06/30/2018 The Year of Training ~ Update Numero Uno

I bet you all are sitting there, tapping your fingers on the table, looking at the calendar (because you have nothing better to do with your valuable time), and thinking I've gone and missed my first week's update right out of the gate. Wrongo. I wanted to wait until after Dillon and Jig had their chiro adjustments to see if there was any news to share. I was also busy putting together some short video clips. Let's jump right in with Dillon. Dr. Robin came out on Friday morning for Dillon's first ever chiro adjustment. He was not amused. It took quite a few treats and lots of patience on Dr. Robin's part to allow her to work on anything other than his front end. The findings were that, yes, he had some restriction in his neck, a few spots on his spine, and in his pelvis, all on the left side.

06/21/2018 A Slight Reboot

Life has been busy of late. That's my explanation for the lapse in posting

05/14/2018 Dillon’s Day ~ Slow, But Steady

One of the pitfalls of training alone is that it's sometimes hard to see improvement which, in turn, can lead to frustration and discouragement when we get to feeling like we're spinning our wheels. Thankfully, I have friends who turn up from time-to-time and aren't afraid to tell me what they're seeing. Such was the case over the past weekend. My original plan was to have one of them work Dillon because it's so much easier to see what's going on when you aren't in the thick of it. Yes, I could just video our session, which I have done in the past, but I really wanted to know if I'm the source of our problems. The only way to do that was have someone else handle him. Dillon, however, is apparently a bit of a momma's boy. No way was he working for anyone else. So much for that

04/23/2018 Spring Has Sprung! I Hope

Sunday was a gorgeous day - finally - and I had every intention of taking advantage of the beautiful afternoon by getting in some training. First, however, I had to feed the bottle lamb. Done with that, I decided a quick walk-about was in order to check the footing in the pens and arena. The day before they had been slick and soupy. On my walk-about I noticed the duck-proofing was off on part of the arena fence. I don't have ducks this year, so could have just removed it. That would have taken more time than I wanted to spend, so I opted for a quick repair with baling twine instead. Before taking care of that, however, I needed to bring over several wheel barrow's worth of wood chips to fill in a soft spot in the roundpen, which reminded me that Cian's outside run needed a bit of

10/24/2017 Dillon’s Day ~ Getting Outside the Box

It's been a while since I shared an update on Dillon. Don't worry, I haven't been neglecting the poor boy. As a matter of fact, he's had to step into a new role as the chore/sorting dog while Jig and I focus on other things. It's a big job which entails not only bringing in and helping me sort the sheep, but bringing in the steers as well. He's a little ignorant about cattle at the moment, but he's learning, and he's getting more confident each day. I'm going to admit, however, Dillon has been a challenge. For a time, I chalked it up to youth, immaturity, and silly-boy-dogness, so I continued working him the same way. Only, we weren't being successful. I wasn't seeing the results I felt I should have been.  Dillon's a smart dog that truly wants to work. One of the things I like best about him

10/11/2017 Jig’s Journey ~ A Bump in the Road

Okay, honestly, it feels like way more than a bump. It's more like a wall that I've hit at full speed. Or, better yet, the mother of all potholes with spikes in the bottom. No, really hungry alligators who aren't even going to spit me back out once they're done chewing me up. Or this

09/18/2017 Jig’s Journey ~ When It All Goes to Shite

Since the May SEMASA trial I've been working pretty hard at fixing the holes in Jig's training. I knew the cattle at their fall trial this past weekend would be a challenge, but I felt pretty confident we could find some success. Not only that, but I was looking forward to a good showing in the farm trial and the rest of the arena trials for the weekend. The beginning of the farm trial started well: fairly decent take pen, covered, settled the sheep, held them while I walked down to the advanced handler's cone, did a decent outrun-lift-fetch, drive through the panel, and a good hold. Then it was on to loading the trailer. A little muff-up on my part, but Jig had my back, covered, and in they went. That's when we hit our first real snag. A ewe challenged Jig when we needed to take them out of the

09/12/2017 Interlude

I owe an update on training and trialing, but between the insane schedule I seem to have set myself, as well as the whole 'let's change domain hosts and servers' fun, I'm a bit behind. In the meantime, I rebuilt this lovely gallery of photos shot by my friend Bob Dusek. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words

07/17/2017 I Need a Resounding Kick in the Arse

I believe I've mentioned (a time or ten) my propensity to rush my training by glossing over fundamentals, or by seeing results once and then surging forward, certain that tiny success was a sign we were ready to move on instead of staying at that level until I saw regular, predictable results. I thought I'd gotten better after Steve's clinic. I had a new outlook. I backed up in my training with Jig, forced myself to be patient, to not succumb to frustration. I've been videoing my training sessions with both Jig and Dillon so I can watch them afterwards and get a clearer idea of where we are and what I need to do more of, less of, or just differently. Just like me to have a relapse when things start going well. I'm calling it The Most Monumentally Epic Set Up For Failure In The History Of The World. I told myself I did

06/30/2017 Moving Backwards to Move Forward

What a glorious weekend we had for the Steve Shope clinic here at the farm last weekend! The weather cooperated wonderfully, and the group of handlers and dogs was one of the best yet. All eager to learn, all super-supportive of one another, and all at various levels with their dogs. We certainly gave Steve a work-out. He, in turn, pushed some of us outside our comfort zones in order to get the best from our dogs. For some handlers 'outside the comfort zone' meant merely turning their back on their dog. For others, it meant moving outside the pen. Literally. Talk about exercising trust in your dog while losing the ability to micro-manage them. A trap I fall into far too often. I was one of those who Steve had work their dog from the opposite side of the fence. Yes, I put Jig in the round pen with the stock, closed the