Racecourse "bottoms"

Ok, someone in the flock is sneaking around on Facebook.  They spent the entire day yesterday in the Stud Paddock, which is where I was planning to take them today. (I mentioned this at the end of my post on Monday.)  Though the idea of telepathy has also crossed my mind, the explanation is probably as simple, and encouraging as this:  I'm apparently anticipating what the sheep need and want, and they in turn are getting better at moving through the landscape to find it on their own.  Instead of the Stud Paddock, then, I think we'll do a tour of the "bottoms" of the Racecourse Paddocks, where they tend to graze less often than at the top of the hill.  (From the hilltops, they can more easily spot any lions that might be trying to sneak up on them.)  I've added a couple of photos from Monday's circuit--Albert, leading the flock across the water hazard.  I'm still working on editing the video.

END OF THE DAY NOTES:  My usual late start on Wednesdays after choir practice the night before was made even later by some friends showing up to collect surplus fencing material I'd sold them.  It was a beautiful morning, so we chatted while they loaded the k-rail.  Then the circuit went pretty much to plan, except I ran out of time for the last loop.  Happily, the sheep did it on their own.  They are really getting quite good about grazing the bottoms of the paddocks, at least here in the Racecourse.  There's some rough weather coming again this weekend, so I've decided to call it quits on the Racecourse for now.  We've been here a full 2 weeks, which is probably enough for the paddocks.  I'll take them up to the White Gum Grazing Area tomorrow, via the main yards.  We'll see if we can do a better job of grazing in the yards than we did on Monday.  The only small tragedy of the day is a video that disappeared into the ether, a great sequence of Janie showing just how to block the flock and keep only enough pressure on to get them to turn away.  Surely it will happen again at some point, and next time I'll make sure I actually push the button to share it! Oh, I just found it!  For some reason, it failed to post at the time, but I just got it to re-try.  Cool!  We'll call it Video V5, so I don't have to renumber everything.  The video was shot at the gate before going into the third paddock (before V3).

June 15, 2016
June 15, 2016
 P1: Janie and Chance holding position as I walk to the flock. Oops, Jane just broke the "hold" to see what's taking me so long!

P1: Janie and Chance holding position as I walk to the flock. Oops, Jane just broke the "hold" to see what's taking me so long!

 P2: Pickup. With the dogs back 100m or so I can walk right in to the flock. Once I'm through the flock, I'll get them to follow with just the lightest pressure from the dogs at the back. At least, that's the idea ;-)

P2: Pickup. With the dogs back 100m or so I can walk right in to the flock. Once I'm through the flock, I'll get them to follow with just the lightest pressure from the dogs at the back. At least, that's the idea ;-)

Getting ready to move.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V1 above.

Video V2 above

This is how I like my dogs to work the grazing flock. It doesn't always look this calm;-)

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Video V5 above.

Video V3 above

Video V4 above.

 Albert sizing up the jump...

Albert sizing up the jump...

 ...and over the top! If you click on the photo you should be able to see my two wonderful dogs lying down on the left, well back from the flock--giving them all the time they need to figure this out.

...and over the top! If you click on the photo you should be able to see my two wonderful dogs lying down on the left, well back from the flock--giving them all the time they need to figure this out.