Well, I've put off blogging about Friday's lesson... not sure why. I guess it's just taken my this long to process everything.
Either that, or the 3 PBR's I've had tonight have loosened my tongue a bit. :)
As usual, it was full of ups and downs and pretty black and white as to whether things went "good" or "bad."
The first half of the lesson was definitely BAD. Cedar was being an asshole and blowing me off, my timing wasn't right, the sheep were flighty, and it was just a big recipe for disaster. She kept blasting through me, ignoring all corrections or commands, and splitting the sheep. As soon as I put her on a down-stay to walk closer to the sheep, she would bolt off and beat me to the sheep. It was like we had never worked stock before! As the training session went on, I got progressively more and more frustrated (and my aim with the stock wand progressively worse). I got to the point where I was screaming at the top of my lungs at her, which I hate. I think it looks really bad, and as a training technique, is pretty damned ineffective.
So Dianne and I had a chat. Thank GOD for her! :D She basically told me that Cedar has no respect for me on the field; that she has no reason to be afraid of my corrections because I haven't been great at (or consistant with) giving them. So, significantly calmer and armed with a new attitude, we set out to work again. This time, I didn't take Cedar's crap at ALL. If she pushed on the sheep too much (even a LITTLE bit), I chased her down and made her back off. After a few times, she started respecting my "bubble" a lot more and staying way off her sheep. Compared to how she normally is, I was impressed. I've really struggled with making Cedar feel my bubble throughout the whole time we've been training with Dianne. I guess I just don't scare her enough ;) I'm interested to see how she works tomorrow... but I'm anticipating that she will have forgotten about "angry Ellie" and I'll have to start all over. But I guess we'll see.
P.S. The puppies have opened their eyes!
My Moss boy :)
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED - I've probably mentioned this, but in case you do something with your life other than obsess over my Zoebird, here's the background: She's four. She spent...
4 days ago