Had a nice day working dogs today, although the weather didn't cooperate. It was clear when I left home, and pouring by the time I got to Carnation. I ended up soaked to the skin.
Had 2 nice lessons; a GSD who was having his second lesson, and a BC who had been on stock perhaps 4 times before. Both dogs were easy to school and have handlers who are dedicated to learning.
I had a chance to work dogs so put some time on Ben, Nan (visiting), Faye, Tess (because she was pouting) and of course my Lucy.
All the dogs worked nicely. Ben struggles with being relaxed and thoughtful enough to find balance. He would rather close his eyes and just flank-like-hell. While he is nice and square, that won't get the job completed ;) We worked in the lower pasture on being more natural and feeling balance. I kept him off his sheep enough so that he was starting to use a bit more method and eye rather than wanting to wear. It was a good work.
Nan is progressing. She would really rather go on the bye side than anything else. We worked in the lower pasture on going both directions. When she is focused, she has nice feel and she is naturally square. I pushed her out of her comfort zone a bit and it paid off with her going nicely both directions and switching from the bye side to the away side without a swallowtail.
Faye and Tess are easy to work and both listened well.
Lucy was working nicely, thoughtful and quite a bit of come forward. After some course work and sorting for lessons, we worked a bit on shedding. With so many farm flocks to trial on around here, sometimes the dog must come in on a gap that is tiny, or doesn't really exist. Lucy was doing terrific. She was holding one particularly tough shed and ewe #6 (white #6) decided she was NOT playing along and launched straight into the air to jump OVER the dog. This was a mistake on the part of #6. Lucy met her in the air, gripping the belly (meep). She then dove in front of #6 who was now reconsidering her escape and turned her neatly back onto me. After our work I did clean up a small slice (2") on #6's belly. I think she will be just fine.
I SO wish I'd had a video or a picture of that. It was truly spectacular. I am always amazed at how fearless these dogs can be sometimes. I'm fairly certain that if someone 5x my size was launching in mid-air over me, I wouldn't be brave enough to meet them in the air.
Diane's new horse is obsessed with Lucy. She would not leave her alone. I could not leave her tied to the fence, I had to tie her outside the pasture to a separate part of the fence as Maggie was sniffing, nibbling and nearly stepping on Lucy. Maggie also tried to step on Lucy through the fence when she was tethered on the other side as well as reaching her head waaaay over the fence to try and get in a nibble. I am not sure what this is all about. Maggie was very sweet to me and very obedient about everything except leaving the dog alone. Any ideas?