I always try to set some small goals before I get to a trial. I took the girls, mother and daughter, to an AHBA trial this morning.
I wanted both of the girls to have fun, especially Yoko. Plus, I wanted to speak and whistle "softly." Those were my goals. Mission accomplished.
I knew the sheep were going to be dogged and rank, plus many of the exhibitors worked the sheep on the course the day before. Why do they allow that? I wouldn't mind if they wanted to practice on the sheep used for the trial in a different arena.
But, it makes no sense to me why they should be allowed to use the trial sheep and practice the course for the trial the next day. It certainly gives those few an edge, wouldn't you say?
Stupid, if you ask me. But, no one has asked me. Who really cares? Those trialing for titles are probably the only people that care. I go with a goal in mind. I'm there only to partner up with my dogs.
There were 13 dogs in the advanced class. Yoko got a qualifying score in the 80's and Kilt most likely came in 2nd or 3rd with a 92 1/2. I didn't stick around, but I made sure I said my good-byes/thank-yous, etc. and then started the 2 1/2 hr. trek home.
Yoko was up 2nd, so I wasn't sure about the draws and pressures. There was a take pen, a few obstacles to make, a drive, and a horse trailer to load them into, a ribbon pull, and a repen. She drew up the worst lot of the bunch. She drew up 3 mixed sheep and 2 lambs. One of the lambs acted like a proud cut wether and the other had some affliction. Affliction...you laugh. Yep, it looked like one of those bobbing dogs on the dashboard. I wasn't sure if it was blind or not. The retarded proud cut lamb/ram wouldn't flock. All it wanted to do was fight. When I repenned all the sheep I left the pen gate wide open and it didn't want to go home. Now how weird is that. I got the giggles. Yo and I worked it out together. She did fine other than a sneaky heel bite here and there.
I asked the owner of the sheep about the "head-bobber." She said it had a cervical injury, but still was a good sheep to work. Ugh...sometimes I can't keep my mouth shut. I said, "Do it a favor and eat it." It looked in distress to me. But, hell what do I know....just a critical care nurse here. :
Kilt came up around 10th. I had a bit more of an idea how to work the sheep. She drew a nice lot....a large group of thugs. She did a nice job, but got a bit too amped up at the horse trailer. It was a bit tricky getting the big lugs in a short two horse trailer. Kilt gave them her famous "I'll jump in your face if you don't get in." All that did was piss them off. That's the only time I "growled" at her. The rest of the time I spoke and whistled softly. Hard ass Kilt is finely teaming up with me now. I'm afraid to put that into print until after the next few big field trials :0) But, I thinks she wants to work with me, not against me.
Next AHBA trial is the 25th and 26th. I could only get the 25th off from work, but that's okay because that is the ranch trial. I'd much rather do a ranch trial versus an arena trial. Plus, there will be a SHED, instead of a ribbon pull. Yea. I will be taking both the girls. Same goals, hopefully, with the same good results.