I did better this week!
Friday's runs went way better than last weekend. We put two scores on the board for our two runs. Now it's not like we were in the top 5... or even the top ten (on the first run at least), but we finished a score.
The first run I gave Chesney a little pep talk. I explained to him that he needed to cover his sheep on this run. I also told him that I was just going to ask him to steady up when he got to the top instead of stopping him, not like he has trouble lifting ever, but just so he felt in more control of the situation. We went to the post and he wanted to go to the left so I sent him. Out he went and behind his sheep, then steadied. I was pleased to see him covering them better this time. He has trouble fetching them straight to me still and he was moving pretty fast, but we got around the post well and on to the drive. Watching the drive you would think one of two things... Chesney and I are drunken sailors trying to drive, or there is a tremendous draw pulling the lambs in direction that we were not headed.
Either way we got to the drive panels then on to the cross drive. Chesney had this idea that he wanted to only take the away flanks and when I asked him go bye still thought it meant away. Silly! So needless to say we lost mostly all of our points fetching and driving. We made it to the pen, but we couldn't get a hold of the lambs to settle them and pen them. "Time!" Dang. Oh well it was a huge improvement from last weekend.
Our second time to the post was even better. Chesney once again got a pep talk (since I think it worked for the other run) I told him that I would stop him at the top this time, and like he did the last time, keep his sheep covered. I added to my requests this time and asked him to slow down just a little on his fetch and listen to his flanks on the drive. To the post we went. I wanted to send Chesney to the right this time, "away" I asked, and off he went. It was a pretty outrun. He stopped nicely when I asked at the top. Then fetched them up, all the while taking his steady whistle keeping a nice pace. Good boy.
Around the post was smoother, even though he still had trouble with the draw and bringing the sheep straight to me. On to the drive. This was tricky again and I think we missed our panels. His cross drive was decent we made some in the panels. Then I got to the pen, waiting for Chesney to bring me sheep. Now, I do not carry a crook when I work Chesney, so we've learned to deal with the pen differently from others. Chesney understands the object to the pen so there isn't much directing him unless I can't get the sheep covered enough on my side, he will flank over and push them back. We penned them with time to spare. Whoo hoo our first completed pro/nov run!
So our next trial isn't until February and it's at Zamora! Chesney and I will continue to work on fetching straight and pacing on the fetch. Otherwise we just need more exposure to different places to work and different stock to work on. I'm happy with where my little man is at with his training. He is functional and can get a ranch job done no problem. It's the finesse that's required on a trial course that he needs help with. I hope to get Tucker out and worked a little big now too. He will be worked more after Zamora though.
I get to work soon, right?