|Stop on a dime|
I have the great pleasure of knowing some incredibly talented, senior handlers, who no longer start their youngsters every time. Today I began to internalize why. There's lots of movement involved, and I'm not as young as I once was.
In addition to Tam, I have young Spot in my kennel. He's 8 months old, and hasn't been doing much around here beyond grow, play and become very keen. I put him in training a couple days ago, and now there are two youngsters to train, plus open dog, Mirk.
Thankfully Tam has gotten to the fun part, past the start part, to the next part where I'm beginning to fine tune a few points and stretch him out. Confident tike that Tammie, and it's good to see. Love him! Spot, on the other hand, is a raw recruit with lots of enthusiasm, a quickness that belies his age, and a lot of style. I find myself having trouble getting out of his way, and I love him too.
|Tam over eager|
I set a goal on the day I started Spot, and today is day 8. I will work my pups, and ride my road bike every day for 14 consecutive days. When I start a pup, I like to stay with it daily to get him over the hump. The road bike thing has to do with my hips, which feel and look better when I exercise. I also have an eye on the calendar and Soldier Hollow, Meeker and the National Finals, which I entered today. I'm doing lots of training, and 2 pups at a time is taking its' toll.
Up at 5:30, on the field by 6-6:30am, Mirk gets the first turn. Even though he'll likely incur some heat in competition, he and I are tuning up in the cool of a morning. As Soldier Hollow gets closer, I'll reverse the order and acclimate him to heat. It's always hot at SoHo, and together with the 6,400' elevation, your dog better be in shape.
Tammy is next. He comes flying out of the truck looking, looking for sheep. He knows the drill, but he doesn't always know where they are. I like to keep him guessing, but that's getting harder all the time. He's very good at sweeping the field and locking on. And he's getting very good at running out.
By the time I get to Spottie, I've been at it for an hour, and he takes the most effort. Because of his age and beginner status, though, he's not working very long. I prefer to stop while he's craving more as opposed to putting his cha-cha at risk. We're wearing sheep, considering self-control, having a bit of fun, and learning to call off. I do love to start the pups, but the initial push is a lot of work. Luckily, he's pretty bright, and his curve will be steep.
Now I'm off to ride my bike. Day 8!