Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hold the wheel and drive

It was windy as hell today, so Dianne decided to have us work in the indoor arena. It was a great opportunity for Dianne to help us with our driving. It's neat to build on the stuff we've learned so far and see it all start to come together. We've worked a bit on driving by ourselves out in the pasture, but I've never really had Dianne "instruct" me on how to teach Cedar to do it properly.... i.e. where I should be when I ask her, my body position, timing, etc etc. Just when I thought things were starting to make sense, a whole new set of skills has to get added into the equation!

Cedar did really well for the most part. We got some really nice drives in, and she took my commands pretty well, especially considering we haven't done much off balance work. I got the chance to really make her kick out wide off the sheep and got in some good corrections for being too tight. We basically drove around the arena in a rectangle (well.... it was a very squiggly rectangle, but that was the idea). She always tries really hard, but doesn't always "get" what the goal of the exercise is, I think. I wonder if she really understands what the purpose of herding is. She gets stressed out when she can't make things happen how she thinks they should, and when she can't figure out what I want. We're sort of codependent.... and she's a needy little bitch :D. But we're getting there. And hell, I don't "get it" most of the time anyways! I mostly just get in her way (but I'm working on that!). Dianne makes it look so easy.

I am beginning to wonder if the progress we've made lately has more to do with her making connections and learning, or if I'm just becoming better at dealing with her when she goes postal; whether she is truly figuring stuff out, or just reacting. She feels everything.... is very sensitive to pressure and all that. Her sensativity has been a major roadblock for us to work through. I wish I had the means to work her more often so we could have a better shot at overcoming that obstacle.

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