For not being a terribly busy practice session… it was still an interesting time.
I noticed a few things that’s really aren’t connected in a cohesive line.
1) I’m not supporting Molly consistently on her outruns. I caught myself pushing her outrun too far, too fast. This is especially true on the Bye side where she was cutting in one the top. Need to remember to be present through the entire motion.
2) In doing my homework from last week, I realized that I was not doing it correctly. Molly would be doing her big wide circle and it would turn out elliptical instead of circular. I couldn’t figure it out. When i tried to keep her circle round by pressuring her shoulder, she’d slow down. Eventually she’d stop because my pressure didn’t keep with her speed and would be at her eye. Totally frustrating and not like her to get sucked in to her sheep like that without some kind of reason.Here is the diagram of the homework. Molly is the outside line of the circle. The shaded part should be the sheeps bubble and the cross marks are where Molly is stopping (approx) on the circle. Here’s where i flubbed: instead of making the sheep the center, i had made myself the center (haha, i’m the center of everything :p ). This left a confused Molly trying to turn the sheep heads back to me constantly, making an egg shape instead of a circle. Once i made the sheep the center and started to walk around the sheep – more like a bulls-eye and less like a cross-hair, then the circle magically appeared.
It dawned on me that i was doing it wrong because i had briefly seen the exercise on Lynn Leach’s dvd set earlier in the weekend. I was scanning it over before loaning it to a friend. Funny how things just happen like that.
3) i spent most of her lesson working her without a stick. Just using my hands to push her out and pull her in. I made a point of making my words match my motions and only using my hands when i was using my words. Otherwise we perpetuate the dog that does what my hands do, no matter what i say. Not that i own that dog. Eitherway, i like to work her this way occasionally when i have stressful weeks. Its relaxing, meditative.
4) This was just interesting. I lost track of time during my practice and was doing a little bit of corner work when Molly just turned and left. I turned around to find Erin, her student, and adorable little border collie about 1/2 way up the field and Molly was heading right for them. Inside, i freaked out a little. Molly tends to be a little territorial and this was a very new experience. She was great. She ran around them once had a little sniff, and came back when i called her. In a perfect world she would have ignored them and stuck with her sheep, but for them to be disinterested was perfect.