I’m really starting to get hyped up. The Klamath Bull Sale dog trials is coming up fast now. Only three more days away. I used Tait to move the steers out to pasture. Today he was driving straight as an arrow reading exactly the right amount of pressure from barn to pasture. I love it when the dog shows he knows his business. This puts the absolute least amount of stress on the stock. Once they walked through the gate Tait turned and walked back to me without any command. He knew exactly what his job entailed today and did it to perfection. When Tait reads and reacts in this manner there is very few dogs that can compare to him.
I used Kane to put the stock away tonight. He also was working really quietly, calmly. The steers moved in a smooth straight line from pasture to barn. His maturity is beginning to shine through. If he keeps working like this watch out Klamath falls.
Loaded up around 8 this morning and headed for Moses Lake. Today we are going to look at a horse then go work some cattle with the dogs. Tait and Kane hasn’t been on any really active cattle this year to date. We arrived at Kelvin’s place around noon, he has 21 head of fresh cattle to expose the dogs to. I was getting excited just driving up the driveway. If I’m like this, wonder how the dogs feel? I think if the truth is known, we all love/crave the adventure we are fixing to partake in. The dogs and I enjoy the challenges beyond the belief of most human beings. Common normal folks just couldn’t understand the camaraderie that these dogs and myself have.
Taits up first, he slides out wide, real wide and comes in deep at the top side ,easily picking up all 21 head. He made it look like he has been doing this daily instead of healing for the past two years. He applied pressure in a manner to not scatter the cattle but push them in a true line towards where I’m standing. I was worried he might revert back to his old move or I’ll kill you ways. He kept his composure till they reached the entry to the corral area. At this point they no longer wanted to move forward. I let Tait grip a few times and even though we were getting the results needed I decided I didn’t want to encourage him gripping. I sent Kane out to cover the other side and the cattle had little choice but to enter the alley way. Gosh I love watching these dogs perform. By the time we left both of the boys were doing their jobs and making it look easy. No blood spilt at all, every challenge answered with calm, confident, no nonsense attitudes. Once again I’m feeling very confident about the Klamath Bull Sale Trial. Ruby the Edwards dogs also looked very impressive. I’ve got to worry for when Gaynor/Ruby moves up to Open, they are going to be a team to recon with, Roger/Toby team beat us last year. I spent the night at the Edwards place so we could travel together and get an early start.
6-AM comes early, it’s still dark outside. There’s a bunch of activity with all of us rushing to get the truck packed for the road. We head out with all four dogs loaded in crate headed for Kelvin’s place. Yep the guy, Kelvin, who owns the practice cattle also owns a son of Kane and Ruby, is going to Klamath with us. Once we finally hit the road there was four people and four dogs in the truck with enough equipment for us to survive for a few days. 10 hours later we are safe and sound in Klamath Falls at the arena where the trail will take place. We met up with our friends Don and Janie for dinner and head to the house for a nights sleep. Handlers meeting is at 8AM tomorrow morning.
2/03/11 Klamath Bull Sale Cow Dog Championships
Wow its morning already. I must of really been sawing logs. I guess the long drive got to me a little. Well I’m fresh and ready to go this morning, we get our coffee and make it over to the arena. OH GOODY Kane has drawn first up!!! Shezzzzzzzz we are starting to get used to being first. I must of made the draw gods mad at me. “Oh well” I’m still feeling very confident and 9 minutes is a long time.
Now I’m feeling bad, because I can’t remember Janie’s horses name. This is the second year we have all rode this Mustang of hers and I can’t remember its name, gosh I’m getting old. The mare is a thick Palomino colored horse. Very pretty really. She is kind of hyper acting and maybe a tiny bit jittery on account of having me aboard. I have the unique ability to make a pretty fair horse look pretty bad. My horsemanship could do for quite a lot of improvement.
Like I said I was feeling confident as I rode to the handlers line and took my place. The course is challenging but doable in my mind. They were having trouble getting our cattle to settle, running them up and down the arena. I’m starting to worry they will get them heated up ready to run the whole nine minutes. Finally they settle and I send Kane. They wanted to follow the riders instead of going towards the high point side of the panels. I was working on calming them down so really didn’t want Kane chewing on their noses. Kane was awesome, he would walk straight into their face without gripping. He was holding pressure like a dream. We were starting to take a long time to make the fetch line but the cattle have relaxed and are slowly coming on the high point side. I knew soon I could add pressure with the horse, so I still wasn’t having Kane chewing on them. Just as they were starting to cross the fetch line a buzzer went off and people were hollering, don’t worry you still have five minutes just go on. I was thinking, how could I of not known there was a fetch time limit. Right there I was feeling pretty darn silly because if you went and helped you still got half points. I knew we had lost so many points that there was not a chance to make it into the finals. This is some of the best dogs and handlers on the West Coast, so my hopes were to say the least deflated. I just wanted to finish my run and go lick my wounds. I felt I had let Kane down. I wanted to cry when I heard the score of 47. Sorry Kane, you gave your heart to me, I’m still proud of you.
With a heavy heart I went to watch the next run with Roger. He was telling me some of the good things he saw happen. I love the Edwards they have always boosted me up when I’m a bit gloomy after runs. The second dog was also having troubles getting across the fetch line and I was expecting to hear the buzzer any second. I ask Roger, why didn’t the buzzer go off at four minutes like it did for me?? Well Ron there isn’t a time limit on the fetch. Wait, wait a minute here! Well why did I get a buzzer and people start rushing me then? Roger explained the buzzer was a “accident” and wasn’t really for a fetch time limit. I told Roger well you do realize that buzzer cost me over 60 points don’t you? Roger agreed with me and told me to go talk to the people putting on the trail about it.
I went and talked to Billy Ward who sent me to Julia Williams. She told me they would have a conference and let me know the findings in a few minutes. Wooohoooo they decided Roger was right and Kane deserved a re-run.
They decided to do the re-run in the #7 spot. Vic has said ever since the 2008 cow dog finals that #7 was our lucky spot. Well Kane didn’t disrupt her numerology theory and scored plenty of points (123) to make the final round.
Tait was in the #11 spot. He still hasn’t really worked enough since coming back from the injury for me to be really positive about his work ethics. I know when he is working with me instead of forcing his point across to the stock he is hard to beat. He has been listening really well and holding pressure without giving his super hard grips, so I entered very confident with him also. Once again I think with a 9 minute limit I have the time to develop a trust with the cattle, especially if we don’t chew on them without cause. A coupe of times Tait did push them with a grip, it was in a assertive but calm manner as to not flush them and kept them moving in the direction needed. Tait also made the finals with a nice score of 125. Now I’m really feeling good, “BOTH” of my dogs made the finals.
Now to really get my EGO just a tiny bit over inflated——–Ruby and
Gaynor made the finals. Coal and Janie also made the finals. The thing that made this so neat is that these two people are dear friends of mine and I was lucky enough to get to help them in the training of a couple of pretty fine little dogs. At this point no matter what happens in the finals I feel like a winner.
OH MY GOD I retch into the hat and pulled out the #1 spot to run with Kane. Did I mention that the draw gods must be angry with me for some reason. Well now I’m thinking its not me they are angry with its KANE!! hahaha “Oh Boy” with Tait I pulled out Vickye’s lucky #7. The course is reversed and we are ready to go.
KANE running #1 spot
I’m really pretty calm as I ride into the arena. I know Kane could with the right cattle ace this course. He has been working exceptionally well and I can’t think he’ll be any different now. They bring his cattle out and start to the far end of the arena. One a Herford was a really good looking animal. He was thick and had a bullish looking thick neck and shoulders. As he was walking toward the end of the arena I was looking to see if he was still intact. It appeared he was a steer from my vantage point. Twice they had to reset the cattle because they wanted to follow the riders back to the set out pens. The third time they settled and I sent Kane. They wanted to come on the cheap point side of the arena so I had Kane head them on the fly. I was so impressed with his flank because he moved off the stock in a perfect ark, not causing them to speed up or wanting to fight. He calmly marched them to the high point side and brought them around and across the fetch line, we scored high points till we retch the center pen. All of a sudden the thick Herford that I wanted, decided it didn’t want to play. The other two simply waited for me to open the gate and just walked in. Now I’m keeping track on the time clock. It seems like we have been after this Herford steer for hours. I took it to the last second. Once I figured we had time to barely make the exhaust pen I decided to move on without penning the Herford. No way could we have a perfect score now. We made the exhaust with 5 tics left on the clock. Talk about cutting it close! Kane scored a respectful “118” still that left lot of points out there.
Tait running #7 spot
Once again I’m very calm and collected as I ride into the arena. Tait has been working like a dream. If he keeps it up and I don’t flub up my part we should score well. Of course you have to figure in a Herford now and then. This time the cattle settled right on cue and the riders rode out. Tait was doing a perfect outrun when the cattle started to move so I stopped him and gave a walk up command. Without any fuss they moved to the high point side of panels and came around and across the fetch line. I didn’t look at the clock but it could of only taken a few seconds time wise. Now we are working on the sort and everything is setting up perfect. We pointed on the high scoring cow and the next two is set up to near perfection as one started out the sort. Swoosh the second cow rushed passed the leader and both cows came out. Now I have to decide whether to retry or go on. Okay I decide instead of making a fight to go on and loose the five points. The high point side took three attempts at the drive panels, but I knew we needed them after loosing the 5 points on the sort. On the third attempt they flowed through like I had pictured they were suppose to. I was set up perfectly for a straight shot at the pen. Holy smokes this was an easy pen. Was so perfect it looked like those steers wanted in that pen. I knew we had forever to make this sort inside the pen so now I’m taking my time. I knew we could finish the course, as long as I maintained my composure. We sorted out the single and put the other two out the opposite side of pen and had them set up for the exhaust. This has been a run where the flow was never once broken, the kind most handlers dream of having. Tait has remained in total control without roughing anything up. He has taken every single command without fuss. As we put the cattle into the exhaust pen I knew he was in the money. He scored a very nice “128”. in a little over 6 minutes. The only points lost was when ‘I” let the cow escape on the sort. Sorry Tait that was on me buddy. That score moved Tait into first place with two runs left to go.
on pens and needles
Two of the best handlers and dogs on the West Coast is yet to run. Here I am wishing they have good runs but at the same time my nature is wanting to win. So I’m rooting or cheerleading for my competition. The funny thing about this sport is, the team most deserving to win almost always comes out on top. Today as Vickye’s lucky number 7 would have it——–Tait won it all—–taking first place in the Open division against some mighty stiff competition. Oh MY GOD my #1 Kane took third place. This sure has turned out to be an awesome dream type trial!!! I’m certainly going to be hard to ride home with. I might need to buy a new Cow Boy hat just to fit my swollen head hahaha!!!! I have no doubt got a new BELT BUCKLE big enough to hold up my pants, thanks to Tait.
My friend Gaynor also received a Sparkly new Buckle in Rancher with her wonder dog Ruby. Way to go team Wooooooo Hoooooooooo
My Friend Janie got a check for her first showing in the Open division with her beautiful Black Kelpie dog Coal. I am so proud of my friends!!!!! By golly life is super good too me!!!!!!! I am truly a fortunate man.