Took a little trip south today. It was Tazzie's first lesson with a new herding instructor.
Tazz has not had herding lessons in 4 years. He had no problem with his enthusiasm and it is quite clear who has to learn more - me. The instructor did have me working Tazz at the end (after the instructor worked him a little to show me - and clearly testing to see if Tazz had the stuff).
When asked whether Tazz would work for him, I didn't know the answer. Clearly I should know the answer, but in the past Tazz has been hesitant to work for other people. Back in November I put him on goats when presented the opportunity, and he worked fine for the guy then, so I risked it and said timidly, "I think so."
Tazz did look at me a couple times, but his want to get the sheep outweighed his want for his mama. This told me alot. First it told me, he REALLY wants to do this. Secondly it told me this instructor was putting the right amount of pressure on Tazz - enough to not hurt the sheep but not enough to thwart his enthusiasm.
I found the instructor to be very calm and clear in his instruction. Easy to work with. Tazz liked him too.
This will now be a regular thing. Every week Tazz will get to work sheep and I'll learn more. I feel honored that this guy will take time to work with Tazz. I know, I know, this is what he does for a living, but he has too many students and not enough time. I'm glad Tazz and I passed the muster and will get to learn herding!