Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dry Lake 2015, Day Four and Final

Memorial Day, 2015. And, Dry Lake/Little Horse Mountain sheepdog trial, Day 4.

Today was Spot's day. They ran the nursery and pro-novice on two separate fields because there were so many entries. How the very tired crew accomplished splitting itself in half and running two fields simultaneously, is beyond me but it is a testimony to the rabid dedication that this SOJ bunch has for sheepdog trials! As a result I did not get to watch any of my friends run PN though. We stayed on the nursery side of things. Spot was down for two nursery runs.

For run number one, I sent Spot left again. I figured it worked on Friday and why mess with it? He needs confidence so repetition seemed like a good plan. His outrun was good again. The lift was more headstrong than on Friday. I will have to take a bigger role. We completed the gather again. Woo hoo! I was not trying for finesse as we missed the fetch gates but just skimmed them. Turned the post, trying to do as we were taught in our recent lesson, keep the sheep moving around the post, don't let them stop. Got the drive started, then started the cross drive. Spot did not want to take the requested flanks so it turned into a banana (a deep banana!) but I kept working until time ran out. The allotted time was 7 minutes. Super pleased with Spot. His first-ever run with a resulting score I think. :) Smiling! 

I waited four hours for run number two. Meanwhile everyone was leaving out as soon as they were done. I was questioning my sanity at waiting to drive home an extra few hours. But I kept telling myself that Spot needs the mileage on the field and as long as we're already there we should stay. So for run #2 I sent left again. Maybe I should have sent right, but who knows. Spot did another gorgeous outrun but overflanked too much at the top which sent the sheep squirting the wrong direction. He did not want to take my flank whistles to cover. Sigh. RT and start up the field. The sheep were heading into the rocks which foiled many of the open dogs as well. Geri and Li drove off to our rescue on the quad. Disappointing, yes, but a good thing to know about. Why and when does he overflank at the top...something I need to nail down. All good stuff.

Pedal to the metal, home...so much to think about. Thank goodness again for Sirius radio!  I was happy to go pick up Chiefie from his babysitters' and grateful that he had such a nice place to stay for the weekend.  Ryme was very, very glad to get home; he was a good little traveler.

Super proud of Coal for handling the huge course and challenging sheep. He acted like a puppy all weekend instead of an eight year old. I just need to step up and handle him. I can't let the idea of long distances and range ewes shut me down.

Spot wowed me with his big outrun. We have lots to work on. Shedding. Work in corrals to get him relaxed when close to the sheep. And more. I'm super stoked. So glad we were able to go to Dry Lake/Little Horse Mountain, 2015 version. :)

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