Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just like every other Sunday

Today was a usually day. Up early ( OK Scott I mean 8:00 AM). Even though I consider my self a non worker type. I manage to keep my days busy. Most days I give herding lessons to all sorts of breeds. Today I decided to take pics of some of my students.
First up was Gwen. She stopped by for a little sheep time with her Rotti's Lucy and Logan. I love Gwen always a hoot to hang out with. She has done some fabulous things with her dogs. Worked very hard to get them where they are. I believe she has been asked to do a herding demo at this years Calgary Stampede

Donna and her Aussie Oliver came out to have some fun. Oliver has only been on sheep a couple of times but stays off his sheep nice and is very easy to handle.


Bill and his Belgian Tervuren Quest. Quest has been on sheep a fair amount and has lots of talent. Last week her was been silly and learn what it means for me to get off the fence and back up Bill. He also learned how proficient I am at through that stick to protect my sheep. This week was much better.


Diane and her Aussie Raven. Diane gets the most dedicated award of all my students and it has paid off. This winter Raven moved to working in the big field. Diane has been coming here for lessons for a year and a half. 


TJ And Jet. Jet happens to be a son of my dog Rob. Jet is 9 months old and this was his first time on sheep. He is super keen and did well for his first time on sheep. Look forward to seeing how his grows up.

Missing from today pictures are 
Katrina and her St. Bernard. First time on sheep. I have to thank Gwen for helping me out with this dog too. He is a big boy and I needed some back up in case things went crazy. In the end he was really a big teddy bear. He didn't do to bad for a non herding breed.

Trevor and his Kelpie Chevy. Trevor is a local rancher who comes for the occasional lesson. Chevy is his two year old female out of Jerry's Jed. Chevy is so cool to work with. So easy to handle and does everything I ask. Even though this is only her third time on sheep. Nice change of pace from working Risk.

The wind was blowing like a Hurricane all day which sometimes made the sheep and dogs at silly. Right now I am enjoying a well deserved glass (sorry Lynda I mean Bottle) of wine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 first born

Our first calf came yesterday. Not sure if it is a boy or a girl yet. The cows have been a little on edge since we started having coyote problems and now they are harder to get close to. As you can see he or she is healthy and eating good. It has turned cold and I would except to see snow today. So that certainly means more calves to come today.

Monday, March 22, 2010

First trial of the year

This weekend was the official opening of my trialing season. An arena trial running in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede Aggie days. Aggie days is short for mob of small children, strollers, pregnant women followed by blankly staring men. Finally in Isla's four years of trialing she is starting to get this arena trial thing. For those of you that don't know arena trials are a timed event where you have to get the sheep through a set course. You have four minutes and the fastest time wins. Our first run went not to bad. Could have been much faster if Isla had not decided to put on a clinic on super square flanks. Which I am now calling obstuce flanks. Not sure where we ended up but it was in the top five out of 30 dogs. Day two went much better managed to shave over a minute off our time and end up in the top five again. Which meant making it to the finals. We had a tough draw in the finals the lead ewe was a Suffolk who just wanted to run and the other sheep wanted to stay made it hard to maneuver but in the end we ended up fourth. Isla is getting better and better at these arena trials. Looking forward to the Calgary Stampede this year. Speaking of the Stampede trial heads up to all that enter because this year they have decided to cut the entries down to 60 dogs instead of 80. So get you entries in early.

Thanks to Wendy Schmaltz for the picture.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

guardian dogs update

Some of my readers have been asking me about how my guardian dog is doing. I thought I could fill you all in. When I first bought sheep some six years ago or more now ( I keep saying I only started six years ago because it makes me feel younger) I also went out and bought a guardian dog too. A cute little ball of fluff we call Hercules. Kyle and I failed that test miserably. Mostly I blame Kyle because he is not here to defend himself. As Herc got older he needed a drag put on because he was playing with the sheep and kyle wouldn't let me put one on because he thought it was mean. Well some six years later we are almost at the same point. Kyle however is more jaded and hardened to the fact. So he is letting me train the dogs like they are suppose to be trained. I will say training guardian dogs is one of the hardest things I have done. Some days I wake up and feel like I am in guardian dog hell. 
Strider is doing good. He has been here for almost four weeks now. I would say in the last five or six days he has really changed. In the morning he goes out with the sheep. Trying hard not to chase or play with them. When I rescued Strider from the pound they said he was about two years old but I really think he may just be a year old. When he runs he looses track of his legs and falls down. Kind of like Bambi learning the walk. The afternoon is spent lounging by the hay resting for a nights work. At night he seems very efficient. He will walk the fence and will growl but only barks if he feels threatened. 

He is really starting to grow on me so I hope he keeps up the improvement. Look at this face and tell me how you could not love it.

When I got Strider I was still looking for another dog because I was not sure Strider would work out and I really need two dogs anyways because of my game fence the dogs can not jump the fence and go to the other pasture of sheep. I found a gentleman who was in the middle of a divorce and needed to place his dogs in working homes. He answered all my questions and I drove to the US border to pick the dogs up. They have been here for just over a week and some days they are a nightmare. The first couple of days the would get out and then I could not catch them. They are borderline feral. The female I can catch the male not so much. I was told they work very well as a pair. That is why I got both of them. They grew up with goats and I was told they should make an easy transition the sheep. So far that has not been the case. All they do is bark and then run at the sheep. The female is the big trouble maker. The male is to fat and lazy to do it on his own. I am hoping like Strider it will just take some time for them to settle in. Strangely enough they are already way better then the first couple of days here. Kyle and I call them dumb and dumber. The good thing about them they do keep the coyotes away.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

If only I could get her to lie down

Yes, If only. What a loaded statement. Most dog trials are won or lost by getting your dog to stop. I am loving the stuff Bracken is doing on sheep. However we could move along much faster if she would only lie down. She is dying to move on and go further but she just won't stop. This is an age old battle. Be careful what you wish for, many a time I have been bagging her mother the walk up. Bracken seems to have plenty of walk up, nice square flanks. She can be a bit wide sometimes on her out runs. I think we have moved pass the dreaded trying to stop a sheep with her teeth, feet and twenty pound body. Most times led to having hamburger like pads on all four feet. I have been told that if she respected me more than she would listen to me better. I have tried to instill the fear of god in her but apparently she is an atheist and does not believe in god. Don't let this cute face fool you she does not have good thoughts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Iditarod the last great race

I have always loosely followed the Iditarod. But this year I actually know someone who is running so I am watching it more closely. Karen Ramstead is Lisa's neighbor. To many sheepdog trailing seems extreme until I point out how much more extreme sled dog racing is. I have 6 dogs where as Karen has 60-70 dogs. I admire all the racers and their commitment to their sport. Heck is was snowing and windy here today and I didn't work my dogs. Lisa sent me a neat website to follow the racers through their GPS on their sleds

Good luck to Karen and her team.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I must be seeing things

Yes that's right folks my dad Les Timmons himself went to the Olympics.

Along with my sister Emma

other sister Shaun

And Lisa
God Bless Lisa for making dad broaden his horizons away from the horse world

I remember back in 1988 my sister Sonya and I begged our parents to take us to the Calgary Olympics. But no there were horses to ride and stalls to clean.