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. Would this impact his wanting to flex his body in that direction? Possibly. He honestly did look like he was moving a bit freer when we were done with him. Unfortunately the heat and humidity has moved back in, so no testing the theory for several days.

We did get in a few days of training during the week, however. I purchased this nifty, bendable tri-pod that holds my cell phone, making it much easier to video my training sessions. I can put that little sucker just about anywhere. Mostly the videos are for me, alone. I’ll share a few clips here and there, however. Today you get three. The first one illustrates Dillon’s problem area. There are captions. No comments on my handling. I ain’t perfect and sometimes I confuse myself and my dog. At one point I probably confused the sheep as well. Those parts I try to edit out. In any case…

Watching the entire session I noticed many things I don’t get to see while training. Number one was how much tighter and less relaxed Dillon is on the Away side. Number two was all those good things he does that I love and give me faith we’ll get through this.

Okay, on to Jig. When Steve was up a couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity for some one-on-one time with him due to his flight getting totally jacked up which led to him staying an extra day. (Hurray!) I’ve been getting a little frustrated with my training sessions with Jig because she does really well and it’s hard to fix problems when they don’t crop up at home. We’ve fallen into a routine. Steve saw the chance to shake up that routine and leapt on it like Rebel on a mouse. This resulted in me having a glorious meltdown and it was AWESOME. Why, you ask, would I consider a meltdown to be awesome? Because it suddenly felt just like a trial situation and now, finally, I could address some of the disconnect Jig and I experience elsewhere.

Here’s the scenario. I had been fetching sheep from the holding pen, across the barn yard, into the round pen. Steve suggested, since I’d proven I have controls on Jig, making her drive them across instead. Sure, says I, cause I’m always up for a challenge. I’m certain the sheep start to view the round pen as the coliseum meaning they aren’t all that keen on going there in the first place. In any case, driving them away from a very heavy draw and into said coliseum brought out the crazy in me. I may have even started twitching. It also showed how, in times of stress, Jig and I loose our functionality. I start nit-picking, my voice escalates, emotions run rampant — who thought I could get that kind of stress at home?!!? The point of it all was to start to find challenges for Jig and I instead of going out, sorting sheep, working on the same exercises in the same manner. Seems like such a common sense thing but… well… the Routine Trap had snared me good.

So here’s a short clip of when it actually worked just a bit too smoothly. This group of sheep made it look easy.

And, here is an even shorter clip I call Bad Kathi, wherein I should have just shut my mouth when Jig had them close to the gate and trusted her to finish the job. Instead, I got antsy, didn’t trust her, tried to micro-manage her with, of all things, a lie down, and we lost them. This was a tough group of sheep to begin with. The white one was a huge cheater that caused us many problems. I finally had to call it a day and finish off with a fetch.

I’m going to work really hard on NOT overdoing that fun little exercise, and continue to look for other opportunities to test us.

No clips of Cian. I think I only worked him once or twice during the week. Pretty soon I’ll start putting a few more demands on him because he’s doing well with the self-control aspect of the program.

I’m just hoping this heat wave doesn’t last too long. I don’t do well in heat and humidity. Makes me all sorts of cranky.

Happy training!

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