Subtitle: We got a score! :-P
After waiting around aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllll day for Open, Nursery, and Pro-Novice to end, I finally got to run Moss. We ran in Novice (obviously), and it was the first USBCHA trial for both of us. Considering the long wait and our combined inexperience quotient, it went quite well actually.
I decided to send him on the come-bye side, after a lot of thinking about the best way to, well, not lose the sheep. There was a very strong draw to the exhaust on the left, and many dogs were unable to turn them. I decided that even though come bye is his weaker direction, we had a better chance of getting the sheep going in somewhat of the right direction. :) Because it was allowed, I left him at the post and walked about halfway down the field to send him. The first part of the outrun was good. He started pretty wide, but came down too early off the hill (the sheep were at the bottom of a little ridge-type thing) and I didn't tell him to "get back" or stop soon enough so he went too far in and started to cross over. I got him stopped and was able to eventually re-direct him around the right way. The lift was all right... he was a little jazzed up so went to fast but I was so relieved that he actually took my commands that I didn't get after him too much.
The fetch was okay, too... until I slow-motion fell backwards into a ditch and showed the entire audience about half of my butt. Joy.
We then proceeded to actually make it around the post all right; the sheep were in pretty good control the whole way 'round. We had a little problem at the drive... it was a really short distance and the sheep kept coming to me so I couldn't get far enough away from Moss to really make it work. But we got it done eventually, got them turned pretty well, and went to the pen, which we didn't complete on time (totally my fault... I didn't give the sheep enough time to settle. At least I learned, eh? :D). We ended up with a score (low, though, haha.... like a 23 or something?) and third place.
I'm pretty excited for tomorrow, actually. Overall it was a really good experience and I learned a lot. I am hoping to not make so many mistakes next time. I was pretty pleased with Moss, too. I just love my puppy boy. I think we'll be great together someday :)
All righty... I'm exhausted--time for some chicken caesar salad and bedtime!
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