Today was just beautiful for most of the morning, then the dark clouds started moving in, soon the heavy winds started whipping the trees around. Oh goody, why did I have to talk about bad weather training? After a little bit the hail started falling and I mean it was coming down. The tin roof on my barn sounded like a million little drummers were trying to make music. In a matter of minutes the ground was pure white. My horses were running in the pasture going nuts but as quick as it started it was over, its no less than 47 degrees outside. Today I’m pretty well stuck to the house watching the clients and cooking pork fried rice getting ready for 5pm to roll around.
Vic returned home and said I could go early if I wanted, but with Hope at work I wouldn’t be able to follow my plan so I decided to wait till after 5pm to go. Hope generally gets home a little before 6 so with my driving time and stopping to get a cup of coffee, it gives her a chance to change out of her work clothes, maybe settle down a little. Tonight I finished dinner served it up right on time and was raring to go. The winds had all subsided to mere breezes.
On the drive over to Hopes the weather changed several times. I hit a small rain shower that was really neat. I could see almost a water line as I drove into it and in a few seconds I was through it. Right out into blue skies. You just have no idea what we are going to have by the time I get to Hopes place. I drove up and it was apparent that it had rained hard here. There were big mud puddle in her drive way and even though it wasn’t raining or looking like rain I decided to put on rubber boots and a coat. Hope came out and we made plans for tonight’s training sessions. I told her first I wanted to do some drives with the sheep just to keep Tigr sharp on her inside flanks then would like doing more out runs from way out in the pasture. Tigr was just simply right on with her driving skills and taking her flanks like an old hand. This is getting so easy it’s almost boring for me but we have to stay on the same page right now. Once this become totally ingrained into her memory then it will only need refresher courses, but for right now I want there to be no doubts between us. I used her to put the bull away and to get the two heifers and take them to a new pasture. She made these chores look simple.
As I’m going out to the pasture I tell Hope I want to once again be close enough to assist Tigr if she needs it. So for her first few outrun lifts it will be only 150 yards. I just want her confident when I move farther out to the point that I can’t help at all. Even at 150 yards it can be touch and go as to how much I could assist her. I gave her a simple short flanking command for the outrun and she didn’t run real wide but she still looked sharp. She did exactly what I asked her to do and came in very nice at the top side. Once again she lay down at the point of contact. So I blew a walk up and vocally encouraged her. I’m not sure she needed it but was a judgment call and I decided to error on the side of helping her. Once she lifted them to me and Hope had Gus reset them, I’m going to have her do the opposite side outruns. Something must have confused her because she started to cross over and I just couldn’t allow that. Major point deduction if that happens at a trial. So I down her and fussed a little at her then gave her a re-flank which she took with ease and correctly lifted the cattle. All in all I’m happy with her getting the results I expected so I decided to go ahead and move all the way out. Tigr and the boys are running along just as happy as can be as I head deep out to the far end of the pasture. Now its Taits turn. I put Tigr and Kane on a fence pole leash and Tait knew he was up.
I set Tait up for a bye side outrun and let me describe it from where I was watching. I gave a wide “Come Byeeeeeeeeeee” and he was off. Tait glides and is going faster than it appears. He was steady going wider and wider till he went over the levee. From that point he disappears from my view. I have a short time to worry whether he is on track or not when all of a sudden he comes into view.. Right abut the time he re-appears there’s a shallow pond area that he must travel through. You can see the water slows him down and also see the splashes and spray as he passes though. As he comes up on higher ground he once again widens out. At this point I believe the cattle come back into his view. Tait steadily stays wide and I’m just in awe watching him as he is way deep and turning in on the top side. Once again he goes through a gap in the levee and is out of my sight; at this point I’m guessing he is 400 yards away from me anyhow. Here I just have to trust my dog. The next time I see him he is walking straight up on the cattle. I’m all swollen with pride. He lifts the cattle and brings them on a trot towards me. I give him a wide “Awayyyyyy” flank and he takes it without question. He now has them running down a fence line perfect doing it just as I ask him. I once again blew an away, way, away which brought him all the way around at about 150 yards away from me. Then he started driving them back to where he lifted them. This was almost perfect I just could ask any more out of him. I’m so happy you just don’t know. Next it Kane’s turn to do this outrun.
Kane has been excelling on his outruns for the most part. Tonight was no exception. If anything he might have been a little wider than Tait. Was a thing of beauty to watch from my point of view. If I told you how I saw it through my eyes I would be repeating almost the same outrun as Taits. The one difference is Kane runs and Tait glides if this makes sense to anyone other than me. Kane lifted them and brought them right along also taking the flanks in the same area at about 150 yards away from a predetermined fetch line all the way around into a drive. This is much harder than most folks would think for dog to do. They have to have faith in the handler to come out of fetch mode. Two perfect outruns do I dare to try Tigr from here? Tigr your turn baby girl hehehe.
This was a very long hard outrun. The cattle disappear from view in several places, through a marsh right off then over a levee then through a pond over a rise then back through the levee at the top side. I hope I’m not making a mistake but I do have faith in her. She is just looking beautiful. Her stylish outrun just takes my breath away. She wasn’t any wider or deeper than the boys but it just looks so effortless and smooth. Her lift was precision work bringing them in a straight line to me. Once again I decide to see if she would respond and come all the way around for me. She was just simply awesome listening to every single whistle taking commands like the older dogs. I had to quit on this note. I’m so full of pride right now you just can’t imagine how these dogs have highlighted my day. As we were walking toward Hope I shouted out “Almost makes you want to cry for joy don’t it? I could tell from her excited look she was just as impressed from her end as I was from mine. Tonight was for sure a good night.