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First Pro-Novice Run

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I am very excited and nervous I am entering my first trial at the Pro-Novice level. I ran in my first USBCHA trial last July at Geri Abrams's Free To Be Ranch in Novice and was way over prepared and did better then I expected. I was holding back entering pro-novice until I had my whistles trained and stretched out our outruns and driving distances. We have a a solid stop, walk and recall whistle and are training flank whistles right now and should be good by the trial. I am sending my entry to the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp SDT in Hotchkiss, CO and I have heard it can be a tough trial to get in to. It also looks like it might be a tougher trial in general but it looks like a lot of fun. I just wanted to post because I am excited to take the leap to the higher level and I have learned so much from reading these boards and any advice on this trial in particular would be greatly appreciated. I haven't even got in yet so this might be premature ;)/>.

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These are learning classes so if things start going badly, leave the post to help your dog be correct with the sheep. Learning to be correct with the sheep is worth much more than any placing at any trial.

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I am very excited and nervous I am entering my first trial at the Pro-Novice level. I ran in my first USBCHA trial last July at Geri Abrams's Free To Be Ranch in Novice and was way over prepared and did better then I expected. I was holding back entering pro-novice until I had my whistles trained and stretched out our outruns and driving distances. We have a a solid stop, walk and recall whistle and are training flank whistles right now and should be good by the trial. I am sending my entry to the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp SDT in Hotchkiss, CO and I have heard it can be a tough trial to get in to. It also looks like it might be a tougher trial in general but it looks like a lot of fun. I just wanted to post because I am excited to take the leap to the higher level and I have learned so much from reading these boards and any advice on this trial in particular would be greatly appreciated. I haven't even got in yet so this might be premature wink.gif.

 

Hi,

The pro-novice class at Hotchkiss is a GIANT leap from the novice-novice class at Free to Be. The novice class at Geri's is held in a tiny arena with dog-broke farm flock. The pro-novice class at Hotchkiss is on the same field as the open class (which is not huge by Western standards, but it is tricky). The sheep are the same lightly dogged range sheep the open dogs run on. The outrun for the novice class at Geri's is maybe 75 yards. At Hotchkiss the PN course is about 200 yards, and there is a drive away and full cross drive. None of this is meant to scare you or discourage you from entering, just to prepare you that Hotchkiss PN is a huge step up from novice at Free to Be. Hotchkiss does offer a novice class, which is more difficult than Geri's novice class because it is on the same range sheep and field (though the course is much smaller) as the other classes, so that's an option. Also, you'll have a much better chance of getting in if you run in the novice class. But I haven't seen your dog, so perhaps you guys are way ready for pro-novice at this trial--in which case, good luck! At the very least, you'll learn a ton. I'm hoping to get in as well with my Meg dog. smile.gif

 

ETA: I'd ask the judge whether it is okay before going up and helping your dog if he gets into trouble. That is sometimes frowned upon out here in any class but nursery or novice-novice.

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Thank you guys! I feel we are prepared for the increase in distance we have been practicing a lot! I am going to a clinic this weekend with Diane Deal and I hope she can help me pin point some things to sharpen up for the trial. I am more concerned with timing out at the trial, my dog drives really well and is getting better every day but he is still a little unsure and tends to be overly cautious. I have been working a lot just letting him take sheep and trying to not control everything every step of the way which has really increased his confidence. I am also definitely not afraid to leave the post to help him or reinforce our training.

 

Laurae, are you entering pro-novice or open with your dog? I sent in my entry today, so we will see if I get in! If I don't I will probably enter the trial in Durango, CO. I also hope to go to Geri's again and run her open ranch course. It seemed like a real challenge last year and looked like a lot of fun.

 

Thanks again for the words of encouragement and advice!

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Pro-novice. I am going to try to got o Keith's trial, too--I hope to see you at one or both of these trials. I might try to go to Geri's trial in June as well, depending on which trials I get into. :)/>

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Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

A couple weeks ago, Jack Knox was judging a trial I ran in and I couldn't help thinking how excited I'd been taking my first sheepdog Pip to our first clinic.

 

Such a wonderful adventure. I envy you.

 

Donald McCaig

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Well the trial is a couple weeks away and I am very excited! I worked my dog in the open fields in Flagstaff last weekend and he looked really great. He did some huge outruns and made it clear he will have no issues with the increased outrun distances. He was taking all my whistles and I was able to really free him up on the fetch which was really great since it has been something we have struggled with. I can't wait to see how are training holds up at the trial. Ill look forward to meeting some of you there and at Free to Be in June. My trainer took some pictures of us working that I will post once I figure out how :P

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