We went to our first trial of the season in MD this weekend. My handling is rough to say the least, not seeing my lines well nor anticipating the stock. Song gave me two respectable runs but no placements. She's quick and tough to settle a line on light sheep with. Long Shot has light sheep so it pointed out our weakness there. Fina needs a whole lot of work as she was almost completely unable to give me flanks with strong side pressure. We certainly have lots of homework for the next month before trials get going up north here.
I had entered Levi in Nursery instead of PN because the Nursery classes were on the same days as Open so I did not need to stay an extra day. He was not really ready as his driving is still quite primitive and his flanks near the top of the fetch are unreliable. I retired him about half way through the drive the first day. He had done some nice work considering he is accustomed to me walking nearby to help out. I figured he had worked out there on his own long enough so I quit before things fell apart. The second day he also put in some good work and got himself a leg towards the Nursery finals. He had a good mind, workmanlike, serious, and not rattled by the trial pressure. I was quite pleased with him.
I saw a lot of very good work, reminding me of the high standards my dogs and I will need to meet to be competitive this season.
Jobe was there and got a 5th and 9th in Open if I remember correctly. I also got to see the ebullient Rhyme again though I left before her runs. Angie let me know that Rhyme took 3rd and 6th in her to PN runs in classes of about 25 dogs. Both dogs were happy to see me but quite clear that they were firmly attached to their current handlers. That was good to see. It is hard for me to sell dogs and I want to be sure they land in situations that suit them.