Wayne accompanied me to Task Farms this morning. We set up cones to work on serpentines with the dogs. We have a Scottish fair coming up Labor day weekend with lots of twists and turns on the arena driving course and the obstacle course.
We worked on fast flanks and quick downs.....working in and out and around the cones. Each dog got to work twice. It's triple digit weather at the moment, so we need to work early and keep it short, both for the dogs and the stock. And, us :0)
It is always a treat when my husband accompanies me to work dogs. He critiqued my handling and gave me some excellent advise. Even though Wayne is a novice at working sheep dogs, he has an excellent eye. I always appreciate having someone give me advise. Sometimes it's hard to listen to your spouse, but this morning everything he said made good sense. I put it to use with Kilt and our work started to shape up. Kilt is a bit rusty since I have been on the road 3 weeks without her.
I'm not sure if I am able to handle 3 dogs at the Scottish fair, so I want to make sure Wayne is ready to handle a dog if need be. Last year they limited the exhibitors to two dogs per handler. Wayne isn't ready for Kilt or Yoko yet. So, I need to let him handle Jet, if need be.
This serpentine exercise was a great one for Wayne, too. He worked Jet from outside the arena at the gate. I had him do serpentines by only watching the sheep heads. I asked him not to focus on Jet at all other than to keep a peripheral eye on him. You know what? He did a fabulous job. He really got the hang of watching the sheep's heads. It turned out to be an excellent exercise for him.
The NCWSA Games at the Pleasanton Fair Grounds is a far trip for us (up around San Francisco) but we enjoy the games and enjoy the Northern California Working Sheepdog Association who put on the herding portion of the games. The crowds are big, the pipers piping, and the cannons booming (sometimes while you are on course). It is quite challenging. It is right next to the race track, so I can watch the horses exercise in the morning while having my morning coffee. Love that!
We will be taking all of our dogs and the big trailer. It will be a family affair. :0)