It’s Wednesday and I’m still going …

To the cattle trial that is. I’m trying to keep my confidence up.

Last night Gel and I took the calves out into the side field.  I was all but holding my breath the whole time for fear of loosing them.  The calves are valued at $300 each.  Loosing just one would put a huge damper on my trial entry fees. 

It went fine.  Those beef calves like to kick.  That’s probably a good thing because it’s teaching Gel to watch for kicks and how to dodge them when they come.  They moved slowly in the field and we got some good driving practice in.  I have discovered that if I give Gel little flank commands it helps free him up and keep him moving in his drive.  Constantly asking him to walk up wasn’t doing the trick.  I have to watch my timing so that I keep him from taking a full flank and getting to their heads.

We were out there for about an hour.  We went up and visited with Red for a few minutes.  It reminded me of the days when I had the goat kids and we traveled over hill and dale with them.

I left both Fern and Josey up in their runs.  Neither was happy with that arrangement.  Fern has become much too demanding and assuming she gets all that she wants or is allowed to do anything that she wants.  I ended up just leaving them up for the night and giving Gel all the attention in the house.

This morning I took all of the dogs for a short run on the ATV.  Then cleaned out the runs and put Josey back up.  I went into the house and got Josey’s bowl of food and insisted that she offer either a sit or a down before I gave her the food.  She jumped up on me several times, which earned her nothing.  Finally she sat and got her food.  She’s starting to learn her name and is calling off stock much better than even yesterday.

I brought Fern and Gel into the house, put Gel up and worked with Fern.  I was using treats to teach lie-downs and sits, but I get both quicker and more solid (staying in place) when I use a tug for a reward.  We tugged, then I asked her to give the tug up and to lie down, which she did.  Then I insisted that she stay in place while I chanted “ready, steady …. okay tug.”  She loves this game.  She’s such a delight to work and I really should be doing it more frequently.

I’m sometimes very lazy and when I get home, I really like to have some time to just hang out.  My weekends are often non-stop so the only time I get to relax are evenings after work.  The days are getting longer and soon I’ll have to start training in the morning because it will be too hot in the evening.  It was cold this morning!  I had to put on the Yankee coat when I took the dogs out on the ATV and my fingers got really cold even though I had gloves on.

Red did mow yesterday so when I got home, the grass looked beautiful.  Before I went to bed, I put the sheep up with the calves and they are still there today.  I’ll re-set my ElectroNet tonight and move them back out.  They like the grass to be short so they’ll be happy campers for a few weeks.