Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alta-Pete Shedding Clinic - Day 3

Our final day of the clinic was a little warmer but again, the nice breeze kept us from getting too hot and kept the mosquitoes away. This was the day to work on "the big one", whatever that may be for the level you were at. Both Jerry and Lisa continued to work on basic sheds, fine tuning their skills. Jerry and his Kelpie, Jed, were pushing too hard to get the shed. Scott had Jerry relax and NOT call him in. Before you knew it, they were easily opening a hole for Jed to come through. Lisa's Hope had been rushing in the gap like a scud missile. By the time they were finished today, Hope was relaxed but still coming in with purpose, allowing him to have a strong hold because his head was cooler.
Everyone else worked on the International shed. Scott talked about us having a plan when we went out there but told us to be ready to abandon the plan if it wasn't working. He also talked about opening the "gate" and closing it but not slamming the door. That translated to the dog working his side and us working our side and opening and closing the pathway between us without getting so forceful that the sheep never wanted to drift through.

Randy Dye and Sweep close the gate on an escaping ewe

When it was Hemp's turn, I could see he wasn't really sure what I wanted him to do, but I think he will get a better idea, the more we practice it. He was confused by me asking him to stop some of the sheep that were running past, but let others go.

Hemp and I attempting to hold sheep on each of our own sides

He did a good job of not putting too much pressure on the sheep by keeping his flanks square when I asked him to. I was happy with him.
It was interesting to watch the handlers puzzle out the sheep and their intentions and as we were watching on the sidelines we found ourselves figuring it out with them.

Louanne Twa switched to her dog, Rob, for the international shed and got it done!

Each handler that went up had a clearer and clearer picture of how to get it done after watching those that came before them. It was definitely an exercise suited to a clinic format instead of a private lesson. There was too much to learn in only a half hour's worth of time. You needed the whole day to watch it unfold over and over.

Chris Jobe and Jill control a collared ewe

We were also happy to have our favorite photographer, Vickie Close offer her services with her camera AND volunteer to help hold the sloughed sheep on the field.

Vickie Close and her dog Hanna keep the sheep on the field in between photographing each run

Everyone said they were very happy and enjoyed themselves and declared that if we have another clinic next year, they will rush to sign up. We can't ask anymore than that.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Sure wish I could have made it. Put me on the list for next year, please. Pretty snazzy collars:)
I loved the comments, pictures, and the lessons between the lines, Jenny. See you in August, I hope.