Sunday, March 21, 2010

Horses, dogs, and sheep oh my!

It's been a jam packed weekend, as usual. I'll start with Saturday...

I rode in a lesson on Saturday without Leslie :*( because she is in LA for spring break this week. Miss you Leslie. Debbie and I talked a lot about elbows and hands... I am having trouble freezing my elbows and not being flexible enough. This is likely because I find myself clenching to try and ward off Watson's head disappearing act (where he throws his head between his knees and trundles off to who knows where... very hard to stop him when this happens). So I went around in circles working on changing my posting diagonal and keeping my elbows FLEXIBLE.

After that we worked on a mini course with some poles and a couple of cross rail jumps. Debbie says I should ride in the cross rail class at the show at the end of May... so the challenge for me now is to see how many obstacles I can make it through before I lose my head (or Watson's). The more obstacles we do the more excited Watson is about them and the more likely he is to act up. And so I clench... and so Debbie yells at me.

Truthfully, Watson isn't going anywhere very quickly... it just feels like he is, like I can't control him... something mental is going on with me and I have to keep working on it to get it out. So the lesson today was a successful one. I learned, have more to practice, and didn't freak out.

I did miss Leslie.

In other news, Tag got to have a go at being a sheep herding dog today. Collies were bred originally to herd sheep in Scotland. They don't all have the instinct however, and so we took Tag to Performance Dogs In Action where he could have the experience in a controlled environment.

It went fairly well, all things considered. I don't think Tag is a motivated herder. He didn't try to KILL the sheep... which is a good thing... and he was mildly interested, but when he was rebuffed by the trainer for chasing the sheep, he quickly lost interest. Not his idea of fun, apparently.

It was well worth the experience, though. Now we know how he will do... maybe down the road he'll change his mind, but for now I'm going to focus on building our relationship in other ways.


  1. Yay a riding post!

    Your herding attempt with Tag sounds really cool. I regret not finding a way to test our (now deceased) Border Collie on sheep. She was into herding things and very intense about it.

  2. I miss our shared lesson too! Watson definitely knows how to mess with people, with that head between his knees trick. I personally think you handle him beautifully. I'm having doubts about whether Winston and I will be ready for a crossrail class in time for May, but I think you and Watson are, and I will totally be your loudest and most obnoxious cheerleader!

    Okay, the herding thing with Tag is SOOOOO cool! At first I thought the first picture was an ad for the sheep-herding place or something, because it looks SO picturesque! I was like, hey, that collie even LOOKS like Tag! Wait..that IS Tag! Anyway, you'll have to fill me in on ALL THE DETAILS later! Sounds like it was really cool!


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