The first “Move Forward” clinic is in the books. Friday, Cedar Stone Farm experienced a large snow fall so we were wondering how we’d get into the clinic field. Not to worry, a driving path and parking area was cleared by the time everyone arrived in the morning.
The clinic is the first of three focused on sharpening skills relating to trialing. Gordon intently watched each dog/handler team run the course he had set up. After everyone went, we gathered as a group and he prompted each handler to objectively review their run. He then gave specific tips on how to make each run more successful. There were lots of “ah ha” moments as Gordon drew diagrams on the white board and explained why he made the recommendations he did.
With the deep snow on the clinic field, the dogs and handlers got the chance to learn how to handle sheep in those conditions. The handlers all commented that when there was deep snow on their own properties, they tended to not work the sheep as much. This was another learning opportunity as we saw the sheep (and dogs) gravitate to the paths created by the “side by side” or the previous run. Handling this was a new experience for most and Gordon gave expert advice on exactly what to do to keep the flow but allow for the conditions.
The sheep were a great mix of willing participants and some not so willing to walk through the snow. Again, Gordon told us to “not complain about the sheep, just handle it better.” He gave tips and tricks on how to handle the sheep that didn’t want to trudge through deep snow when paired with some sheep that didn’t mind. We all committed his tips to memory!
Each handler/dog team improved with each run and as they stepped off the field, lots of smiles in the successes they were having.
The lunches were awesome and filled everyone with warm food so the cold temps really didn’t seem to bother us.
Everyone left the two days happy with what they learned, looking forward to the next clinics and feeling excited about the upcoming trial season.
Gordon’s continued support and expert advice was well received by all!
Thank you to Merry Russell and Cedar Stone Farm for hosting.