Sunday, June 5, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Today the temperatures were lovely and relatively it was "back in the saddle" for dog work on the sheep.

I didn't get any pictures of Spot but he did some nice work today. Again I played around with sending him out the open gate, somewhat like I did last weekend, except that this time, the sheep were hidden in  a swale and in the shade of a tree. Spot did not know where they were. I sent him out through the left-hand gate, anyway. I was really pleased to see that he was willing to run out - even if somewhat hesitantly - when he did not really know where the sheep were. I kept whistling him out on the come bye whistle, gave some walk-ups and then more flanks...and finally he saw the sheep. Nice work!  That is what I need for Open, because sometimes the sheep won't be visible, if at all, due to terrain, ground fog, dust, lack of contrast in coloration of ground cover vs. sheep color, and so forth. I also worked again on Spot's cross driving with he and the sheep in one pasture and me on the other side of the fence. Spot is a little bit worried about that and he will look back at me, so I am just urging him on. I didn't carry on with this too long and soon went into the same field with him and closed the gate. I don't want him to get worried and do a blow-up and I certainly don't want to create tension in him. He is getting so relaxed in his work, and that is really nice!

I called him off, let him get a drink of water, and then we worked a bit more on driving with me a lot closer. Spot was not giving me very open flanks so we went through a reminder drill on both sides, about keeping those flanks open. Oh!!! :) "You mean I still have to do nice flanks? " says Spot... "yes you do," says I.....and we have the tools to make that happen, so I did.

Ryme got his own mini tune-up session today. He does not have much scope and I have been trying to open him up a little bit on his (little) gathers. Even for chore work, it will go better if his "tops"  are a bit more open and he gives me nice flanks. Plus, he likes to work and to be worked with.

On this little gather, I got some video.

Ryme's little gather

I had already done one little outrun prior, (not videoed) where I walked toward the sheep and put some pressure on the ground ahead of him to make sure that he bent out and went around the top of the sheep giving some room.

On this second attempt (videoed) he went out nice and wide, and deep enough. But then he seemed to get a little stalled out, lifting these sheep, which are lambs and do not move off of a dog as quickly as some of our really broke sheep do. All in all it was good work and Ryme finally did come on and lift when I urged him a bit. It's all good. He did some nice (close) work today. It's all about keeping him fit and happy, and also making sure his work is good when I need him to perform a chore.

Coal helped to put all the sheep back where they belong. Next time he will get a mini tune-up. :)

This weekend was just way too short!!!


Amy Coapman said...

Great blog post, Billy! I agree with you about this short weekend!!

Kathy said...

Sounds like you got some great work in with your guys this weekend!!