First open run
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:18 AM
I've entered my first open run with Sweep the horrible Broom. I've done one as N/C and finished ok.
And this one I've entered is a field I know.
I kept a coke in my vest pocket, opened, so I can wet my whistle so to speak before I start. But last time I spilled it running towards the pen.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:39 AM
Maybe skip the can of soda and use a bottle with a snap top that you can close when not in use. (Though seriously, unless you have a real problem with a dry mouth, consider leaving the drinks at the gate.)
Don't worry about who might be watching.
Don't let the fact that it's open intimidate you.
Don't worry about placing, just do the best job you can.
I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream. ~Vincent van Gogh
Willow, Farleigh, Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Twist (the troll), Katty Rat, Little Miss Larky Malarky, Phoebe (the rabid possum), Pipit (aka Goober), Ranger Danger, and Kestrel (aka Messy Kessie)
Willow's Rest, Tunis sheep and mule sheep
Willow's Rest Farm blog
Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:43 PM
Celt, Megan, and Dan
"When the chips are down, watch where you step."
"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything." - author unknown
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:02 PM
You guys are great
What happens if I screw up and get freaked
Can I ever go back to pro/novice?
Does the judge tell you how he wants the shed?
You`ll do fine. Have fun but try hard to do the right thing in your mind. Again, have fun!!!!! and remember, WE WE`RE ALL THERE AT SOME TIME AND WE`RE NOT HERE TO JUDGE YOU! (Unless, of course, we are the Judge) Bob Stephens
Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:24 AM
Actually I do try to concentrate on just having a good round and have fun.
I also provide entertainment for the onlookers.
I pulled the pen gate off its hinge
When I couldn't get the gate open because the rope was weird to me.
I noticed the folks watching were all leaning to the right while I was mistakenly taking the sheep on a left turn around the post.
When I said out loud- WTH is this thing? (meaning the maltese cross) I had gotten there late.
When I kept retrying the drive panels until the Jugde stopped me and told me how I needed to move on.
When I sent my dog right when no one else did and soon noticed poor Sweep was swimming. (He did get his sheep.)
When a scottish judge talked to me before my run and I couldn't understand the accent so I simply smiled and stared like I was a Dimwit.
But like I said, I do have fun and it is a great bunch of people!
Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:37 AM
Tea, you'll do just fine! Most of the on-lookers will be rooting you on (at least until you start beating them, ). I'd prefer dryer mouth over copious slobber any day - and the slobber is the one that gets me.
I find that usually once my dog picks up the sheep the nervousness goes away and I forget about everything else.
I was really scared about how I'd deal with being married to Open with my first dog - but then I found out how nice it was to have time to fix things out there, and it was a relief actually.
We'll be cheering you on from here!
Nick, Linc, June, Pia, and Ginger
RIP Zippy (Jan 11, 1994 - April 9, 2012)
Crooks and Crazies
Posted 21 April 2011 - 11:21 AM
The advice to relax is good - but it is much easier said than done.
As long as you do not draw up first in the run order, make sure to watch the runs in front of you carefully. You can learn a lot about how the sheep are going to behave on that particular day and which strategies seem to be working.
If the sheep are being rerun before your run make sure you pay careful attention to how the rerun groups behave. The draws may have changed.
Walk the course - at least the drive and get your line of sight cues identified in advance.
Most importantly - expect your dog to do well - a positive attitude can mean a lot and can transfer to your dog.
Even while expecting to do well - anticipate your dog's realistic trouble spots and be ready to deal with them.
Be proactive as soon as your dog goes wrong - don't simply stand at the post hoping it will get better.
Realize that the pressures are different on the bigger Open courses than they are on PN courses - even on the same field.
Remember the larger space between panels and other obstacles on an Open course actually gives you more time to correct problems.
Most of all - enjoy the experience. It is amazingly fun.
Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:47 AM
I reread these notes as they make me feel better.
I am excited, it is so much fun, and I really enjoy the people.
I haven't been able to practice too much...but have got alot of normal work and alot of shedding work and my friend explained the shed rules kinda to me.
Got a water bottle. (I whistle with my fingers so it really helps if your mouth is not dry.)
So I will let you guys know how it goes.
I just hope I don't confuse the Broom too much.
First run on Scotties, second on the hair sheep.
Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:05 AM
I hope you have a super time. I just started running open a couple years ago. I have a great dog for my first open dog. I trust Blu, I know he will take care of things. I also know if it goes badly it will never go really badly so I don't worry about that - thanks to him.
My suggestion would be to not allow thing to go wrong for long. I am not talking about not straight lines but if the dog is inappropriate or struggling I leave the post. I tend to leave the post to quickly at times but I Hate seeing handlers with a death grip on the post, yelling commands when it is not helping the situation. To heck with the score, and egos, if it is not a good experience for you, the dog and the sheep then the run needs to end. You can see the dogs that are allowed to get away with stuff on a trial field. I want my dogs to know I will come to them anywhere, any time. I will come to help and I will come to "end things" if needed.
When I am out there with my dog I forget all about the other people for the most part and it is simply about my dog and I making the most of the situation and doing our best work every time. Oh yes and Breath.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:55 PM
Before each Open run, I find it helpful to preplan how I am going to command the dog to set up the shed. If going from the pen to the shed, I decide ahead of time which flank to give to get the sheep out of the pen, making sure the dog flanks to cover field pressure before releasing the sheep from the pen. If coming from the cross-drive panels, I preselect which flank to give to get the dog at the pressure point before I enter the shedding ring. Also, study the sheep prior to turning the post. How you turn the post influences how the sheep will react to you once you get them into the shedding ring.
I'm sure this advice is late and i hope you had a great run,
Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:18 PM
I run this Sat and Sun, so I haven't run yet.
Luckily I run kinda in the middle and I know many of the open handlers who are very helpful and kind with advice.
Sweep is working pretty hard at home right now, and I plan on working him lighter on friday.
Thanks everyone for good advice and kind words.
I hope we get around. I am sure we will have fun, and I know Sweep will try his best.
Posted 01 June 2011 - 03:37 PM
It wasn't very good.
And my husband who has heart trouble was ill.
So I had to stratch my Sunday run becausde I was so worried about my poor stoic old Pete the Samurai man.
So This last weekend......not so good.
I will say this tho, people are very kind and helpful.
Next one in 14 days. If Pete is better I will go.
Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:11 PM
I had the same issue with Taff in my PN run.....I galloped up the field to make him listen and down.
The sheep were tough and fast...if any dog was on the muscle, you had problems. Nan scared the bejesus out of the sheep and I I got Roo cranked down to have a decent run. The dog that did good on thise sheep had to be a soft and quiet dog. I realized after running Nan, Roo, Taff and Sava....that none of mine fit that bill.
Come to my place and we will work with 4-6 sheep.....
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