Friday, February 3, 2017

Stake in the Ground

I'm putting a few stakes in the ground. The first few entries for our area's spring series of USBCHA style sheepdog trials have been dropped in the U.S. Mail box, or are waiting patiently at the front door, post-it noted with opening dates, and anxiously awaiting the right day to be mailed.

It's also a good time to be re-reading Vergil Holland's fantastic book, "From the Handler's Post'".

One of the points made in that book is that it is very important to get your dog out to different places to work so we have been doing that whenever possible. It is not easy, and in fact it is probably the most difficult side of trying to prepare for trials. Spot can get a little tension when we are away from our usual training fields; but, so far he has dialed right back down when I insist on his proper work and let him know that our structure is just the same, our framework is all in place, despite new field, different sheep, unknown draws or conditions, and so forth. We are partners with our stake in the ground to work together.

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