Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Monday, while running around the sheep at Ken's I noticed a familiar face.  Over the past few years I had periodically borrowed sheep from Ken.  Bapper (the lead sheep with the black eyes) just happened to be one of them.  Ken, bless his heart, did not laugh at me when I panted out "Is that Bapper?".  He knew exactly what I was talking about.  I was escatic to see him again.  

After Bapper left my place he had moved on to another one of Ken's friends.  I must admit that I've wondered what became of him.  Bapper was my buddy.  When my car would pull up into the yard or he'd hear me outside he'd start baaaing for me.  Hence the name Bapper.  Bapper is a cool sheep.  He used to scratch his forehead on Bella's teeth.  He'd also lead the brigade of sheep back to wherever I happened to be standing in the field, only to stand and settle at my feet.  No mowing me down from this guy.  (He's a wether - meaning he's a fixed male.)  

By the time the end of April rolls around I'll need to have some sheep that are not pregnant.  I'm going to ask Ken if I can buy 3 of his wethers, Bapper being one of them.  They say sheep can remember 10 different faces and can differentiate between anger and happiness, so I have to wonder if Bapper remembers me too.

Hair Shirt

For the past few years I've kept Whiskey in a deluxe, heated barn with an indoor arena.  This really has spoiled me to the reality of owning horses in this climate.  You see, I had forgotten just how much hair an outside horse can shed.  Whiskey has just gotten started with the shedding bit.  But Roxy coated my clothing.  The whole arm of my jacket was covered in a horse hair sleeve.  My baseball cap (new and pink!) now has red hair decorations.  I gacked and sputtered the hair out of my mouth.  I strategically tried to rub the hairs off my chap stick coated lips.  I made gyrating faces to try and rid my nose of the hairs sticking dangerously close to the nostrils.  I blew my breath up my face to try and dislodge the hair that was determinedly clinging to my glasses.  And I marvelled at how much hair one little horse can produce with no obvious effect on the amount on her body.

Here's to the hair shirt I'm sure I'll be wearing for the next month or so.  Ain't spring grand?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Herding Clinic in Alberta

On April 25 and 26, 2009 Ken Mackenzie will be hosting a stock dog (herding) clinic at his place in Drayton Valley, Alberta.  This clinic is open to handlers and dogs of all ability levels.  Ken is not only my mentor but also an exceptional trainer.  He is willing and able to problem solve for strategies that are dog specific.  He is not a one training strategy for all dogs kind of person.  If you are interested or would like more information, please call Ken at 780-542-7381.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Decision Time

I've a had a wonderfully productive day.  I've decided to start going to some of the local open horse shows.  The only problem with that is when I quit showing years ago I also sold off a huge chunk of my stuff.  Today I went to a tack swap and purchased a new to me western show shirt, a western show bridle (a Dale Chavez design) and two neck/hood slinkies for pre-show nights.  All in all, I'm quite tickled with my purchases.

I also sat down and narrowed some stallion choices for Whiskey.  The lucky four finalists that get inquiries and viewings are: Audacious Playgun, Boonlight Bar, Cactus Bar Smart and Heavensent Taco King. I plan to take a few days this week and go view the studs in person before making a final decision.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Horses are in my blood.  I come from a long line of horsemen.  With spring approaching (hopefully), I've been putting a lot of time and energy in finding Whiskey a baby father.  I fret and flip flop between stallions.  This will be Whiskey's first foal and I know its a crap shoot.  You just don't know what you'll get.  However, I keep thinking if I do enough homework I can eliminate some of the potential negative odds.  There are definitely times  I wish I could worry less and go with the flow more.  After all, it really shouldn't be a big deal.  But it is to me.  

When I first bought Whiskey she was my first mare in a very long time, for as long as I could remember I'd had geldings.  As long as I've had horses I've somewhat followed bloodlines.  But with a mare in my herd it became something of an obsession.  I wanted to know how she was bred and what it meant.  What I found out is over 8 generations she has 11 Three Bars, 9 Leo, 5 King, 2 Joe Hancock, 2 Poco Bueno, 1 Peter McCue, 1 Wimpy, 1 Skipper W, and 1 Joe Reed II.  I being a strong believer in breeding distinct bloodlines and avoiding any in (or line) breeding was aghast.  Until an old breeder told me this was normal for this many generations.  

Okay, so what did this mean for a potential mate?  For me it means avoiding any running, thoroughbred and Three Bars breeding.  The other thing I've been curious about is Foundation breeding vs standard AQHA breeding.  Is there a difference?  Does it matter? 

Because curiosity killed the cat, I'm sending Roxy and Whiskey's paperwork to the National Foundation Quarter Horse Association to see what percentage of blood is foundation and if they qualify for foundation status.  Will this impact my feelings about them?  Nope.  Will this make them better horses?  Nope.  But I think it'll be cool to know.  

And now, I'd better get back to my stallion searching.  I've given myself this week (spring break) to find and pick the stallion I'll breed Whiskey to.  

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Not the plan...

Now, many of you know I've begun to rehab my shoulder.  I see a physio who works with me on strength exercises and focuses on the nerve damage in that area.  I also see a massage therapist.  I'm not talking about the massage therapist you go see at the spa with the scented candles.  I'm talking about a person who only does deep tissue and therapeutic rehabilitative massage.  Having this done to you is actually quite painful. 

I have bruises on my back and shoulder.  I've been taking the migraine strength Advil like it's candy.  And I've still been getting migraine auras.  Basically, the muscles are so angry they are pinching something giving me wicked headaches.  My original plan when I got home from my meeting this afternoon was to go outside (its gorgeous out), brush the horses and play with the dogs.  

The reality?  I got home, took the maximum dosage of Advil and went to bed.  I feel bad.  I feel grumpy but I know I've got to grin and bear it if it's going to get any better.  Once I pried myself out of bed I did go play with the dogs but my hamburger shoulder just hurts too much to lift and hold a brush for my ponies.  

The truly frightening thing - is I have a very high pain tolerance level - doctors are always amazed with me.  And here I whine...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Work Out!

I hate my sheep.  Fully, completely, truly.  They are obstinate, stubborn and rarely do what I want them to do.  Today, with the weather somewhat nice and the sun shining I was feeling adventurous.  I had noticed the snow in the field did not seem as deep, so I made the executive decision to work the dogs (and sheep) in the field.  

It really did seem like a good idea at the time...  with Reba on a leash and Tessa on the work off we went.  Well, not really.  There is a fresh round bale and the sheep were bound and determined that hell would freeze over before they left the wonderfully delicious bale.  Tessa was equally determined that they would want to go clockwise and as such was resisting my efforts to get her to go that direction.  Unfortunately she need to go Come bye (clockwise) to drive the sheep through the gate into the field.

Using Reba's leashed power, and convincing Tessa to help we got the sheep out into the field.  Only to have them stick to the fence like glue.  Giving up moving them into the middle of the field I had Tessa drive them down the fence line.  Only to discover I couldn't get them to switch directions.  It would have helped if Tessa would have been willing to go around but she was convinced they wanted to run back to the hay and wouldn't budge (she was probably right - but it was still annoying).  Deciding I needed to help her I began walking to the heads of the sheep.  In between where I was standing and the sheep was a bit of a snow drift.  

It didn't look that deep.  As I began moving forward, I thought I could make it - the top of the snow was just over my boots - so if I stepped carefully I'd make it through without a boot full of snow.  Each step increased the distance between the top of my boot and the top of the drift.   Almost to the sheep I broke through the crust to have the snow bank hover around what would be the length of a respectable miniskirt.  Yep, that's right the snow was happily mid thigh.  And yes, I now officially had a boot full of snow.  

Really cursing the sheep, half crawling and walking I get to the fence.  Releasing the leashed Reba and calling off Tessa I figured Reba would chase the sheep back.  Nope, she ran to balance and stayed there.  With occasional forays forward to dive bomb the sheep.  Back into the drift I go to chase Reba around.  Mission accomplished with the sheep heading back up the fence.  

Eventually, with much cursing and strategic placing of dogs I managed to get the sheep into the middle of the field.  My goal with the placement was to lie Tessa down to guard the hay area and have Reba work both directions.  Well, the snow was still a wee bit deeper than I had anticipated.  You see, in order to get Reba to go around I needed to use body pressure.  Basically, I also had to run around the sheep.  Reba, of course kept stopping where the pressure was (in between the sheep and the hay - where the sheep wanted to go).  This is NOT where I wanted her sticking, so I'd run around and bump her back into circling the sheep.

By this point I'm close to wheezing.  I'm running in my Baffin's (like Sorrel) through knee deep, crusty snow.   In my head I'm begging Reba to just give me one nice circle so I could quit.   As soon as she does I lie her down opposite the pressure and tell her what a wonderful dog she is.
Calling her off, I'm ready to quit.  Her - not so much.  Off we go again.  I finally get her called off and head back to the corrals.

Tessa had been a nice little superstar lying where I left her (it helped that she was pooped).  Today, Tessa gave me some very consistent look backs (when you have two groups of sheep and you want her to go after the ones behind her) as well as a credible shed (splitting one group into two).  Very exciting for me.  Not so exciting was the mournful groan she gave when we got back to the house and I tried to wipe her feet.  I expect her broken paw and some muscles are going to be sore for a couple of days.  That was some tough slogging we did today.  (It wouldn't surprise me in the least if I was equally sore.)

Monday, March 16, 2009


I think Whiskey is playing games with me.  Last night she turned up her nose at her evening dosage of cleverly disguised drugs.  As I stood fuming by her full bucket of expensive meds she looked at me with her big liquid eyes, reached her nose out and rubbed her snout on my leg.  When that didn't appease my temper (I was still standing there with steam coming out of my ears.), she shuffled a step closer and began to nicely "groom" my arm and shoulder.  When I still wouldn't give her any attention, instead staring daggers at the bucket, she brought it up a notch by nosing my cheek ever so gently.  

"Why, Why??" I asked her.  "Why can't you just eat your bloody oats twice a day?  What makes these oats different than the ones this morning?"  Of course she didn't tell me anything, but when I took those SAME oats out this morning, she happily ate them.  Grrrr!  How can such a lovable creature be so difficult to deal with?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bad Girl!

Yesterday I was a bad, bad girl.  You see I'm a teacher by trade and this time of year is report card time which incidentally are due on my principal's desk Monday.  You may be wondering what the big deal is - but here we don't do the traditional report card with A,B,C,D and a comment.  Nope our report cards are over 3 page long documents with small type.  Pretty much all comments.  I'd say it takes about 20-30 hours from start to finish to do them - depending on how hard I work.  And I've kinda sorta started them.  

Why am I a bad girl?  Yesterday I spent the day outside with the animals.  Not inside in my office working.  I must admit I had a great time.  I went to town, to the feed mill and bought some plain oats.  Then I mixed up Whiskey's meds with applesauce and oats.  Caught Whiskey, brushed while she ATE HER OATS!!!!  This picky mare has been driving me nuts because I don't want to have to inject her twice a day or shove meds down her throat twice a day but she finally, finally ate her drugs!  Of course she wouldn't eat them again later but she did this morning so I don't know what her issue is.

Roxy, the foxy little girl actually let me catch her.  Yep, that's right I caught her without the chase game we normally have to do.  I must admit I've been working with her each night when I grain, just giving her some scratches and pets, not even making an attempt to go to her head.  And it's paying off.  I tied her up and gave her some nice brushing, then I pulled from her mane for a DNA sample to verify her parentage for AQHA.  I'm really excited about this little horse, I think she's going to be one of those special ones.  She's really starting to bloom hanging out with my superstar Whiskey, learning all of her nice personable traits.  (According to Parelli, young horses will learn behaviors from the older horses around them.)  I can't wait for the weather to stabilize because I'm going to do a whole bunch of the horsemanship with her.  Just imagine how steady and quiet, what a great foundation she'll have when it comes time to start her...  

Next, I checked out the cows.  The calves are starting to feel spunky bucking and staggering around the pen.  Then I locked Reba in jail, and had Tessa move the sheep into the plowed out corral (snow is way too deep to attempt anything in the fields).  And we went to work.  Tessa was so happy and focused to work.  We worked on a few minor things like not cutting corners on the short flanks and had a blast.  And then it was Reba's turn.  She ran and ran and ran.  Once she had the edge off I started to work on switching directions and going to balance when bringing the sheep to me.  She did awesome.  As much as it pains me to say this (I really love Tessa) but Reba is going to make a far better working dog.  She's got a better balance of instinct and biddability.  That means she wants to work, reads stock well and wants to listen to you.  All good things.

Once done I gave Bella some love.  She's obviously been eating fresh calf poop and maybe got some afterbirth (we remove it from the pens as soon as possible) because Bella had the trots.  Her poor bum was a sickly yellowy color - for those of you with calves think fresh baby poop color.  Descriptive I know.  I have this great stuff from the vet called Diarsanyl which is basically doggy Pepto Bismal.  (Tessa has such abdominal issues I always have a tube of the stuff.)  It'll coat her intestines and give her a chance to feel better.  The problem with dogs is if they get diarrhea too bad then it just gets worse.  So I stopped it before it got started and I'm happy to note her bum looks much better today.  Poor girl, the look on her face when I treated her was one of shock and horror -  you could just see her saying "What have I done to you?".

So now, as I continue to procrastinate by blogging and not working, I'm headed outside to get a picture of the snowy horses - yep that's right it's snowing - AGAIN - so I can post it with this blog.  
In the pictures:  Roxy feeling GOOD!  and Bella watching the action.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Buddy's Family

First off - I'd like to apologize for the poor picture quality.  My camera was dying and I was in a rush.  Wow - what a way to start a blog...
In need of a DNA sample I made the trip out to Buddy's breeder's farm.  His dam Dee Echols Bonanza does not have her DNA on file.  This means I cannot register Buddy until it is.  You would think this is a simple task, unfortunately his mom is slightly wild.  We literally had to corner her to catch her.  Then the DNA removal (pulling out hair) was done as quietly and gently as possible.  Physically she is quite a lovely mare.  

They pasture breed and based on the looks of her belly she's open.

What I like about Buddy's sire, Doc Zannie is he's super athletic and cowy without sacrificing bone.  He's got a great disposition, has won money at Working Cow Horse and Cattle Penning events and has beautiful movement.  During this picture he was standing tied in the same pen the mare had just run into.  

Is It Spring???

It is March.  This is what my yard looks like.  Yes, that's snow.  A lot of it.  Last year at this time there was mud and what I like to call the smell of money (manure) in the air.  This year there is snow.  After two days of brutally frigid weather (-50C) I welcomed the balmy -10.  Today as I write this it's a gorgeous +5C.  Whooo hooo!  Thursday morning, just as the weather broke into more tolerable temperatures spring made itself known.

This lovely young addition made himself known.  Let me tell you, we were thanking our lucky stars he was born Thursday morning and not Wednesday morning.  I was visiting with Buddy's breeders and their neighbors lost 2 calves during the cold snap.  It was simply too cold for the calf to survive if you didn't find it immediately.
When I came home from work, I was greeted with a second bull calf.  Freshly licked clean.  I love when the new babies come.  It tells me spring and a fresh start is here.  Now if only the snow would melt.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

I fully and completely despise daylight savings time. The one that occurs in the fall where you gain an hour of extra sleep I can deal with, but the one that occurred Saturday night is torturous. I hate that 2 days ago I was waking up with daylight and now I'm banished back to the dark. I hate that it messes with the animal's schedules. (Case in point, Tessa's blurry eyes this morning when I dragged her out of bed to do her business before I left for work.)

Does anyone know the purpose behind this barbaric practice? I've heard a number of theories. One is that it occurs for the airlines. How this helps the airlines I'm not entirely sure. Another is that it's to save on energy costs. Except if you live where I live you don't save anything because the lights are on either in the morning or the evening. I do know the reason we do here is because our trading partners in the United States do it so when need to be on the same time schedule. This year the saving has occurred a full six weeks earlier than normal. Why? Because that's what the Americans wanted. (I shake my fist at you! No seriously over this I really do!)

Right now I wish we were like Saskatchewan who refuses Daylight Savings Time. They say the animals don't care about it and all they want is to get fed on time. I wonder what a person would have to do to get this province to follow suit.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Case of the Disappearing Cat

Today is Moxie's yearly appointment with the vet.  Being a farm cat she is not always close to the house, so when I saw her hanging out with the dogs, I quickly put on my boots and jacket and went out to grab her and put her into a crate.  Except when I went outside the cat was gone.  The dogs were still playing where I saw them one minute ago.  The cat - vanished!

Walking around the yard I called for her.  Nothing.  Into the corrals and shelter system I go, still calling, nothing.  Giving up and prepared to go into the house, I fish Reba's dish out of her house and fill it with dog food.  While doing this I notice the dastardly sheep eating Roxy's hay, so with Reba at my side I head back into the corrals to drive them away.  And low and behold, there's the cat doing her business in one of the shelters out of the blowing snow.

I patiently wait, grab her and put her into her jail.  Where she was the whole minute earlier I have no idea, but I have her now, ready for her yearly trip.

Pictured: Moxie looking in the deck doors.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Goodbye My Nemesis

Today I said goodbye to the bain of my existence.  The ram finally went home!  With the assistance - well, let's use the word assistance loosely - of my father I got him loaded into the stock trailer, drove the hour to Norman's place, unloaded, visited and made the trek back.  Sounds pretty simple doesn't it?

Well, first dad has to use the tractor to dig a path out to the corrals for the truck to drive on since we just had a blizzard a day ago.  Dad, being a man, had to be the one to maneuver the truck and trailer through the snow path into the corral, backing it up to the gate.  (Yes, this is tongue in cheek!)  10 minutes later the trailer was in position after much fruitless waving of my arms and shouting "No the other way, turn it the other way!!"  I felt bad as he doesn't drive the truck with a trailer very often so is a wee bit out of practice.  Makes for an interesting drive anyhow.  (I've been miserably sick so I was strictly riding as copilot today.)  

To load the ram we had to first separate the ram and the ewes.  With Tessa's help I had the sheep pushed up to where the gate into a separate pen was located.  The ram usually leads so I knew I just had to have them roll around and the ram would shoot through the gate.  Except dad stood in the middle of the gate rolling the ram past the gate and back into the middle of the pen.  Gently trying to explain that he needed to move and let the dog work I watched as he waded into the sheep and began using the paddle to get them to move.  He then physically shoved the ram through the gate.  Sigh.

Next, we needed to get the ram from his separate pen into the trailer.  Let me tell you that ram was one unhappy camper.  With a small gap in between the fence and the trailer, a small gap where I happened to be standing, the ram with his head lowered went through the gap.  Meanwhile I'm dangling off the side of the trailer trying to kick him in his snout as he tries to keep going.  Calling Tessa, I get her circled around, get the ram turned around and use her to push him back into the pen.

Deep breath.  Feet back on solid ground with Tessa guarding the gap, I get some alfalfa to try and coerce the ram into the trailer.  No go.  Finally, my dad puts a rope around the ram's neck and drags him into the trailer.  Sigh.  Ram in, door shut, dad pulls the trailer up to the house.  I notice Mr. Ram trying to climb out of the trailer.  He was not impressed.  The ram, not my dad.

Once reached Norm's, do you think the ram would leave?  Nope, he had to stand at the door staring out.  So once again I'm dangling off the side trying to reach in far enough to tap him on his bum and get him moving.  He eventually left.  And I was left a far happier individual with no ram to chase me.  (If you're wondering Norman gets some lamb from one of the babies that will be kept and finished for the freezer.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wanted: One Good Stud

As I sit in my bed with a wicked case of the flu/sinus infection, boredom drove me to the computer.  For the past hour I've been scrolling the Quarter Horse stallions at stud.  You see, all I want is one good stallion.  One who has cattle lines up close, nice neat cannons with well sprung low set hocks, nice conformation, and a great personality.  Let's not forget I'm being cheap and have no wish to spend copious money on a stud fee for a first foal.  Am I asking too much?  

The original plan was to breed Whiskey to Buddy's sire this year (Doc Zannie), but Buddy's extreme growth has spooked me.  Plus the good names, the ones I like are far enough back that they wouldn't show on my baby's papers.  I really like the Two T Ranch breeding, having rode one of their horses (Two T Rebel Gold).  Yeller was an athletic, nice minded horse.  Unfortunately importing semen or traveling into the states for breeding can be a risky and expensive proposition.  Something I'm not ready to undertake at this point in time.  

Looking at Alberta cow bred stallions I've found a few that I don't mind but how do you decide which one is the one?  With Whiskey being more or less line bred Leo/Three Bars (I found 11 Three Bars and 9 Leo's on her 8 generation pedigree.) I want to stay away from those lines.  Whiskey also has oodles of run so I'm not very interested in the running lines.  I thought cow lines would make a nice cross.  Virtual looking I went, and this is what I found, but how do you choose?

Fairly close to home is a stallion called Boonlight Bar who has easy to sell babies.  Based on the picture I'm not sold on his build.  Another stallion I found that I thought had potential was High Brow Pep.  He is also a bit more expensive and a significantly longer drive.  Lynx Dry Doc seems nice too, with the bonus of being closer to home.  Mr. Smart Merada seems cute too, but I don't know if he's competed himself at all.  I really like the looks of Northern Young Gun he seems to get into the ground nice.  I love how Whata Sansation looks when he cuts a cow but he doesn't have any of the trendy cow breeding you see in the cutting pen right now.  The last stallion, High N Wicked I checked out has great breeding but doesn't seem to dig deep into the dirt when working a cow (at least as far as one can tell from the pictures).  One final consideration is if the stallion participates in the Canadian Supreme nominations.

So that's where I'm at.  I know I'll need to get into my car and do some driving to see these stallions in real life.  After all one of my biggest criteria is a nice moving athletic horse and you just can't tell that from a picture.

In the picture:  Whiskey - Wanted One Good Man...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Problem Solver

By nature, I'm a problem solver.  I'll worry and work over an issue until I stumble upon a possible solution.  I've been pondering Grant's lack of dog situation and last night I had an eureka moment with a potential solution.  While browsing through the various classified ads I came upon some puppies for sale.  Now for the past few months I've been thinking about experiencing training a stock dog that is not a Border Collie.  If you know me you'd know I'm pretty hard core with the belief that the Border Collie is the best herding dog - ever!  

But I think in order to be a skilled trainer you must be able to work with all breeds.  So I've been chewing on that.  And I've been chewing on Grant's situation.  Last night I put them together.  I found some puppies for sale that are 1/4 Australian Shepherd, 1/4 Blue Heeler and 1/2 Kelpie.  They are not too expensive by stock dog standards and have become the germ of my idea.

I'd like to purchase a puppy.  Send it to Grant.  Take it back at about a year old and put the training into to it, then give it back to Grant.  Grant gets a dog.  I get some experience working with a different breed.   This would prevent me from getting attached and wanting to keep said puppy.  Which for me is always a concern.  It's hard for me to keep a business type mindset when animals are involved.  I tried to get some pictures of the puppies up but couldn't get it to work, so here's the link to the ad.  Cute little devils aren't they?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

High Prairie Trial

Friday I rushed home from work, let Reba out of her kennel for a run and finished packing my bags.  Tessa, Reba and I were going on a road trip.  I was excited and apprehensive.  This would be Reba's first overnight trip and it would be Tessa's first sheep trial since her injury.  Going into the weekend I took the view that this would be strictly a training exercise, looking at the big picture to see if we would be ready to run with the big dogs in Calgary in the open class.

Getting into the car we started driving.  And driving.  And driving some more.  At about the 3 hour mark I started having bobble head syndrome.  With nowhere to stop I just kept driving.  430 kilometres later the lights of High Prairie became visible.  For my American friends that's about 270 miles.  

After getting checked into the hotel the unloading process began.  With two wired and bouncy dogs this was more exciting than a person would think.  Finally settled, ready for bed I took the dogs for the night time bathroom walk.  Other than Tessa trying to stare down Reba and being her normal snarly self the dogs settled nicely into going to sleep.  I was pretty pumped about Reba being such a good girl for her first hotel stay and sleeping through the night.  

We hung out at the hotel until check out time before heading to the arena where the trial was being held.  Once on the grounds Reba wildly greeted Keith (her breeder and old owner), she really seemed to remember him.  I was double dipping, meaning I was entering both the ranch and open classes with Tessa.

We ran last in the open.  Tessa worked awesome and we put together a fabulous run.  Except I messed up the pattern.  You see the dog was supposed to gather the sheep, then move them clockwise around the left barrel, then move them counter clockwise around the right barrel before bringing the sheep around me (think barrel racing cloverleaf with me being the top barrel).  After the sheep went around me we were supposed to take them through the chute, then drive them to a pen.  Well, we did both barrels in a clockwise direction, otherwise running a stellar pattern.  If I hadn't messed up we probably would have made it into the short round (out of 23?? dogs).  Pretty good.

In the ranch class the pattern was easier and I still bunged it up.  I got out there and completely forgot it.  Jeez.  Poor Tessa, her mom needs to get to work and shake the rust off.  Oh well.  Tessa worked great and that's what counts.  Reba handled the excitement of her first big trip like a champion.  

All in all, we had a great time, at a great trial.  Time to get to work and gear up for Calgary in the beginning of April.