Over commanding

Early this morning I put the sheep and cattle out into the side pasture while I got ready for work.  When it came time to leave, I brought Gel down with me to bring them in.  The grass (and weeds) are very high in this field, up over the backs of the sheep.  Gel saw the sheep first and went around them and push them towards the gate.  When I could see they were going to continue through the gate without Gel having to push them, I told Gel to “go back.” 

He reared up on his hind legs to see over the grass and located the cattle who were further up the field.  He ran out of my sight heading to the right (away side).  He normally sticks on his outrun on the away side so I gave him a couple of flank whistles to keep him going even though I couldn’t see him and they may not have been necessary.  In a short period of time I saw the cattle lift their heads and look behind them and then I saw Gel’s form.  He landed exactly where he should for his lift. 

Gel has a tendency to lift slow, which may or may not be a problem.  This is my fault in that I slowed him down too much early on in his training.  In my impatience, I’m pretty hard on my whistled walk-up commands to speed up his lift and bring the stock to me.  Today, however, I didn’t say a thing.  Gel stood there and waited for the cattle to turn, which they did in probably about the same amount of time as they would if I had been on the whistle asking him up.  They were a bit slow in the beginning of the fetch, but as they got about halfway to the gate, they picked up their speed and then started trotting.  The fetch line was straight as could be given the rough terrain.

I wonder now if maybe my agitated walk-up commands were not slowing Gel down even more.  Something to think about for the future.

Earlier this morning I had decided to leave Marcus a voice mail message telling him I didn’t want the goats he’s set aside for me and that he needed to come and get his cattle sooner rather than later, preferably when I’m not around (i.e. I don’t want to see him again).  I’m glad I talked to Wally about my plan to do this.  My rationale for leaving this message is two-fold: one, I’m running out of grass and without consistent rain, the ElectroNet is hard to set.  I can work around this, where there is a will, there is a way.  For example, last night I took my ATV and wagon out into the back fields and picked up to end bales of hay that had been left out there.  While they were about an eighth the size of a regular round bale, they were still heavy as heck.  I managed to get them on the wagon, one by one, and put them in where I’ve got the sheep and cattle fenced.  I can get round bales of hay to supplement grass for now and pray for rain.

The real reason is that I’m tired of waiting on Marcus to do something.  Wally reminded me that I got into this relationship rather quickly; did I really want to get out of it as quickly?  Wally agrees that Marcus is being unreasonable, but there is some indication that I should bide my time and see what comes of it.  That he may come to his senses in time.

I love Wally. 

While bringing in the sheep and cattle this morning I realized how much I’ll miss the cattle when they do leave.  No reason to rush things.  So I’m back to sitting on my hands and waiting for things to happen as they should rather than forcing actions because I’m feeling uncomfortable.