I went on Monday and look here it is Friday before I get a chance to write anything up!
I have to say for Molly she was super! I haven't worked her in what feels like forever. She was a little rusty feeling and it took a bit of time before we reconnected. She was actually slow, which for her is HUGE. Also on her first outrun she went out and was wide and thoughtful. I usually have to stop her and get on her case the first out run to get her to cast out and use her head. Some feel at the top, good stops all day. We are still struggling with the driving, we've hit a bit of a wall. She goes only so far(same distance every time) and justs wants to flip around and fetch them back. Basically she quits walking up strait and just slides around to the outside. I have to start walking with her again. We can get around a PN course at Fido's, but I think the Ranch course publicly is still going to be a test for us :) I also must start working her at Susan Crocker's on sheep that run and entice her to be too fast the tight. We have some work to do and we have some AHBA trials in our sights for the fall.
I pick a few things to work with Z on. Lucky for us Chris held some sheep so I could work on that pace down the fetch line and the stop at the top. He was really getting the idea towards the end. He's also learning that slow down doesn't mean slow down forever, that you will get to switch gears. This revelation has reduced the pouting. I didn't work the stop too hard, it has really cleaned up not where it should be but it is better. He doesn't cheat it at the pen or while we are shedding, so I have to figure out why I taught him it is ok to cheat it in other places and then fix it.
For the second session I found some light yearling ewes and did a bit of driving, he's always had good pace here. We worked on flanks to let go of the pressure learning to relax if he felt they were getting away. He has a hard time giving me a flank on the drive if he has to let go of the pressure to do it. Same issue on the fetch, but that has increased hugely.
For the final session we worked the shed. I'm using the Scott Glen method. Started out with the mob and just whittled it down to a single. Worked both of his sides and he seems equally comfortable coming in both ways. He has keyed into the back set of sheep, which is not hard for him since he LOVES to walk up on their heads. I've also got him coming all the way through before turning, he's starting to target behind me more consistently. He still needs a fairly large gap to come into, but I know as soon as he really gets this he'll come through the tiniest crack. This is his favorite game of all sheep herding.
Our first Open run together will be at Susan Crocker's in June and then off to South Dakota at the end of August.
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago