Today I went out to Dianne's with the intention of running a few "practice" courses in preparation for the trial this weekend. I know it sounds crazy, but I've never really done a lot of work like this before.... driving to exact locations and penning and whatnot. It was definitely a learning experience. Moss did great... I did pretty well, better as I got more practice.
We covered a heck of a lot of ground today, and I learned a ton. Hopefully I can process all this stuff!
Can I mention again how freaking awesome it is to have a dog that knows inside flanks?!? It makes my job a lot easier. Plus, it's cool.
Our first go actually went pretty well. We drove the sheep out into the field, did an outrun, drove around a bucket (fake "panel," LOL) and then went to the pen. The second run, driving in a different direction to a "panel" of baggies on the wheel line, was a complete cluster. I was all turned around backwards, the sheep were hopelessly off line, and I had no idea what I was doing :D Dianne soon got me sorted out, though. Turns out that I was giving him too many commands and not letting the sheep settle and drift. They were zig-zagging all over the place, as you can imagine. After I had that "oh, duh!" moment, our lines got much straighter.
We did all right with penning, but will need a lot more finesse on more difficult sheep. Hopefully we can practice that sometime.
I think we're pretty ready for the trial this weekend. I just need to keep my cool and not get too nervous. I wish that I cared less :-P I really need to take Don Blazer's advice (loosely paraphrased): Nothing is good or bad, it just is. Everything is happening exactly how it's supposed to.
Now I just need to get my ego to shut up :D
I have a good feeling about this weekend, though. Wish us luck!
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