Today I went to Fido's for a little practice. Chris and I swapped some out runs. It was pretty much the only thing I had in mind to work on anyhow.
There were some yearling ewes int he holding area in Trillium. I always forget how much I love that field. There are quite a few terrain challenges. Depending on where you set the sheep the dog can go on a completely blind to a partially blind out run. Today the sheep were very awesome. They didn't want to play with us too much. The dog didn't have to work too hard to move them, but they did have to work to fetch them. Hurray, we really needed this practice. They wanted to go everywhere but towards the hander.
Some of the things I worked on are the same things we worked on last time.
I really pushed him back and tried not to let him come in until he was at 1200. We did pretty well here, he's beginning to get the feel of it. He's waffling a bit on the lift. He's getting them moving just fine now, but seems to not take firm control right away. The first few steps are towards me, but then as the drift towards the draw he just falls in behind them and I really have to give him what I feel are too many commands. This too shall change I'm sure :)
The other part of this is getting him to really holds the come bye side if that's where the pressure is. Today Z did really well at this. I was beginning to get him to flank around far enough to turn the sheep side ways and march them on a cross drive for a bit, nearer to the beginning of the fetch. That is the beginning of being able to out them back on line more effectively.
On the whole he listened very well today. Z was still not as forward as I am used to. On most of the out runs he went out fast and with determination, so I guess the rest is ok for now. I guess maybe he's forward enough, but not so pushy pushy that I am always on him to slow down like I was with Mick. He switches gears just fine I can move him on if I have to, but I guess really he's just a no hurry kind of guy.
I need to work on shedding again. That maybe what our work date is all about.
I'm also starting to keep a closer record of his fitness and work outs. I think this will improve his work over all. He's pretty fit at the moment, but I am going to begin biking him more. More speed over longer distance.
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago