Informal Training

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sheep have this down to a fine art.  

I admire the orderly fashion of sheep when they are taking themselves somewhere and the way they follow trails, particularly in the snow. When the animal in the lead stops, everyone stops. These girls have stopped because Cajun and I just showed up.

We are out checking to see if any ewes are still out before closing the gate for the night. These girls are coming from the water bowl and heading to the night pen area. They are coming through a narrow alleyway, with a fence on the left hand side and the bush of a long wetland on the right.

The girls are going where we need them to but they won’t go as long as we’re parked where we are. I wanted a picture so took one step closer. That lead ewe turned around on the trail and in succession each animal turned on the trail and they went back the way they had come, now following a new leader. I had just made extra work for ourselves but Cajun seemed more than happy with the situation. We walked them up the trail, into an open space, turned them and brought them back again.

On top of basic training, it is meager and informal moments like this that really help solidify a ranch dog. Nothing set up, no animals picked out and working with what presents itself.

I love this life.