Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scott Glen shedding clinic

Hope, Kate and I just got back from Scott and Jenny Glen's. Kate came along for the ride so that she could get some experience working on different fields as well as picking up sheep off of a set out crew. However, the real reason for the trip was a shedding clinic at Scott and Jenny's. 

I can't say enough good things about the clinic. Scott did a fantastic job of breaking down the skills needed for a good shed, and the improvement in dogs and handlers was remarkable.

 Some of the volunteers who helped make the weekend a smashing success. 

With Scott's instruction and pointers, as well as the opportunity to watch shed after shed, Hope and I went from flying in, not knowing which way to turn, and creating havoc  to calm, turning on to sheep with authority. I really started to ENJOY shedding with him and given that the reason why he was flying is was because I was setting things up so poorly to begin with, I'm pretty sure that Hope has now started to enjoy shedding with ME as well. 

Shannon Fritze and Scott discuss strategy while Ben waits for instruction. 

The weather was perfect, the hospitality was fantastic, the company was great all round and the instruction was outstanding - what more could you ask for. 

Please Sir - can I have some more?


Monday, June 21, 2010

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Or close to it! We got back from our Jasper trip last night. We had such a great time we stayed an extra day. I've got a couple of days to catch up on things around here and then I'm off again on Wednesday. 

Jasper. A town where the high school kids still ride BICYCLES to school.

As usual we got off the pavement as much as possible.

Took time to smell the flowers. 

And found great places for lunch.

 Summit of Wilcox pass.

Wilcox pass looking down on the Athabasca Glacier. 

The boys played in the snow.

 on the foot of the Athabasca Glacier.

We took in a bit of culture.

Mighty warrior!

Native headdress - past and present.

We can't wait to do it again this September!

Next stop, down to Scott and Jenny's for a shedding clinic as well as a chance to catch up with friends I haven't seen since last fall.  Right after that my trial season starts. YEAH - it's SUMMER! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting off the property

Our field, being shaped an awful lot like a runway strip, isn't a very good place to work on outruns. Lucky me, my neighbour Don owns a fair bit of land in the valley and he lets me trailer sheep over to his fields to train. I can use whatever field the cows aren't in.

In the past I've happily trained on this field. 

and not so happily trained in this field. 

Here's a reminder in case you've forgotten.

When I mentioned my misadventures to Don, he replied with something along the lines of "Lord, why would you want to work in that field when there's a 100 acre field just past it?" 

So...this week I went "just past it". 


It was a "pushing past the coats in the wardrobe" kind of drive. 


and coming out of the other side of the wardrobe...this.


Yep. That should do. 

The "We don't need no stinking dogs!" gang.

The sheep were "WE'RE FREEE!!!"  light so the dogs got a good work out, and the field is pretty typical for around here, with lots of hills and dips that don't really show up well in photos. These hills and dips led to lots of good "learning experiences" such as coming in way too tight and below where the sheep really were, or getting lost in the dips and and coming out about 150 yards too far past the sheep. Yep. LOTS of opportunity for "learning". 

Bruce pretending to be interested in the sheep. 

When really he was only interested in this.
Tired + Dirty = Happy Dogs

We'll definitely be heading back there on a regular basis. 
Speaking of "Getting off the property" - we're heading to Jasper for a week and half of camping with a bit of hiking and a whole lot of laziness. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You two look good together

Gramma has beaten the odds. She's 87, fell and broke her hip, and less than three months later she's back to living on her own. 

While Suzie has enjoyed her "country vacation" here, she was thrilled to be returned to Gramma today.  Gramma was pretty tickled herself.