The pups and I headed a few hours away to a wonderful herding clinic this past weekend...thanks to the hosts for a gorgeous field to work in, great sheep and all the world that goes into putting one of these on!!!!!
Herding...my happy place :)
Sadly Even hurt herself the day before we left, so she had to be pulled from the clinic...so Lynn was the only dog I ran (Gator got to come out to work some sheep a little bit though).
KK is always inspiring...her approach to herding is so very natural....the feel she wants her dogs to have. The trust between the dog and handler...is really awesome. I challenge ALL dog trainers to look at herding...it's the toughest and most rewarding thing you can do. For real.
Working sheep with my dogs is one of the times I am at peace and the world is good...
PLUS! No one gives a crap that I run agility :) No one cares about that side of my life. It's nice having that compartmentalized :) I am just a student, learning things, absorbing, analyzing, and without any extra tacked on. Loretta and her dogs...nothing else.
Why I love playing and singing music. NO ONE CARES THAT I TRAIN DOGS!! It's a great feeling to just have that separation :) Not that I don't love training dogs, but sometimes one needs to not always be talking about dogs. Call me weird :) I like other things too :)
And herding is one of those things.
I've had issues getting Lynn to give me clean flanks (little turd) and resisting the lie down command...working with KK was PERFECT...Lynn was giving on day 2, she was laying down and I am hopeful I will have her not slicing soon. She loves driving....and is clean on her flanks on that...but outrunning she needs more education...the slicing is due to lack of knowledge on her part. So that is fixable :) She's a fun dog to work. She took lots of pressure and didn't give up and then she had several light bulb moments. Watching her work through things...it gives me goosebumps....like nothing else..
Spot (Lynn and Even's brother) also went...we needed some help with an issue he is having...and gladly we got the answer and a path to go with.
Going with questions, getting answers, starting out on new paths...with my dog...can it get any better?
I miss trialing...I really do. My dogs work sheep, and that's awesome...they get to go both agility and herding. Everyday if I want them too :)
Gator and his brother :)
Luckily for me...there are more trials coming to MN...with several people purchasing farms north of the twin cities....it's hopeful that we just might get to trial...It used to be, there was ONE trial a year in MN...the rest were 6 hours away...that was the CLOSEST....but I am seeing that change...which is great.
I've decided since I won't be running at Nationals this year (and very very doubtful for CA the following year)...why not do some focusing on herding...cleaning the pups up. Doing some traveling to work my dogs on different farms. etc etc. Get back into that happy place again with my dogs.
Agility is fun...agility is exciting...agility is a passion :)
Herding feeds my soul.
Not sure if anyone understands that...but :)
Not saying I won't be doing any agility (have several trials I am looking at entering)...but I am going to really try to put some extra effort into working the pups on sheep and tuning them up. We can't work sheep all winter, so the window to work is slim.
It felt so good to immerse myself in that culture again. Where the dogs can all be off leash with no issues...the work is calm...the scenery is breathtaking...
It's the exact opposite of agility (ok off leash happens :) LOL but the energy is TOTALLY DIFFERENT...
The two sports really balance me out...I like doing both. It's a shame I have let life place me further away from that side of me that needs to work my dogs on stock....need to get back to that :) Feels GOOD to be getting back to that :)
This weekend I am back into the agility mindset. Just trialing locally on Saturday. Sunday I have other plans. Looking forward to spending some time with friends, the husband, and watching my students run :)
Life Is Good :)