Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lots to Think About

Next weekend I have been invited to judge an AHBA Ranch trial in Santa Rosa. It looks to be really fun! There is an unusual addition to the course, for those who chose to enter it; there is a "jackpot" added (with some nice money prizes, I must say). The first exercise is a blind gather for those who entered the jackpot, which will be above and beyond the other exercises that the "regular" HRDIII dogs do. We walked around the trial field today so I could think about judging it. The competition should be pretty stiff; there are a  lot of seasoned handlers entered, with both kelpies and border collies (and maybe some other breeds, I am not sure). I will be thinking about this course a lot, this week!  For the blind gather the handlers will stand in a gate opening into a pasture and send their dogs out for sheep off to their left that will be set in a lower spot. The dog and handler won't be able to see the sheep (although the judge will have a great vantage point, on top of the septic mound -- ha ha). It should be interesting to see how this blind gather plays out. I will have the front row seat.

AHBA is so much fun and we rarely get to do it any more, without Pescadero. Seems like on those few occasions when I have an opportunity to run in AHBA there is some reason why I cannot go. I've been asked to judge AHBA a few times now. It is fun done in small doses. I am glad to give back to a venue that has been so fun for me, put trialling miles on me and my dogs, and taught me a lot about cleaning up my handling.  Here is a funny picture of me judging AHBA a couple of years ago. I guess I never realized that I talk so much with my hands!

What I am hoping for is a cooler weekend than we had the past two days. It's been HOT! And yes we are totally spoiled here. Today we started a new chapter with our sheep flock. We picked up a little Cheviot ram lamb that we had reserved about four months ago. How time flies! Much more to think about and anticipating some lambs of our own next year if all goes well.

And, just because it's summer, here is a totally unrelated picture of Chiefie from summer 2009. Chiefie doesn't always make the blog, but he is the rock and the glue that holds everyone together around here. So he gets photo coverage every now and then, just because.

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