the lighter hair sheep around. I had 2 actual gears on those sheep. I worked on flanking him around their butt to turn them back to me. He's a champ if I send him to head, but things get sticky if I have to send him to their butts. He feels them escaping if he goes at them from the butt end. I wanted to show him he can catch them no matter which way he has to go. So we spent some time pulling them off the fence by sending him to their butts. As he gets better with this, our panel turns get cleaner. Basically, I tried really hard not to pick at my dog. I made him do things right, but no nagging. Oh and NO yelling. I don't get to work him again until we get to Jamie's on Sunday. It will be interesting if I can maintain my end of the deal when he is feeling a bit up.
A friend of mine who also works dogs came to the conclusion it is all about her. I would like to take this opportunity to say that I must continuously look inward at myself and evaluate. I must continuously grow as a person by understanding my weakness and turning them into my strengths. It is all about me, their issues are mainly the symptoms and not the causes of the difficulties.
So next Saturday I am going to embark on a huge journey. I will be fulfilling a dream I've had since getting into working dogs. I have always wanted to run at the Bluegrass and I have thought about it every year since bringing Libby home 10 years ago. I never thought I'd have a Nursery dog amazing enough to make the trip with, but here we go. This is a dream coming true.
1 week ago