This weekend I learned a lot about pacing and that Scot is not as young and in shape as he used to be. But then again, who is?
I have come enjoy working set out and general helping at trials more than actual running. This especially true lately as I have come to the probable limits to what Scot will do. He has a serious issue with drives at distance. The actual distance he will actually drive depends on many factors. Some of which are, how tired he is, how tough I am being with him or how likely I am to ‘impose my will.’ Each of these, depending on severity will lengthen or shorten how far he will drive before he decides that he will over flank and begin fetching the sheep back to me. This seriously frustrating as we are now at a level where we MUST consistently drive bigger distances to compete.
Both days we were competing in Pro Novice, but doing set out for Ranch as well as moving the stock around prior to start. So when it was our turn to run he was SLOW. Scot overshot the outrun and the sheep, at this trial in particular, will head for the exhaust area at any chance. Scot is usually fast enough to cover, but not today. Too much work ahead of his run and too much urban life.
So on Sunday I made a point of making him be still until it was our turn. His outrun, lift and fetch were good, not great, but he didn’t lose the sheep and he and they were under control. They rounded the post and started driving to the gate. He was probably 10 yards from clearing the gate when he over corrected and started fetching. After about 3-4 minutes of trying I called the run.
Most of times when we have had mistakes they were mine or because of me. Not this time, it was all him. Whether it was because he was tired or what, it was his decision not to drive that caused this particular run to implode. ARGHHH!
There is so much fun and frustration. He is a solid dog and I couldn’t ask for better dog to start with, but I think that with my schedule, I am approaching his limits. Time for just focusing on that which we both do well.