a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Monday, January 3, 2011

Snowbirds on the Border Trial

The trial was on the California/Mexico border.  One would think it would be warm, but oh nooooo. Brrrrr cold, but we came away with some positive experiences. The judging was inconsistent, the black faced range lambs were challenging, and overall we had a nice time.  Kilt's first open run she took the bit at the crossdrive and I might as well have been reinless.  I knew I was partnerless.  I retired her.  I can't let her get away with that crap.  Her 2nd run, we were first up on New Years Day.   Unfortunately, it took her awhile to get ahold of the lambs after her lift.  Her fetch was out in Timbuktu.  She lost 17 points on her fetch.  She only lost 9 on her drive and her shed and pen were very nice.  Out of the runs I watched I think Kilt and Candy Kennedy's Moss had the best pens.  Kilt ended up with a 68.  If we could have had those fetch points back, we would have been in contention.  Kilt was pretty happy with herself and so was I.

Here are our 5 dogs keeping warm in the trailer.  The green checkered blanket is an electric blanket.  We all fought for it.  It was in the high 20's in the morning.  Thank goodness, no rain.  But, still, brrrrr.

Yoko has some new tools in her toolbox this year.  This was her 2nd time on range sheep.  The first time was over a year ago and she had NO tools in her toolbox.  She couldn't lift them and all she could do was growl and bark at them.  A year later, we have success.  She lifted them in both pro-novice runs.  The judge didn't like her first lift and disqualified her.  It was a bad call in my humble opinion.  Yoko made this gorgeous outrun, hesitated at the top, walked in, and the lambs pretended she didn't exist.  She blasted them.  I didn't see her bite, but as another well known judge said, "She did what she needed to do and regathered them to bring down the hill."
C'est la vie.  I was a little upset with the judge's call, but I let her bring them down the hill and exhaust them.  Someone at the exhaust, said, "Wow...that's a great kill whistle you taught her."  WRONG.  I gave her the lightest of walkup whistles and let her decide what she needed to do.  She is smart enough to know she is to bring me the sheep. :0)

Yoko on one of her outruns.  WE BE FLYING!  Here comes Speedy.

On Day 2, Yoko made another gorgeous outrun and stopped herself on perfect balance.  I don't whistle her down at the top.  I let her figure out what she needs to do.  She lifted them ever so softly.  Cool.  She felt no need to hit them hard like she did the day before.

               Yoko pictured walking in on her lift. 

Yoko made her lift and had a bit of a hard time getting the lambs on line, but brought them around the post nicely. She drove them through the first drive panels.  They wanted back up the hill to their hay and Yoko had a bit of a hard time driving them down towards the crossdrive panel.  I couldn't get her to flank the way I needed her to, so I let it go.  I have no idea as to how the judge judged that.  I really didn't attempt the crossdrive. I let her bring them to the pen.  She had a little difficulty, but got them penned.  Nice thing was that she stood her ground at the pen when faced off.  So all in all, we did have some success.  And, I have a list of new things we need to work on before our next trial. :0)

We left right after Yoko's class at 11 am.  We weren't on the road a minute when the gal that was caring for our sheep called and told us it was snowing back at our home.  Oh well...what were we going to do?  A 5 hour drive took us 9 hours from Campo to Green Valley.  As we came into Santa Clarita about 45 min. from Green Valley it was snowing.  It was snowing at the 1000 foot level.  Yikes!  We stopped at Camping World and they said we could unhitch and leave our trailer there.  Then we had to get chains at Walmart for the diesel.  I grabbed a few necessities from the trailer and we were on our way.  That is, after stopping for some take out Chinese food.  3/4 the way up the canyon we had to put on chains.  People were slipping and sliding and cars were abandoned.  We got out to check our chains before the biggest of hills and ran into a Green Valley man that was trying to walk 6 miles home in 27 degrees, wind and snow.  We crammed him into our truck along with us and our 5 dogs and took him home. It took us 6 running starts to get up our driveway, but this is what we came home to......
......about a foot of snow and more to come.  Inside our house it was 41 degrees.  I think we will be going to bed with our sweatshirts on this evening!


Karen said...

Wow! Glad you all made it home safely:) Weird weather all over the world it seems.

DeltaBluez Tess said...

Wow, happy to hear you made it home. very nice of you to pick up that poor guy.

Your dogs did well in lifting the sheep. I sent Tess on an outrun with the grip command...the sheep wouldn't lift for numerous dogs....it was the the Finals....she lifted them alright and we had the fastest time going inot the shedding ring. Better that your dog succeed than fail, even if it means a grip.