Ryder, being a border collie, was born with the stalk and chase mechanism. This is what she most enjoys doing. She will kill, but this is not in her DNA. Hope springs eternal in a border collie’s mind. There is no distracting her once she zones in on a moving animal or object. She’s bred to hone in on wool, but she will go after feathers or fur. Fish scales, they are also a big hit, though she hates water. Big game, she knows little about this. She really enjoyed her stint learning to herd sheep, but she was so focused that she failed to hear commands. She also has a predilection for rubber, that which is on tires. This, we are attempting to discourage.
To this end, Pete made her a rope leadline. I now pony her when we are in sight of roads. I also am constantly working with her on recall when she’s off leash. When she comes, she gets rewarded – right now I’m using salmon jerky treats. Liver treats, these work well too.
I tried tying a ditty bag with treats to my saddle yesterday. The drawstring opening was a pain in the ass. So today I put treats in my windbreaker pouch. This worked better; however, this is a temporary measure because I won’t be able to wear the dang thing when it gets hot. So, it looks like I’m going to resort to carrying treats in my water bottle holder.
It’s been doing my heart great joy to watch Ryder bound across fields, in search of prairie dogs and dead things to roll in. And this seems also be doing her great joy. Ryder also has a smidgeon of loyalty. She stayed with me today as I stayed with the horses and Pete went off in search of Hrimmi’s lost foot ware. (He found it in a bog.) All the while she gnawed on what I think was an old cow bone. I sat next to her and gnawed on dehydrated fruit.
We had a challenging ride today, rode to a place called Death Crotch. Ryder greeted the dozen or so mountain bicyclists who stopped to talk with us, and chased the half dozen or so who did not stop.
Yes, Christopher’s request was a reminder that this is also Ryder’s trip and that I need to keep this in mind when writing up these dispatches.
Next: 162. 6/13/19: Storm Rolling In