The conditions were cool and moist, lots of dew/wet grass. Our track was 470 yards and about an hour old.
Gimme started off well, doing her usual saw-tooth pattern on the first leg. She did really well on the second and third legs. The extra article on the fourth leg was too close, so she cut the corner to get to it. Since this was a short leg to begin with, after she left the article, she got a head of steam going and really overran the turn to the fifth leg.
She didn't act like she was finding a track and then suddenly started pulling hard straight ahead. I caught that she didn't really have her nose down, instead it was about level with her back - which was what I had told myself I wanted to watch today. She sometimes just starts pulling, which Sil calls "taking you for a walk". She has huge article drive and call smell the darn things from 30 yards and at this point she was only 15-18 yards from the final article which just so happened to be directly in line with the fourth leg. If I hadn't had it in my head to watch for whether or not she had her nose down in the track, she would have left off three legs.
Anyway, I didn't go with her and based on her behavior thought we were well past the turn, so I organized her searching (going with her when she's headed in the direction I want to go, thus elongating a loop) and after moving back about 10 yards, she caught the next leg. She had to work on the 5th turn, which was on a short-mowed path instead of the longer cover we'd been working on. From there she was pretty much flawless to the end.
I'm very happy to have worked out this issue, but not sure I want to be learning something so important right before a test. Still, I guess its better than learning it AFTER the test.
Gimme and me (and Nadine and Cricket) got into the trial in Oregon for next weekend. I would prefer to have gotten into the one up north, because I know more people in the tracking community there and I know Gimme is familiar with the conditions. Since Nadine will be there I'll have someone to celebrate or commiserate with. Who better than my tracking buddy for almost two years, eh? Nadine said the conditions on the site should be very similar to what we see at Flaming Geyser, so I'll try not to work myself into a lather about it.
Of course, Miss Gimme is coming in season as we speak, which hasn't been an issue in tracking before, though she can be a little distracted until she gets in the rhythm of things. I'll set her up an article circle at a nearby park on Friday morning. I plan to drive down Saturday afternoon and stay overnight at a hotel.
Say prayers for us and cross any body parts you can spare - we'll take any help we can get.