Just went to the trial for one day. Ran Molly in Ranch and for Z it w as Pro Nov and Nursery.
For Molly is was a land mark of a day. She waited her turn so well it was amazing! Usually she whines, wiggles and squeals every time I walk up to the car before she has her run. By the time her run is about to happen she's a nervous wreck, eyes bugging out of her head and shaking. This time she waited fairly quietly all morning, and actually managed to go pee before her run. While waiting on deck she stood beside me on her leash without wiggling and squeaking, most important no shaking. Even our walk to the post was calm. The rest of the run had good points, like stopping and she took her flanks down the fetch line. Our drive was all over the place, but in general she had control of the sheep and she listened 85% of her flank whistles. So back to training to boost her confidence.
In my Pro Nov run with Z I was not home mentally. I was relaxed, but almost too much. I need to find the balance between being in the zone with a little edge and being complacent. No points off the out run, I stopped him a tad short so we took a points hit on the lift, made the fetch panels (yes!!) and our drive was ok. Need to work a on a little more space between the dog and sheep and some pace. That's what killed our drive, too close so inside flanks were difficult and latent. So guess we just keep doing what we are doing at home.
On the Nursery run we took a big hit on the out run, he came in too soon, but kicked himself back out. This made the sheep wiggle while he disappeared behind the terrain again. He came up behind them but had over ran and again corrected himself. He was deep enough behind to pull this off and only lose a bit on the lift. Took the steady and took flanks well enough to put us back on line. I got a bit more on his case for getting too close and pushy. Our drive was lovely this time and we actually managed a pen with only one point off. Very happy with both of us on that run.
Two things, I must work on his response to my steady whistle. I'm not getting enough brakes and then I end up correcting more than I would like. I also switched to my voice during the cross drive. I don't like this, I want to whistle the whole time he's out away from me. Save my voice for corrections.
I guess the first priority is to put a bit more brakes on him, just a little. Also to get his stop working a bit better on the fetch. It worked on the drive more often then not. He's beginning to creep forward on his flanks at the pen, so this is something to address at some point.
I have 2 more weekends until the Whidbey Is. trial, so I have a few things to sort out!
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago