Coalinga vastness. Dry, cracked dirt brown land with lots of cow patties to step in.
Early morning, handlers walking the course as the sun was thinking about rising.
Handlers watching someone walk through the crossdrive panels. They are standing at the post looking for "landmarks", a bush, a dip in the landsccape, anything to help them get a straight line to the panels.
Handlers around the burn barrel. We had rain on Saturday morning, but the rain Gods were good to us on the whole. Chilly with just sprinkles off and on during the Sunday trial.
We have LIFT OFF Houston. Kilt on the start of her outrun. Nice outrun Stinky :0)
This is how NOT to bring your sheep into the shed ring. Naughty Kilt rushing them on Saturday.
Sheep are NOT happy. Sheep should be stringing out, but are balling up because of Kilt's pressure.
Both my girls worked so-so on Saturday. Kilt didn't have her listening ears on and Yoko couldn't get a hold of her fetch. Sheep still lean on Yoko versus the other way around. But, she is coming along nicely; slowly, but nicely. Kilt did much better work on the course as a whole on Sunday, but her score didn't reflect that. Yoko on Sunday was wonderful. I love trialing Yoko. She just gets better and better. You can see her confidence grow with each big trial I take her to. She has the HEART of a lion and I TRUST her to the max.
Yoko slinking up to the post like her mother, Kilt. Yoko is an excellent "spotter." Both my girls are. Some dogs had difficulty in the pro-novice class knowing where their sheep were set. Some never did fine them.
Yoko bringing the sheep down the hill through the fetch panels. Yo always keeps a nice distance.
Lovely rolling terrain for the outruns. It mimics where I trailer my dogs out to in the desert. :0)
Yoko's driving is improving. I will continue working on Yoko learning to lean into her sheep.
Yoko has improved 100% in working the pen from last year. She has her sire's finesse.
Day two, Yoko's outrun was lovely. The sheep were set on hay and had already stood off a few dogs or just plain ignored them. Yo has a beautiful lift, but no one was listening to her. BAM.....well, they are listening now. Gotta love that. She brought them right through the fetch panels. They leaned on her a bit to the exhaust. They tried to stand her off at the post. She raised herself as tall as a giraffe and a whispered steady to her had her back the lead sheep up a few steps and then they turned. She got them through the the first drive panel. They leaned on her a bit to the set-out. She started with what could have been a great crossdrive, but then 2 decided to go this way and 2 decided to run to the exhaust. Bastard sheep. :0) Yo had her work cut out for her and got them together, but unfortunately just as they got to the mouth of the pen we ran out of time. Love my Yoko. On day one she had a lovely pen. Last year she would jump in the sheep's faces at the pen. This year she is confident and able to hold her ground up close to the sheep at the pen. Slowly, but surely. Miles and miles.
Always HAPPY Yoko. I trust this pup 100%. What a lovely dog to run. I trust her mother as far as I can throw her. :0) But, this was a nice cross, Kilt and Jet. The pups will bend over backwards for their owners.
The other funny, but cool thing was that somewhere on the fetch Yoko picked up a large tumbleweed that stuck to her long tail feathers. Yoko has this thing about her tail and butt. She doesn't like you to tap her on the fanny and she hates stuff getting into her tail. It's kind of an OCD thing with her. Well, here she comes down the fetch with this huge tumbleweed stuck to her. I hear exhibitors whispering and laughing about it. Mind you, Yoko never even hinted that she knew she had a tumbleweed stuck to her. She was all business. I so wanted to reach out to her at the post and yank that thing off her tail that was dragging on the ground! Thankfully, she lost it somewhere at the first drive panel. Gosh, I love this dog. I haven't pushed her at all. All I have asked of her is to have a good time this year. Next year, I will lean on her a bit :0)
Even though Coalinga is all cow patties and dried up cracked land, there was plenty of it to get in several hikes each day with all 3 of my dogs. Trouble loves to come to the trials and I look forward to taking her as much as she enjoys it. Yoko and Trouble are the best of buddies and Kilt and Yoko are the best of buddies. Everybody is happy except Xena and Jet. I don't have room for them in my small trailer :0(
My traveling girls...Trouble, Kilt and Yoko. They are all "seasoned' travelers.
I thought of Alice in Wonderland as Trouble came across this rather large hole (den). I think this photo would be more aptly named, Trouble in Badgerland.
Close enough girlie. That's what her hotdog length tail is for...pulling her out of holes!
I was invited out to dinner Saturday night at Harris Ranch, but opted to stay in my trailer, listen to music, read, and catch up on some way over-due needed sleep from long work days previous to the trip. It was a wise choice. We were so cozy with the pitter patter of rain on the roof. I worked a Sudoku puzzle while listening to my favorite music. I think I slept a full 8 hours. Nirvana.
This was my 2nd trip in my trailer. The trailer pulls great with my Avalanche. The ride home was hairy and scary at times. It was dark with lots of rain and gusty winds. Thankfully, it wasn't freezing over the grapevine, but I was dang glad to get home, safe and sound. Another trial under our belts. Our next trial will be at Jennifer's in Campo over New Years. Wayne is coming, so we can bring all of the dogs and haul the big trailer (toy hauler). I can really relax then. This will be our first time at Jennifer's trial and I'm looking forward to it. I want to see what Yo thinks of the range sheep. I know her mother will be thrilled. The tougher the sheep are, the better Kilt likes them.