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Wish us luck,; our first time at the post

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This is very heartbreaking to read. I listened to a radio interview with a welsh farmer who lost so many ewes and lambs due to the late snow. It was so utterly heartbreaking. I hope so much the things will get better finally.


We have one breed in Poland "olkuska" sheep that is know for giving multiple births, often triplets, and sometimes even 4-5 lambs. For ouessants - it's good they have only one, they are so tiny. The other day when I had to move a ewe, I just took her lamb in one hand, tucked mommy under my arm and off we went :)

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  • 5 months later...

Summer came and went (and was not bad at all), and yesterday I talked to someone from the organization and asked her about the postponed trial, and if there was any hope it would be held before winter strikes.

To my surprise she said they are going to give it another try in November. No promises, it all depends on weather, availability of sheep and contestants, but hey, I´ll keep my fingers crossed.

If it is going to be held it will be on short notice (what else is new, that´s just how things are usually done here in Iceland...).

I know, said it before, but I´ll keep you posted.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, I hardly dare post this because I am afraid to jinx it, but here goes anyway;


I just heard today there is a small trial in the planning, not at the same place I talked about above, but actually nearer to us; a measly 70 km, virtually next door.

Weather permitting it will be held the 23th or 24th of November, so fingers crossed.


It will still be our first time at the post, and we will probably start in the "young dog group".


I hope I can do a couple of training sessions this weekend and the coming week, If I could manage about three it would be nice, I´ll use the training group (they are one and a half year old) that have been more or less dogged over the summer.

Might be a good idea to try out the (completely non dogged) lambs who got to live, born this spring.


Oh well, there will probably be a blizzard anyway... <_<

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Hope the small nearby trial is a go. They tend to be informal and fun, and more people you know.


Just before a trial, I have tended to hurriedly emphasize some skill I have neglected. For me, big mistake. I suggest, in preparation, training/sharpening what your dog knows, and introduce new stuff (if any) when you return. Dogs with excellent "downs" generally rise to the top in competition. Of course, do what works. You know your dog and circumstances best.


Have fun and best wishes. -- TEC

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Well Maja the weather so far has been ridiculous; Between days ranging from +7 one day to -10 the next. Yesterday we had heavy winds. But hardly any snow, The forecast is good and I heard yesterday the trial will be held tomorrow (Saturday the 23th).

Due to the short notice (just one week), short days and the bad weather conditions we haven´t had a chance to practice, but after I complete this post I will put out four of my "exercise sheep" to do a little warming up.

Needless to say I am quite excited...

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And back from the practice session; Did not go thát well, but that was not unexpected; the sheep are stabled, and this means that taking four out and train on the field really nearby gives a huge draw. Not easy.

Does not really matter, the reason was to get Gláma working a bit so she does not get too excited tomorrow, working sheep after a rather long break. At least she took the commands well, and her outruns were okay.


I know Gláma´s weaker points (that I think all revolves around a certain lack of self confidence).

If we draw sheep that are tough cookies we will be in serious trouble, on the other hand if they are flighty runners there is a better chance we will be able to make it around the course.

I know the farm where the trial will be held, and the sheep have a sound respect for dogs so I am hoping for the best.


The weather forecast says it will be bright and pretty cold, not much wind, so very good for this time of year.


My main goal is to have fun, my secondary is not to embarrass myself (too much :rolleyes: ). And I will be over the moon if we can make around the course hopefully including penning...


Oh yeah, Gláma is too old for the "young dog group", so we will start in the B group; for dogs with little or no trialling experience. Pretty standard course, but without spliiting (this is required in the A group).


However it turns out, I will report it here.

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I will be waiting for the news! I know from my own experience that sometimes a dog at home is a different thing than on stranger sheep. I had thought that Bonnie was not pushy enough and when I started going to trials I saw that she can really put the fear of Dog into sheep. So I think, Glama may have more trouble at home than elsewhere. I hope everything will go well for you two!

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Okay, our first trial is behind us.

In short, we came, saw and ehm, well crashed.


Not as bad as in my worst fears, but we didn´t clear the course. Conditions on the field were pretty rough, heavy wind against the direction of the fetch (at least one wasn´t shouting/whistling in the wind).


Her outrun was okay, wide enough, no crossing over and she positioned herself good behind the sheep. But we immediately got in trouble.


The field is by the seaside and it has a row of minor dunes during the lift the sheep drifted to the side and disappeared from my view behind one of them....They did not reappear. This were some pretty desperate moment for me especially knowing Gláma is not strong in this department.


My wife told me afterwards she had lifted them and then went in her default problem, immediately heading them causing confusion in the sheep. I can manage this more or less when I am quick enough, and see what is going on.


Well chaos followed with Gláma circling the sheep at the top, but miraculously (who knows, maybe my blind random commands even did something...) she fetched them, and came down the course with them more or less in my general direction (do I need to say the sheep missed the fetch gate?), by now the sheep are pretty frustrated, one can hardly blame them.


Gláma does gain some confidence in my presence, and I can steer them acceptably around the post , sadly just missing the second gate and turn them into to cross drive, also into the wind. The sheep are not happy, and by now are thoroughly fed up with my dog that does not command a whole lot of respect (this is an understatement).


Before we reach the last gate things come to a grinding hold. The sheep decide they have had enough and stop moving. I try everything, half flanks to and fro hoping to pry them loose. I call my dog back ten, twenty meters, then flanking her around again, nothing works. Knowing I must have timed out anyway I walked to Gláma and led her and the sheep of the field. Pity we didn´t get a chance to try and pen, but I do realize that it had been hopeless anyway.


The funny part (and also slightly embarrassing I can tell you) that all tough we ran pretty lousy , no doubt worst of all the dogs on the field, we brought home the third price of the B group complete with an actual shiny trophy :rolleyes: . Of course the simple reason being that there were only three dogs running in that group. My kids (eight and six) were at least very pleased about that!


I must say, I did have a lot of fun. It was great to see the other dogs run. The quality of dogs was pretty good, a lot better than when I was a spectator at this trial a couple of years age (then a lot of dogs wrecked even worse than I did today).


It also leaves me with some contemplation about Gláma, and her weak points (which are imo revolving around a general lack of self confidence).

I am happy that your dog turned out stronger away from home rather than weaker Maja, but it certainly doesn´t work that way for us (and I think your dog is rather the exception).

A friend of mine who was assisting at this trial has her halfsister (older dog, same sire) and told me his dog has similar issues, he had not succeeded in training them out (for what its worth).


Well, now I go mix a drink: to toast the third price I won on my very first trial :lol:

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Isn't it amazing what we put ourselves through for something that we *want* to do? At least that's how I feel after moving cattle this evening, which was a combination of nice work on one or the other dog's part and dogs sometimes not listening to me/me not knowing where the fence opening was (or wasn't, as one opening was not opened like it should have been)/having along a non-working third dog on leash. It was a train wreck of a work with moments of beauty.


I'm glad that through all of it, I think you had a good time and learned some good things.

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You sound like my DH :D . I was saying something to him about Darinka and he said: "No, you've got it wrong, it's Bonnie who's weird and she ruined you. It is Darinka that is normal" :lol:


Anyhow, Bonnie DQed her first trial :lol: . The sheep ran away :ph34r: . But keeping the fun in it is the most important thing I think, and enjoying the other dogs and people. It is one single advantage of me starting with sheep late in life - I don't have the same type of ambition as many younger people have.


So congratulations! I'm so glad you finally did it in spite of the ornery Icelandic climate.

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To me it showed strength that Glama fetched the sheep from out-of-sight in the dunes. Good going. I think Glama deserved a mixed drink, as well :) I can just see you two, relaxed and kicked-back, discussing your day. Congratulations. -- TEC

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