Friday, May 21, 2010

Double The Fun

Duncan got to go herding twice this week. Wednesday morning was a regular lesson at Claire’s, and Thursday evening was a group lesson at Meredith’s. Wednesday, we worked Duncan in the arena. I’d like to enter a trial in July, which means we have to get better with obstacles and free-standing pens. Duncan did a lovely job, once he backed off. The poor boy is so sensitive, though, that at times he backed off so far that my sheep wandered off. And after fussing at him to get him to move away from me, he didn’t always respond quickly when I would call him closer. We definitely need to reach a happy balance. The most exciting part of the lesson was when Duncan caused his first ever sheep faint. Apparently, when sheep feel too stressed, they’ll just fall over. Sort of a preemptive “eat me now and put me out of my misery” thing. Duncan immediately backed away, looking extremely upset and confused (Reyna probably would have been excited that she didn’t have to chase her dinner any farther). We had to take the flock over to the sheep before it would get back up.

Thursday evening went really well. We were at a new location with new sheep watching other dogs work, so there was always a chance that Duncan would be a complete spaz (as much as he can be, anyway). Instead, he was nice and calm. We had our first ever run on something closely resembling an A Course set-up and we managed to get through it with only a few mistakes. Then we got to work on putting sheep in a free-standing pen – the first time we’ve ever tried that. It didn’t go as well, mostly because Duncan had no idea what I was asking, and I had no idea what I was doing. But we did succeed, eventually. After that, we had another go at the A Course. It didn’t go as smoothly as the first, but went well enough that I could declare the evening a success.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet Duncan really didn't know what to think when that sheep fainted. Funny :):):)Love, Mom