Stopping and lie downs

Quite a few months ago now, I had an experienced handler watch Fern work.  He told me that I had to put a lie down on her.  My gut told me that I didn’t want to do that, but I did and she became clappy.  Now I’m working to fix that by keeping her on her feet.  I’m sticking with my gut feeling that I shouldn’t push her out on her outruns for fear that she’ll end up too wide.  She’s still very much a baby.  It is actually a good thing that I’m working with Joe now because he’s the perfect age to be training.  Who knows, I might be able to run him in Nursery next year.  He won’t be three until September, 2009.  Fern won’t be three until August 7, 2010 so plenty of time for her.

I’m going back and forth as to whether I want to put a lie down on Joe or not.  He seems to want to stop in a stand and I might play around with that to see where it goes.  I believe I can work him outside the fenced-in area now without him making a mess of things.  He has a good feel for stock and doesn’t seem to be inclined to bust up stock.  I don’t know if I’ll have time to work him tonight or not.  I have to set my ElectroNet.  The bummer is, when I set my ElectroNet, I loose what little bit of real estate I have available to work on.  G-r-r-r-r-r-r-r wish they’d mow!

So, the plan is to get home, let Gel out first and move the sheep and goats into the back field (so they are out of Joe’s sight), then let Joe and Fern out while I set the fence.  Setting the fence should go easily because there won’t be much mowing involved.  Then I’ll bring the sheep and goats back up and put them and Kitty and Rose up in the ElectroNet.  Then I’ll take the dogs for a run.  By then, we’ll probably be out of light.  It’s nice to have it cooler, but now that it’s cool, we’ve lost light.

Neither Gel nor for the most part, Fern will go for stock without my asking them too.  Joe is another story and remember, he’s hard to call off stock.  So, when he decides on his own to round up stock, I get irritated which is absolutely counter-productive.  I need to make sure that I plan accordingly and have Joe out of the way or tied when I’m moving stock, unless I want him involved in the mix.  I could use him to bring the sheep and goats up from the back pasture, if it was mowed!  I hope they start haying soon, but in looking at the forecast, they may not because now there’s rain forecast for several days this week.  When I first checked the forecast this morning, it was sunny and 70’s all week which would have been perfect for haying.

All in all though, I’m very pleased with how Joe is doing.  When I left them this morning, all three Border Collies had fresh bones in their runs.  Joe was happily crunching away.  Fern went into her new run, which she wasn’t happy about.  She acted as if I was putting her in a torture chamber.  She was ignoring her food and Ted the cat was sticking his paw through the chain link and stealing it.  Her new run is slightly smaller with wire over the top of it.  During the month she is in season, we’ll put goat panels (heavy wire with 2″ square holes) under the run so there will be no digging in or out.  It will be “Fern Knox.”  I’m not risking her getting bred by Gel or anyone else.

I’m starting to get scared about running in the trial on Saturday.  There are a lot of dogs entered.  Forty in Open, 15 in Open/Ranch, 20 for Pro-Novice, and 13 for Novice.  I keep thinking I shouldn’t have put Gel in Open/Ranch, but I’ll have the same issues with him in Pro-Novice as I will in Open/Ranch and it will be easier to fix them on the bigger field.  The issues are going to be his driving.  I think his reluctance to pull off a fetch line have been resolved.  The draws in the field that they will be running Open/Ranch and Open in are rough.  I will be sure to watch some of the Open runs to see how they handle the draws.  I know we’ll bomb out, but it is the only way I’ll know where my holes are so I can fix them.  I’m glad Wally is going with me.  He’ll be good moral support.