Tuesday evening, September 23rd, Peekay and I went to herding practice. It was one of those nights where the stock dictated what we could and couldn't do. Our first run we worked 7 heads of light (flighty) sheep. This was the largest flock we worked in some time. As soon as I opened the gate and let Peekay on the field the flock took notice. The sheep immediately began to move away from us, down the field. It was impossible for us to keep the sheep in the center of the field. Our only choice was to practice moving the herd along the fence. We also worked inside flanks. In the end we made progress on both activities with only a couple of minor wrecks.
In between our first and second runs, other people ran and the sheep were swapped out. When we came back on the field for run #2, we met 4 sheep that seemed lighter than before. Again it would be tough to work the center of the field, but we would try it anyway. We did a couple of outruns, and again continued to work the fence and inside flanks. We took the opportunity and also worked the toughest activity of the AKC A-course the cross drive. To have a successful cross drive, one must peel the sheep off the fence and force them to make a 90 degree turn and drive them across the arena, through a gate opening, to the other side of the arena. This all must be accomplished by giving Peekay commands. I must stand behind a line, away from the action. Run #2 went fairly well. After several attempts we even had a successful cross drive!
Weather and gas supply permitting (there is presently a gas shortage in Georgia), we'll be back on the field Thursday night.
Speed is good, Staying is better. -- TJ