Not Crazy, We’re Hardcore

What do below freezing temperatures, snow and a USBCHA trial somewhere else equal?  An empty Farm where i can do whatever i want. 🙂

I honestly believe that because we can only do lessons one time a month… the video is the second most impotant teacher.  In all of these… my mouth is open entirely too much.  I watch them over and over and Molly hides her head under my leg every time i say Lie and i think “OMG seriously, Amy shut up’.  It’s just sad.

My goal was for the sheep to always come out calmly.  Which they didn’t do, but after about the 4th repetition it became obvious that this was a light sheep thing, not a crazy Molly problem.  Best case scenario she’d be going out and hitting all the corners in her pen before exiting, but until the last video i wasn’t really pushing it – and it didn’t change the way the sheep came out.  They were still all ears back and hussed off.

We did add a new pen to out pen to pen exercises.  So now it’s from the sorting pen up top, down the alley to the lower sorting pen and then into the small puppy pen.  Realize that i’d have to stop motion all the time to be in the pen everytime she changes pens.  And truth be told, i tried it and it just messes everything up.  I can direct her pretty well from out of the pen in small spaces.  My hope is to just continually add large spaces. So for instance as space allows next well add the barnyard or the Large Puppy pen.

In these exercises i’m also working to have her drive the sheep from me and up the alley.   This particular sheep was set to be sold the week i had them. So they were in a wierd place and when they tried to group to me i made myself inhospitable.  So they were generally irritated with everything.  Anyhow it doesn’t always work so well when i give her the wrong command.  If you watch (and yes here we post what goes horribly horribly wrong), you’ll see that sometimes we do the fetch circle because the master controller can seem to make the helpful word – down – come out at the correct time.  So as you’re watching this imaging i said “down” and she stopped and dropped her arse and then walked up and everything was fine.  It’s not what happened, but that’s what i’d like you to see. 🙂

If you watch this you’ll see that she’s taking her Bye flanks as habit.  While taking a flank as a habit is probably a bad habit.. if she’s doing it as a habit because she understands the premise i’m ok with it.  She’s not as ok with the Away flank in the opposing pen when i’m not in the right place, but she’s getting there.  At least she’s stopping and taking them, which is a big step.  Molly has always had a problem with proximity, so these ‘little steps’ are big steps.

i’m also working on keeping this fun and reinforcing. She’s super uncomfortable with the pens – remember that everything, the stock, the fences and me – exude pressure.  She doesn’t do pressure well. It doesn’t help that the more i watch these, the more i realize that i’m not letting her control her sheep.  Lots of Lie’s and Lie Downs in all the wrong places.  Which leads to alot of the blown off downs. meh.  Something for next week. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Not Crazy, We’re Hardcore

  1. When I watch video of myself training or coaching owners, there are plenty of moments where I cringe. You’re right, video is a brutally honest teacher. I’ll have to make time to come out to Fido’s with you soon. I’d love to watch you and Molly in person.

    • I’d love to have you come out with us! I’m sure other people would also appreciate video from a location other than the nearest post. 😉 I’ve signed up for the Fido’s Ranch Fun Trial on the 19th if you’re interested. I’m sure that will produce lots of ‘teaching moments’… LOL

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