Hopefully you won't be the first handler to the post (keep your fingers crossed!). Watch the sheep and the handlers before you, and see if the sheep are light or heavy and where they want to run to. Watch each run and think about how you and your dog would react in the same situation, and about where to place your dog. Don't let your dog watch as he should be able to easily spot the sheep on a novice course and you don't want him wound up. Novice runs usually go by very fast, so concentrate on keeping your dog back, and flanking slowly. Watch the ranch and open classes to help you see how the sheep and dogs react to different situations and how other, more experienced, people get their work done.