Trying to do a brain dump so things might not be too organized. I'm going to try to get it all out before I forget anything important.
Thanks to Geri Byrne for hosting, Derek Fischer, Amy Coapman and Gloria Atwater for stetting out
Course: Sheep set about 600 yards out, out run was blind either way dog was sent. Fence visible to the left, but no fence on the right. Dog could spot sheep from the post on the hill, handler could see lift sort of and could see dog most of the way out. Fetch was strait forward except the field was littered with badger holes. Drive and cross drive were appropriate length to be challenging. We ran 4 sheep so it was a split in the ring and then a pen. Set out on the left about 100+ yards from drop site. Exhaust on right over hill behind post about 100 yards
Sheep: from Don Gnoss- Coopworth crosses tough but very fair, good to drive challenging on the out work. Stood at the drop spot and held very well. Thanks in part to a fabulous set out crew. No hard draw to exhaust, tough draw back towards set out and left hand fence.
Day 1: Many dogs struggled to find sheep, crossing over or running to big and wide. Lots of sheep broke hard to the left and end up at the fence and way off course. Sheep nice to drive, tough to shed, had to work for a pen, but very doable. Sheep were fairly runny and light it a good way. Very windy, hard cross breeze and some snow.
Sent Z on the come bye out run. He ran out smart and did not go to the fence. He went deep too and coasted in behind them at the perfect point. Lift was strait and they tried to break left and he held them really well almost had them on line, but struggle. We made the panel and the fetch and things lined out and straitened up. Sweet post turn, he stayed in and on the shoulder. Got them moving towards the first panel a bit off line, but made the panel. Good turn off the panel to the cross drive line, they got a bit low but we scooted them back up to make the panel. Had a sloppy line from second panel to shed ring. The shed was tough as the sheep just wanted to ball up and stand still. It was tough to line them out, I jumped the gun and tried to take the first small gap the happened for a missed attempt. Worked the sheep a bit and got another gap and pulled Z through. Moved on to the pen and the sheep boogied and almost ran past the pen, yikes. We got them stopped and tucked in the pen without too much more fuss.
Probably the only dog with zero off the Out run and lift. Had one handler say to me that Z ran out exactly the way you'd draw it on the piece of paper for the ideal out run. Love it.
Score 81 0-0-5-7-5-2, 3rd place of 50 dogs
Day 2: Sheep were pretty much the same, which was nice. Weather pretty much the same, but colder. Again many dogs struggled to find the sheep and the sheep were breaking even harder to the left and were getting tougher to put anywhere near the top bit of the fetch line.
Sent him on the come bye again, why mess with what worked? Stunning out run again, good lift. Really struggled to put them on line, not as nice as the day before. This was the only indication I had that he might be a little tired. Skimmed the fetch panel for a miss, but got them on line again. Another good post turn and better set up for the drive away panel. Better drive line and made the panel. Better cross drive but skimmed the panel low. Way for the handler to leave 8 points out there on a pretty sweet run. Worked the line a little better to the shed ring. Was much more patient in the ring and tried to work the puzzle out instead of taking the first opportunity that came along. Much nicer shed in my opinion, even with a missed attempt again. Then we walked them right into the pen. I had a better plan to get from the ring to the pen on day 2.
Score of 71 I don't know the exact break down I didn't see my score sheet this time, but this is what I would have scored it 0-1-11-12-5-0.
We ended up 15th of 50 dogs.
This was a great trial, I will be going again next year. I'm really starting to feel like we are turning into a consistent team. I feel like I can handle and trial my dog and make him look good and not focus on training during the run. I met some great new people. It is always really cool to have people you don't know walk up and say " wow nice run you just put down".
Really happy with the out run work our training is paying off. He didn't run to the fence and he used his head all the way out there. Driving work is getting better, still more practice there. I need to set up panels and work at driving through them and not to them. Lately I have just been focusing on the line part, now to focus a bit on the panel part. I need to work on shedding sheep that don't want to line out and I as the handler need to actually do most of the work.
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago