Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Trial Season

The spring trial season is nearly here! It's been a busy few weeks around the farm and with the Shoofly pack. Lambing started about April 1st and just finished up this week. Final count out of 22 ewes is 19 ram lambs and 11 ewe lambs. It was mostly an easy lambing, only a little hiccup here and there. It's pretty amazing to look out on the farm and see about 70 sheep hanging out. That's a lot for my little place, for sure! I'll be having a big sheep sell-off after the Whistle for a Cure trial in June, trying to get back down to about 30 sheep total. It'll be tough picking out that many to sell but it's got to be done. Reserve yours now! ;-)

The dogs are doing pretty okay. Zac has been getting the lion's share of the work and is loving every second of it, in true Zac fashion. Lambing has been good for him. He missed a lot of this kind of work when he was younger and should have been getting it, due to injury. So better late than never i guess. He's not always completely confident he can handle cranky mama ewes but he's always in there trying his heart out. And he's learned to push silly baby lambs around, even if he does have a somewhat disgusted look on his face doing so. Jet is cranking along, Bill's been gimpy but i'm hoping/planning to run him at the upcoming trials anyway. Tug is cute as ever and still on hold for starting his sheep training. He's really rough on the sheep and i'm hoping to get a bit of help with him on our upcoming trip. Dot is settling in well and working more nicely all the time.

So speaking of the upcoming trial season, we're off to KY, leaving next Thursday. First stop will be the Shaker Village trial in Harrodsburg. This is one of my favorite trials, with a gorgeous field. Since there's a 2 dog limit on Open, i'm planning to run Zac and Jet in Open, with Bill in Nursery and Dot in ProNovice. Following the trial, I'm going to pull the camper over to Vergil and AnneMarie Holland's for a few days of visiting and working dogs around Lexington, and hopefully visiting my brother and his family in Louisville. Then we're off to Mike and Laura Hanley's Chinquapinwood trial, where all 3 Open dogs get to run, and Bill will run Nursery. Following that, we head to the Bluegrass Classic SDT. It looks like i'll only be able to run 1 dog in the Open this year, with my current spot very low on the waiting list for the second one, and I plan for that to be Jet. Bill will run in the Nursery and I'll have Dot in PN and then move her up to Ranch for the final 2 days. I may shift my plans on which Open dogs run when, but this is my current plan. Bill's been gimpy since injuring his rear leg in January and seemed to tweak it some last week, so it will be a late call on running him. I may sub him in for Jet if she doesn't run well at Shaker Village, and if the heat is getting to her at the Bluegrass, i may run Zac in the second round. I'm especially looking forward to the first 2 trials. It's a little harder to muster up excitement for the BG this year, with just one Open run per round. I know they have to limit the trial and this is the most fair way to do it, but i have to say, if i didn't have dogs to run on the novice field as well as the Open field, i probably would skip it. I don't see sitting around for 4 days (2 days for each Open round) to get only 2 Open runs in as a good use of vacation time and travel dollars. So, let's hope Bill does well in the Nursery and Dot gets off the waiting list (I expect she will) for PN and Ranch and does well there too!

I should have internet access on the road, and will be posting trial updates as often as i can here and on Facebook.