Fail often to succeed sooner. Set small goals. Okay....Kilt in her third open trial has manged to go from a 48 to a 61 to a 65, along with a few RT's (mostly me RT'ing her for not listening). I'm fairly pleased with her outruns and lifts. It was difficult to get deep at Porterville due to the shortness of the field. 400 yds and there wasn't much room to get deep behind them. I saw many bad open outruns....oodles of redirects and several dogs that had to be chased down in 4 wheelers and trucks.
I think because there wasn't a fence. I rarely work with a fence. Our outruns are practiced in the desert. But, we did manage a zero off our shed and pen. I guess that tells you a lot about our drive. That bitch (Kilt) just wouldn't give up the sheep and flank.
Yoko looking for her sheep to be set in nurseryYoko was great for the amount of work time has on the clock. They set the nursery outrun like the open dogs. I was so glad for that. I'm tired of them setting the nursery outrun at the pro-novice level. I heard a few people say that it was too hard for the nursery dogs. They only had 5-6 nursery dogs entered. By the way, the sheep were absolutely perfect. No one could possibly complain about the sheep! They were 2 farm flocks of dorpers put together. Rare for us So. Calif. people to get farm flocks. Anyway, Yoko's first outrun was AMAZING. She had a nice quiet lift. It must have been too quiet for her because then she buzzed them up their rears. But, we actually made it to the cross drive panels, before I saw her getting a bit frustrated and retired her. Her 2nd outrun was the pits (for her). The judge only took 4 points off. I would have taken 12 points off. She started off okay and immediately veered into the center. I started whistling her ass down and she blew me off. Before she hit the center line she blew herself out and went wide around her sheep, but she was pretty jazzed up by then. She came onto her sheep like a torpedo sending one of them clear back to the set-out pens. I have a photo of her sitting pretty behind 4 of them.....waiting for her next command. Uh....that would be a recall little missy.
The competition is fierce out here. It's nothing like 10 or 20 years ago. Susie Applegate and Jennifer Clark-Ewers are producing and training dogs that are superior in every way. Handlers are snatching up and buying up open dogs and importing them just making the competition even more fierce. People with actual day jobs send their dogs out to trainers to be trained for months at a time.
There are only a handful of us (maybe only on one hand) that are training their own dogs, enjoying the journey as we go. I'm proud to be one of those die-hards. Hey, when we do good....it is oh so sweet. When we do poorly, it's back to the drawing board. And, no, I only work my dogs 2-3 times a week. So, I do take that into consideration and enjoy every minute of any success. :0)
P.S. The only bummer about the Porterville trial was that I was missing the California Breeders Cup at Santa Anita. Damn.......I wanted to be in two places at once. I believe Zenyatta and Kilt have a lot in common!!!!!!