Jig’s Journey ~ Cow Camp Part I

Saturday, Gail and I headed down to Larry Painter’s place in Missouri for a five day cow camp. I had the opportunity to work with Larry last year in Ohio and knew I wanted to do so again. I was super stoked to get in this clinic, as it’s likely the only chance I’ll get all year to put in any steady cattle work with Jig.

The clinic started yesterday. Larry has a great facility and some awesome stock. We finished day two on a high note, which was a good thing because the second half of day one didn’t leave me in very good spirits. We started working Jig in the small pen, roughly 16×24, getting her to stay in the pressure, to lie down when told, just reminding her of the basics. Also, because I haven’t gotten the chance this spring to do much actually training, I wanted to refresh both our memories. It went pretty well. I was very pleased with how she responded. In the afternoon we started in the small pen, then moved out to the arena. I expected a little bit of a rodeo because, well, that’s what I get most of the time in a bigger area. What I got, however, was a dog who wouldn’t take her flank, and was more interested in dinking around than working cattle, at which point I got to feeling a bit like…

giphy2So we moved back to the small pen and finished with something we could at least feel successful with.

Today I decided to address the problem head-on and make us both work through it. Because of the heavy rains that kept popping up, we moved to the indoor arena. It was a nice intermediate step between the small pen and the outside arena. Our a.m. session went really well. Jig was engaged, doing a bit of nice fetching, getting through against the wall, and showing me a lot of the thoughtful work I know she can do on cattle. By comparison, our afternoon session went…


Okay, fine, I’m spending too much time on giphy.com. I’ll try to get some actual pictures to share tomorrow.

In any case, I FINALLY got some lovely, square flanks out of the girl. Yes, I had to get after her a time or two, but she kept working with a great attitude even after I put quite a bit of pressure on her, and made her do things my way.

I expect tomorrow we may crash and burn. But we have three days yet, so hopefully, if we do, we can redeem ourselves by Friday. Besides, if I come to a clinic and don’t mess things up, how can I fix them?

As a side note, Dillon made the trip with us. He’s met quite a few new people and dogs, and has had great play sessions with Gail’s dog Hemi, as well as a corgi named Daisy. That was a riot. If they get to play again, I’ll have to see if I can film it. Dillon kept trying to get as low as Daisy, which just wasn’t possible. He’s doing a wonderful job of learning how to travel and hang out without causing a fuss.



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