Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Breezy Hill SDT

It was a weekend of ups and downs at the Breezy Hill SDT for us. We had a bit of trouble managing our way around the course this time - mostly doing well until we hit the drive away panels and then having trouble managing the draws to the setout and then the pond.

Saturday Nick ran out nicely and looked like he was stopping short - but the sheep lifted dead on. On his fetch he opted to put himself out to the side and to hold the line on his own - with only a few steady and stop whistles. We had a jog at the post, but then started the drive away. His drive away was about as beautiful as I could have asked for - dead straight, and straight through the panels. When I went to flank him he refused it - my guess would be knowing the pressure of the setout. Unfortunately this gave the sheep the message that they could get away from him. We managed to get it together for part of the crossdrive, but when the sheep got to the cross drive panels they bolted for the pond, and we didn't catch up until they were out of bounds.

We managed to retire and get DQ'd in the same breath. LOL!

Sunday Nick's sheep left before he got there (same thing happened in the run before ours, and the two after us) but he covered nicely and brought them down the field even prettier than the day before (we only lost two points on our fetch). We turned the post nicely, and had a nice quiet drive away. We were a bit off line late into the drive away, and missed the panels due to my being too conservative with flanking him to the away side (left hand drive) because I was anticipating that danged turn. He hesitated slightly to take his come bye flank but took it better this time. The sheep were already bolting towards the setout - but we caught them. Missed the cross drive panels but this time managed to catch the sheep before they could get away. The cross drive wasn't pretty, but we didn't lose the sheep. His line back to the pen was nice once we got them online. I pushed a sheep out of the mouth of the pen but we got them in on the second try - but not without some hard work on our parts.

So Sunday we got a score, albeit not very high - to land us about in the middle of the pack. I was super pleased with Nick for electing to not bugger the sheep at the top or on the fetch, and happy to see him put himself out there to hold the line. I need some work on helping him manage sheep that are dealing with strong draws, but I felt like I learned a lot.

It was cool to be thinking about how to handle these situations better - as opposed to just thinking about "I hope we get the sheep to our feet" or something like that. So... good times. Oh, and we tent camped. It occurs to me that the mystery of tent camping has worn off. I'd prefer the mystery of indoor plumbing or a travel trailer. Oh well, it is what it is - and I'm really grateful to be able to just GO.

Robin and Billy won Open Ranch and second place with Zac in Open on Saturday. Julie won Open one day with Twist, and then the other day with Kat. It was a good weekend for friends!

We'll be farm-sitting over the next week, so fun times ahead. We'll have sheep and cattle at our disposal, and plenty of room to walk and goof off too. If I can remember I'll take my camera with me and do some updates too - but I can't promise. It'll be a little bit like a mini-vacation for us. The person I'm sitting for only has one dog right now - that's like... weird. I'm used to my five plus anywhere from six to fourteen dogs.
In case I don't get near a computer in all of the upcoming flurry - Happy Independence Day everyone!
photo by Dan King


Bethany said...

Enjoyed your blog. Your dogs (and sheep) are gorgeous!

Rachel said...

Sounds like you are learning a lot! You and Nick are a good team!

Laura Carson said...

Thank you Bethany - glad you stopped by! I really adore your pics on your blog - of the sheep and goats in particular.

Rachel - thank you, we are! Fun stuff indeedy. He's turned out to be a good right-hand man for me.

Chasing The Dog said...

Farm sitting sounds fun!

I love hearing about how you guys progress. :)