I cannot believe I nearly forgot to post about this. Yesterday I audited a Jan Wesen seminar. As always I learned a lot and it was helpful to see other people working through similar issues. I definitely learn more about herding actually working a herding seminar than auditing - which is a bit different than I find agility seminars. With agility seminars I feel like I can learn almost as much just auditing. Perhaps it is because herding is still so new to me (2 years - Bug's first lesson was less than a month after he came home to me!) and I am still learning the physical mechanics let alone everything else I don't know.
Anyway, there was an older collie there who was quite stiff. Jan suggested the owner consider ducks given his age and injuries; that he would be able to herd for a lot longer on ducks than sheep.
~Light Bulb Moment~
I have been worrying myself sick that Bug won't be able to herd once we are finished with physical therapy. The rehab vet is 100% positive he will be able to, but I am more skeptical (or maybe I am just being a pessimist). I really like herding. I find it incredibly challenging and I love how Bug lights up about it. He not only adores it, but he is good at it. If I don't screw him up too badly he could probably be really successful (Diane, my trainer, swears she won't allow me to screw him up!).
This seminar opened another door for me. If Bug does end up having difficulty working sheep due to the iliopsoas injury then we can try ducks!
Bug has worked ducks a couple of times during the winter of 2008. Once he really turned onto sheep we dropped ducks. However I spoke to Diane about it yesterday. She sides with the rehab vet - she feels once Bug has completely recovered he should be able to herd again without difficulty. If he does seem stiff we will switch to ducks.
I am so happy to realize there are options...
Bug and I have everything crossed that he will be healthy enough to attend Jan's seminar in the fall.
5 weeks ago