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Tea

First open run

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Ok

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.

 

Any advice????

 

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.

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Breathe.

 

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.

 

Breathe.

 

Don't worry about placing, just do the best job you can.

 

Breathe.

 

J.

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Enjoy! And know that there are people around who haven't made it out of Novice...

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Just go out there and move your sheep, which you know perfectly well how to do. :) Have fun and admire your dog, because even if he doesn't do everything right he's going to do a lot of things right. Good luck!

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You guys are great

 

breathe

 

What happens if I screw up and get freaked

Can I ever go back to pro/novice?

 

Breathe

 

Does the judge tell you how he wants the shed?

 

Breathe

 

gasp...cough

 

d*** coke

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You guys are great

 

breathe

 

What happens if I screw up and get freaked

Can I ever go back to pro/novice?

 

Breathe

 

Does the judge tell you how he wants the shed?

 

Breathe

 

gasp...cough

 

d*** coke

 

 

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

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Don't want the win. ;) Just work your dog to move the stock as efficiently and smoothly as possible. I do 10x better when I keep telling myself that I don't care if I win or lose.

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Good advice Liz

Actually I do try to concentrate on just having a good round and have fun.

 

I also provide entertainment for the onlookers.

 

Like when:

 

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!

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At one of my earlier trials (it was Nursery I believe) I tried to pull the pen gate off at the hinges because I couldn't figure out how to open it. Never did get the sheep in that pen... and had to put one of the hinge bolts back in.

 

Tea, you'll do just fine! Most of the on-lookers will be rooting you on (at least until you start beating them, :lol: ). 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!

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Having made the same move recently I can offer the following.

 

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.

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So now I am two weeks out.

 

 

 

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.

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Best of luck to you and Sweep the Broom (what a great name). No advice from me (would be quite ridiculous, I´m an utter newbie at this) but the aforementioned "keep on breathing" sounds like a good idea to me in any undertaking...

Have fun!

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Dear Ms. Tea,

 

Many years ago Bruce Fogt advised me:

 

"It's the same work you've done so many times before. Go out with your dog and do your work."

 

Good luck.

 

Donald McCaig

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thanks!

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Tea,

 

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.

 

Have fun,

 

Denice

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I'm a bit late to this conversation and you probably already had your run, but i had a few things to add, in general.

 

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,

 

Wendy

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Ahhhhhh

 

 

 

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.

 

Breathe...breathe

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Well my friends, My first N/c run was much better than the chariot race Sweep and I ran this last weekend. It is entirely my fault. I have to get more practice on a few sheep! And then if I freak, not to raise my voice!

 

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.

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I watched your entire run...it wasn't that bad.....Sweep got excited when the sheep bolted at the one point and that is where we all had issues. The bolting sheep didn't help either.

 

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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Thanks Diane!

 

 

 

I will!

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Dear Fellow Sheepdogger,

 

It is my habit to write down in each dog's journal a careful description of every trial run (and every important clinic/coaching session/revelatgory training session). This forces me to focus hard on what actually happened. a good friend watching or videoing are also helpful. Remember, the lessons of defeat are tomorrow's successes.

 

Thus far,in three runs at the Big One and Slash J trials, my new sheepdog Fly has a total combined score of . . . zero.Naturally, I am very encouraged. She is the best outrunner/gatherer I have ever owned and one of the best I have ever seen. She handles stroppy range yearlings wonderfully well. She's a brilliant shedder. We will build on our strengths and next year, she will set these trials on fire.

 

Good luck Miss Tea. See you on down the road.

 

Donald McCaig

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Thanks Old Sheepdogging Geezer.

 

 

 

You are a sweet heart!

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