Sunday, March 2, 2008

Windy Trial Day

Today we went to Elk Grove, CA, for a Pro-Novice sheepdog trial that turned out to be a really fun day. The only down side to the day was the incredible wind that blew on us all morning! The wind did not seem to impede the dogs' ability to hear our whistles, however, so our "nervous handlers" fears in that department were unfounded. The trial was held here:

http://www.ptpleasantranch.com/

I was anxious to try the Pro-Novice with Bid as we have run in that class only a scant handful of times in the past. We got two runs today and he did well, completing the course both times, with a score of 74 and 65 (out of 90 points). I am really pleased with his work even though I know we have a lot more polishing to do. The judge's comment about Bid was that he is a "really nice dog" but that I needed to work on helping him to know what is expected of him at certain points on the course. I am particularly proud that Bid got zero off the outrun and the lift, on both runs. We both could use some more trialling experience.

The trial host and hostess were kind enough to offer us all training time after the trial. I took the opportunity to work Coal on the field and ran him through approximately the equivalent of a Novice-Novice course. Coal did well, and was stopping and flanking just as well or better than he has been doing at home and at his lesson with our trainer yesterday. He got a bit distracted by the exhaust sheep at first, but then ran out and got his own sheep just fine; this was a great experience for him. I think we are making some good progress.

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