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.

1 comment:

The Canadian said...

Wow! That is quite a trip! All three of you are rock stars!!! Bravo!