Now that it’s done

The WTCH I mean, what do I do now?  I’m feeling a bit depressed or let down.  I was riding on a high getting ready for this trial.  On Friday night, I didn’t sleep at all.  I finally got up at 1:30 AM, took a shower, packed up the dogs and headed out to the trial.  I do believe the last remedy my homeopath suggested I took was causing me to feel and act the way I was on Friday night and into Saturday.  I felt like I was coming out of my skin!  I ended up calling her Saturday around noon because I couldn’t stand the way I was feeling.  She told me to switch remedies, which I did.  Interestingly, Saturday night the finger pain, swelling and heat came back with a vengeance!  I redosed with the original remedy and within hours, the pain, heat and swelling was gone just as it had the first time around.  Luckily, the second dose didn’t affect me mentally like the first dose did.  In fact, I’m feeling quite good right now.

I got to the trial, set up my car tent and was ready to go.

The first run of the day was ducks.  The first dog in the ring had an awful time with them and one duck flew out of the arena.  Whoops, forgot to clip the wings.  The ducks were hard.  They had not been worked a lot and were close to, if not full, Indian Runners.  I like Indian Runner ducks, but they are a very nervous, very fast breed.  No one had very good duck runs all weekend.  I didn’t make the center pen or chute all weekend with the ducks.  Oh well, it didn’t matter too much because it was the cattle runs I was there for.  Despite not-so-great runs, Gel ended up high in trial on ducks on Saturday.

The sheep were just as bad!  They were very, very dog broke and as such, ran to the handler whenever they could.  If they were not running to the handler, they were running for the exhaust.  Very few Advanced dogs got the sheep around the course.  We didn’t do too well on sheep on Saturday either.

The first cattle run scared me.  One of the cows gave the dog a horrible time coming away from the exhaust.  The whole run was a fight.  Lovely, I thought to myself, another failed attempt.  Luckily, that wasn’t how it went.  Our first Open run was very pretty and we got the center pen.  Our second run of the day was Gel’s first Advanced run.  We did okay, but I wasn’t sure that we qualified.  I left as soon as our run was done as I was exhausted.

When I arrived on Sunday I was pleased to see that Gel qualified in both cattle runs and went high in trial on cattle with that nice open run he had.  Now I only needed one more cattle leg and since the PM judge gave Gel his first Advanced leg, I could not get another one from him on Sunday.  It was down to the wire with the run in the PM trial.  I elected to work Gel on whistles during our duck runs and it was better.  He works with more precision on whistles.  We still didn’t make the Y chute, but we had prettier runs than we did on Saturday.  Same with the sheep.  We made the Y chute with the sheep.  It was a pretty dance between Gel and the sheep going around the course during our first sheep run.  I expected to get a high score for that sheep run, and I think I should have, but the judge wrote on the score sheet that I was micro-managing the run.  Well, yea, one wrong move and the sheep were either at your feet or at the exhaust.  They didn’t escape or go off course once and not too many handlers made the Y chute.  It didn’t matter, I didn’t need the sheep runs, I needed that one last cattle run.

I could hardly breath when I went into the ring for that last cattle run.  One wrong move on my part (Gel doesn’t make wrong moves, I do) and it would be all over and I’d have to find another ASCA trial to finish his WTCH.  By the afternoon the cattle were getting ornery.  They were tired of being run (by some dogs) around the ring and wanted to go out and do cow-things rather than play this game.  One cow was hell-bent on getting back to the exhaust.  Gel did a good job keeping her with the other two, who were not being terribly cooperative either.  One broke away from the far end of the ring heading for the exhaust.  Gel attempted to head her and got run over.  I could see the look of surprise on his face when he went under her.  I know he was expecting her to stop, but it takes a lot to stop a cow when it gets it in its head it wants to go somewhere.  Luckily he got up and went right back in there.  We got one cow through the Y chute and then re-penned.  I was afraid we may not have qualified and Gel got run over for nothing.

For the last sheep run I decided to try an experiment.  I knew Gel knew the pattern by now.  He took the sheep out of the pen and we got them going in the right direction.  Then I gently shushed him along.  I didn’t give him any flank or other commands.  He marched those sheep around that course pretty as a picture.  They kept trying to turn back on him, but he flanked out just enough to stop their turn and then when they started going in the right direction, he released the pressure and kept them going.  He put them through the Y chute all on his own.  When I came back to re-pen them, Roy Johnson, who had been riding me hard all weekend (in a nice way of course) said “see, that’s a damned good dog, too bad he has such a bad handler!”

Again, I would have thought that run would have given me a high score, but it didn’t.  Oh well, it didn’t matter because we qualified in that last cattle run!

We ended up high in trial “other breed” and high in trial period with almost 1,200 total points.  That is three for three, in all three ASCA trials we’ve entered Gel went high in trial “other breed” and high in trial combined.

I had Arnica with me and gave Gel a dose of it after we came out of the ring where he got run over by the cow.  I thought he might have been sore the day after, but he wasn’t.

I have a cure for depression.  I woke up around 3 this morning and as I mentioned above, I was feeling a bit depressed.  I couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up, put the dogs out and started cleaning like a fiend.  I cleaned until around 6:30.  My house is shining!  It felt wonderful and the depression lifted.