Sunday, March 30, 2014

RESDA Spring Trial 2014

The RESDA Spring Trial - first trial of the season for that club - is in the books now and it was a really nice day overall.


Heavy overnight rains (much welcome moisture, don't get me wrong!) held off during the next day so that we could enjoy the trial without getting drenched. The field was in lovely shape and the sheep looked great.

A large entry of open dogs (27) and pronovice dogs (7) made for a long day. But it was well worth it and the time seemed to fly by. There was a delicious barbecue/potluck lunch made nicer by all the fixings and prep that went into it. The course was the traditional RESDA fetch course which with the big range ewes made for an interesting challenge. Many hands and helpers are needed to run a trial smoothly, and it seemed that most everyone stepped up and took a job where needed to make it all go.

I ran both my Coal and Ryme in the Open class. My main goal with Coal was to get him stopped on the fetch and do a decent fetch; after our Zamora experience that is clearly the area where we need to spend some time. I knew we'd be running on range ewes at Johnson's, so it was a prime opportunity to work with him on the type of sheep that really get his eyes twinkly! :) The outrun was fairly short, so getting him stopped on the fetch and rating that fetch was not too hard. But it still felt good to be able to put those brakes on, if I needed them. Coal has a bit too much eye for range ewes and one of our group of three did not like that very much. I tried to keep him from getting up into their eye, yet contain them from running off to the very heavy draw to the side. It was a difficult challenge. We got to the chute portion of the course and timed out. I was happy with my good lad! He tried hard and he knew it. A very good practice session! :)

Ryme has not run in very many trials successfully. In fact we have RTed more often than not and I had stopped even attempting to trial him for a long time. This winter he got neutered and he is now five years old. I have been working very hard with him in training to get him to be more deliberate and direct in his approach to the sheep. All these factors, were what I was going to test at this trial. I was a little nervous but he did not let me down. They say that in a trial you may have 50% or so of what you have, at home in your training. I would say that is about true; Ryme  was not opening his flanks cleanly nor stopping nicely as we have been training. But overall he kept his head about him, obeyed, and was listening. He tried hard as well so I was very happy with him. We made it to the pen but did not pen so time ran out. His flanks were not like they should be and one ewe was not happy with him. While we penned two ewes a couple of times, the third did not want to go in. If it were not a trial situation I would have sorted that out with Ryme but as it was a trial, I couldn't. Still overall I think it was a great mileage experience for Ryme. We so rarely get to work on that type of sheep, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Very happy with another good lad! :)

Thanks once again to the Johnson family for opening their ranch to the club and letting us rent their sheep for the trial. It is not easy to find trial venues these days, and especially venues such as this that are beautiful and comfortable for all.

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The Boyz at Carmel, our favorite place