|2/07-10/11Nothing much to write on these days. I do use either Tait or Kane to take the steers to pasture and then to put them back into the barn at night. But now the steers know the routine. I think they would march either out or back without a dog. Still I use a dog just to keep them thinking.
I arrived at Moses Lake around 11 AM. By noon I was dog after dog after dog. The Edwards obtained a few Holsteins to practice on and we just had to exercise them. After working the older dogs Kane, Tait an Ruby I began on the younger dogs. I love this little chore. You get to see the natural abilities in each dog. You can learn a lot from these youthful critters. Then I try to go about a plan of making each look good to their owners by emphasizing these natural traits. Some have super square flanks, some use a lot of eye, ability to read its stock, you want to work with these and be careful to not train out what is a natural god given gift. One youngster had all of these traits, gifts, plus an inordinate amount of power. His name is Chavo, a son out of my dog Kane X Ruby. The Edwards and I decided to buy this pup back and train him ourselves.
Chavo is a large boned dog, at a year and a half he probably weights around 50 lbs. Traditional Black and White Border Collie colors. One ear kind of flaps over while the other stands during work. He has a strong eye but not sticky at all. He pivots on his hind leg making a perfectly square flank which he maintains till he catches the eye of the animal he is wanting to turn. Never once did he use crash and burn tactics. I was working him in the round pen and he calmly slipped under the rails to widen out. I was simply stunned by all this ability without much pressure or training. On one of his out of the pen covering the stock adventures he noticed 21 head of cattle heading towards the barn. He promptly left me and went wide around these new found objects of joy. Down the alley way to collect a few that had entered already and calmly with confidence, lifted and brought them to where I was standing. In a matter of that few seconds I decided I would change my mind about owning another big hairy dog. This talented dog is now in my kennel and I can’t hardly wait to start working him. As a matter of fact I bought him three new steer calves to work with. I’m Stoked!
We awoke to trucks and trailers coming in for the trial. I slept very fitful awaking every few minutes anyhow. We got up and got ready for the handlers meeting. The course started off with what appeared to be a difficult drive through a Y-chute- then there was a dead end obstacle they called a mousetrap enter one direction and exit another without any handler help. Next was also from the handlers line a large trap type area with and easy exit and a harder Y-chute out the middle , also done without handlers assistance. Once that was completed there was a T-chute that appeared easy along the wall. That T-chute was our un-raveling. Same course both days with fresh cattle for every draw. The dogs and I almost got it done but for some reason that darn T-chute killed us both days. The horse Annie was working like a dream. Kane and Tait was taking their commands without fail. This leaves me wondering what I could/should of done differently.
My friend Gaynor Edwards with her dog Ruby was the lone bright spot of the trial scoring a perfect 180 score Sunday, taking first place with ease. Hmmm maybe I should get T-chute lessons from her. I do truly love it when someone I’m working with kicks my butt!!!
Worked dogs in the morning at Kelvin’s place, loaded the new steers up and headed home. I was worn out after the weekend and all the driving, glad to be Home!