This week's lessons:
- Over flanking is better than stopping short
- Your body doesn't lie
- What I'm talking about
Here's an excerpt:
We worked again on getting him deeper at the top of his away-to-me outrun. The first time I sent him, he flattened out, which causes his tail to rise and his gate to become ragged when he comes to balance at an odd angle to the sheep. It is plain to see from his body when he is wrong. This time I stood by the sheep and backed up as he came near balance after speaking to him at the point of his outrun where he flattens. I am still allowing him to turn in and come on to the lift with intention, but noticed that he defaults to a come-bye flank when I steady him with a whistle just after the lift. A quiet "here, here," brings him back on task, but I would like to avoid the default flank all together. We practiced a steady with an immediate "here, here," and after 1 or 2 tries eliminated the default flank on the steady whistle. Back to the outruns. I sent him a few more times with me at the sheep correcting at his "flatten" spot, then tied him in the shade to soak. I was interested to see if he would internalize the lesson and improve. After a short break I sent him away-to-me from my feet and was gratified to see him carry all the way beyond his sheep to finish in a nice arc on balance.