Jai had 2 runs on the pro-novice field, PLUS a re-run …resulting in 2 retires plus a DQ. The DQ was the Grande Finale, when Thanking Us to get off the field felt really genuine.
The pronovice field was about 400 yards across a plowed wheat field and up a slight incline, down into a draw and finally the last 20 or so yards up a hill where four range ewes were set out of trailers. Two stock trailers, a horse trailer a couple of four wheelers; plus 4 people and 2 dogs. The only thing that was missing was clowns, warped organ music and fireworks.
As far as Jai was concerned it was like storming the beach at Normandy alone. Still, she went. Each time. She went out looking pretty good, but ultimately came in too tight, busted up the sheep and swirling near the trailers occurred. Word at the top was that on the first or second run she actually recovered the sheep but hesitated and lost them again to the trailer suck. The last run she rolled a ewe and then proceeded to chase it around the trailer. Growling.
We have some work to do. DD likes to haul sheep to the desert and work. I'd like to haul some to a carnival.
Pat's runs went better but I still tend to forget to think once I step to a post. Or I forget to think about what I'm DOING. I have a few moments of leisure after sending Pat because that dog is a O/L/F machine. He will bring sheep; they might come fast, but they will come straight. His outrun is beautiful. Four hundred yards gives me plenty of time to day dream or just grab some 'me time'…looking up when I hear hooves.
It's one of the reasons I don't cook. Once something goes into the oven, or onto a burner…well, my job is done. The appliance can do the rest. Sadly, as with my stockdog trialing, I forget how important TIMING can be. That the occasional INTERACTION with the ingredients is crucial.
We made our fetch panels at high speed both times. Then I tried to slow Pat down for the rest of the course and we timed out at the pen. I think I made one of the drive panels, on one of the runs, but I can't remember. Like I couldn't remember to remain standing at the post until he broke the plain of the second drive panels. I just sort of walked away, then remembered 10 feet into it and scurried and hopped my way back.
The judge did NOT DQ me for this or the "SHIT!" that I uttered when I realized. Maybe she didn't hear, or maybe she wanted to see what was next – would I produce bread, some PB&J, and make a sandwich, eat it langorously at the post while Pat held sheep at the pen willing me to come over and OPEN THE GATE?
We only had 7 or 8 minutes. I had no bread.
SO! I have a few days between that trial and the next one.