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We competed in a sheepdog trial!

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And thankfully at least Meg's got her head screwed on, because we placed 3rd out of 27 dogs that ran, with a score of 80/100. This was our second-ever trial, and first one in France. I was torturing myself for a good while before the trial. I stress very easily, it's just my personality. I build up a huge sense of dread before I do something that puts me in the spotlight or up for critique. And what is a trial, if not those two things!

 

Anyway, my dog is about a million times more professional about all of this than I ever will be, so she just treated the trial like business as usual. My whistles reflected my anxiety and I saw her taking them with a bit of speed. I have to keep that in mind for next time. I have a feeling Meg and I will be one of those teams where people say "good dog, shame about the handler". :D She truly did carry me in this trial. If I can keep a handle on my nerves, I may just one day meet her demanding expectations.

 

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What a great accomplishment!

I also love your pictures. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, third place in a field of 27, and in your second​ trial, that is something to be (very) proud of.

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Thanks guys!! :D I am deffo very proud of Meg, and will work on myself for the future. :)

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Only your 2nd trial? Thought you'd done more but obviously busy getting on the job experience.

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Fantastic! Your nerves will settle as you become more accustomed to the trialing environment. Enjoy, and good luck in future trials. Keep us posted!

 

Amy

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Yep, mum24dog, our second one. :) First one was the New Handler trial at Derek's back in December, which was a great experience. Oddly I wasn't as nervous then as I was for this one! In between those trials we've done a lambing and had a lot of work needing done on the farm here, so we did get some experience. :)

 

Thanks everyone! The venue was great, beautiful day and in the Lorraine region of France.

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Sometimes I find the first time you do something, because you don't really know what you are getting into, the nervousness does not come as much as it does the second time when you know what to expect.

 

But I am very impressed with your effort, congratulations to both of you!

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Thank you :) Yes, Lawgirl, I think you may be on to something there. I was fairly at ease for Trial #1 but Trial #2 nearly made me sick with worry! Luckily, my dog is a lot better than I am and was able to compensate for her handler's stress.

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That is totally AWESOME!!!

 

I was a total basket case before my first sheepdog trial. I was so afraid I'd be letting my dog down... And every time I read the rules/guidelines, it just made things worse - I could imagine me and my dog doing each thing that would cost points.

 

My sheep mentors recommended a book: "The Nine Secrets of Perfect Horsemanship" . I know, I know, what do dogs and horsemanship have to do with each other? But I read it, and it helped. A LOT. I now can go to the post with the proper attitude in mind. It helped convince me that a trial isn't about me. It's not even about the dog. It's about learning how we can work together.

 

"View every mistake as an opportunity for learning".

 

https://www.amazon.com/Nine-Secrets-Perfect-Horsemanship-Blazer/dp/0966012712

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I think you did a wonderful job, both of you!

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Thank you everyone for your very kind words. And thanks Alchemist, that's a great recommendation. I've seen a couple books on trialling for sale in the ISDS shop so I might give those a look too.

 

I really do not want to let this dog down, she's been amazing, at work, in training, and now in competition. I still can't quite believe she's mine.

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