Category Archives: Musings

Herding – April 6, 2013

I was supposed to be at agility trial in Thunder Bay this weekend…but low entries led to a trial cancellation. While disappointing and distressing I was *gasp* left with a free weekend. This gave me the opportunity to get one more herding class in before the herding clinic on the 19th.

I spent most of the class trying to figure out where I should be in relation to the sheep and when I should leave Bear to work. Apparently I have been in the way and to be honest, it always often feels that way. As usual, our second run was better than the first, likely because Bear is tired.

Today, however, with some great guidance, I got a few minutes of some nice calm work from Bear . Calm for him, that is. Now the challenge is for me to do what I need to do to keep it that way. Aside from calmness being easier on the sheep (and me) it will also the difference between a higher score and a lower score in a trial.

Today’s experience reminds me a lot of when I learned to drive a standard car. I knew what I should be doing, I knew how it should be done, I could get the car in gear occasionally but I lacked the timing and coordination to pull it off consistently until I had practiced (and stalled out) many times.

Unfortunately, the real problem with herding is not getting the mechanical timing right but coordinating the movements of living, breathing things with tiny brains – some of whom would rather be in another pasture, one of whom thinks wool tastes awesome!


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Filed under Herding, Musings, Training

Trial Season Insanity: Can I avoid it?


I have posted very little in the past few months.

My training with Bear has been neglected due to work related and personal things. we’ve been doing a bit of trick stuff here and there at work, but nothing even remotely structured. Now that spring is here and our first trial of the season in a few months, I have trying to plan carefully.

You see, I have this problem of entering a kajillion trials and tests in the spring and early summer and then hating myself by the end of September.

The scenario goes like this: I have a fabulous weekend out at a trial and then one week later things at home and fall behind: Laundry piles threaten to take over the bedroom, dish piles threaten to take over the kitchen, I eat out more than I should (which begs the question – how did those dish piles get there). In addition to the housework avalanche, getting up at 5:30am becomes more difficult than it already is and I spend many drives home from work in tears – because I am tired and over stretched – and I have only myself to blame!

Not. This. Year.

This means that I need to make sure I don’t do something stupid like book 8 weekends of events in a row. I also need to plan better for my precious weekday evenings. My goal is to plan to be home at least two weekends a month – every other weekend if I can – and so far, I have been plugging events into my google calendar keeping this in mind.

With Sean out of commission for 4 out of the past 6 months, most of the cooking/cleaning and laundry has fallen to me and I have learned that preparation goes a long way towards reducing my weekday stress. I spend a few hours on the weekend cooking lunches for the rest of the week and wash, dry and fold laundry all in one go pass the vacuum around the house and things don;t seem to get too far out of control. Miraculously, in the past few months this has become habit and I have free time on weekday evenings that I have not has since I opened Prairie Dog Daycare.

Am I the only one that drives myself insane doing something I love? Is there anyone in the world who can do it all…or do these people just exist in my head?

Hopefully all this planning will reduce the fall insanity a teeny tiny bit. if not, you knowhow they say, “admitting you have a problem is the first step”? I figure I can always try for the second step next year if things go horribly wrong in a few months…right? RIGHT!?!?!

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Filed under Goal Setting, Health & Safety, Musings, Problem Solving