Day 1 was by all accounts a tad rocky. The field is a nice field with some tricks to the terrain. The illusion is that left is the better way to send, but there is actually enough room to send right and not have to contend with the fencing obstacle. I sent right. Lost 1 on the out-run I called him in a bit at the bottom as he has the tendency to run too wide right away especially to the right. I thought he over ran a touch, but on reflection he was covering the pressure of the set out, 0 off the lift. Lost 8 off the fetch, there were no panels and I find it challenging to keep a line with no target. Post turn was sweet, we have been working on this. It is still not the best yet so our drive away set up is still a bit mucky. We lost 18 points on the drive. The drive away was tough because the sheep were running back toward the set out. I cut it short and just grazed the inside panel, my dog was really worried about losing the sheep. Made and ok turn and had a cross drive into the draw of the exhaust. It was really tough to keep him from over flanking, he was convinced he was going to lose them to the draw. We were a hair low and I flanked him and we made the panels. The turn around the panels was so sweet, one of the few dogs that didn't lose the sheep down the hill to the exhaust. We made it to the shed, but had a tricky time. I got the shed but didn't get it called due to my front sheep leaving the ring before I called my dog in. The sheep weren't too forgiving about letting me try again. So we died a painful death in the shedding ring. We scored a whopping 53 for the day and ended up mid pack.
Day 2 saw a much better go for us. I really put my head down and worked harder to make a better run. I sent right again and he broke nicely and I did not have to call him in :) No points off on our out-run, lift or fetch!!!! I could have just walked off there. That is what I have been training for in the past few months. I blew one steady whistle when he turned in to lift. He really held the fetch line on his own and I just tried to steady him and keep him backed off. He really read the sheep and took it upon himself to be responsible for the line. Our post turn was ok the second half got a a bit wide. Our drive away was ok, it was hard to get him to let go of the pressure a let the sheep be on line. We drove towards the exhaust, made the panels with a good turn. The cross drive was one of the best we have done. He had to push on them and it really helped. I was beginning to feel like he was taking some responsibility for holding the this line as well. We penned first and this went well, I managed to break our string of foul luck at the pen. Then we shed. We lost 6 points here because I didn't have a good plan for getting us from the pen to the shedding ring. The sheep kind of bounced around. We took and nice single though once we manage to get down to business. I don't know where we ended up for that day I went home to get out of the pouring rain :)
Update: We finished 8th!
Here is the video of our Sunday run.
Z's really beginning to show some maturity when it comes to the lines. He's starting to take some responsibility for keeping the line I ask him to hold. I also feel his confidence growing. On day one although we didn't get the job done I felt my dog was much more supple, listening better and had nicer pace. On day 2 I felt he was running through me some what and things were going a bit too quickly. Although the only time I really felt I needed to correct him on day 2 was when he was about to goose the sheep's bubble. On the other hand the few times I did stop him he moved on his own right away instead of waiting for me to tell him what to do, super stoked about that. This work in progress is just so cool. He's gonna be something next year!
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago