Twenty Mile Farm
home of canine agility and Border Cheviot Sheep!
Welcome to our home on the web. Aussium Agility &
Twenty Mile Farm are located in beautiful Nipomo, California.
Building Aussium Agility...
Aussium Agility was put together in 2000 because Ben, my
rising Aussie agility star, refused to run where we were
currently training. As a novice agility handler, I was amazed to
find how strong an emotional issue could be for even the most
competitive dog. Ben had been attacked, several times, and could
no longer concentrate on agility at that location. That meant
that I had to find somewhere else for him to run. The obvious
choice was on our own 20 acres, so one of the sheep pastures was
overhauled with DG/sand footing to cover the black clay. Agility
obstacles were ordered, and we were back on our way! Because we
were the only game in town, others came to train and work here,
under the driving concept that dogs had to ‘earn’ the right to
do agility. If your dog can’t play ‘nice’, and at least ignore
other dogs, they can‘t work in a class situation here, and must
do privates until they can be trusted in class. Period. No
exceptions. In order to work as a team, dogs must feel safe
where they train. That was my first commitment. Your dog WILL
feel safe here.
My second commitment was to physical safety, for both members
of the team. The equipment and footing must be safe, and at
competition level. I spend a lot of time and resources on
maintenance, but know of no other way to achieve this goal.
Both the grass training field and the agility arena are lighted,
so safety is not sacrificed if a class runs over time.
Our wonderful boy Ben!
am conscious of the fitness of the teams, and 30+ years of
working with competitive jumping horses gives me the foundation
to bring dogs to a level of fitness for the extreme sport of
agility. Not to mention the experience gained from working with and for my husband of 37 years, who was formerly a large
animal veterinarian, and now deals only with small animals.
My third major commitment is to the joy and fun that agility
represents to me. It is always the dog’s choice to run and work
with us, and all errors are generated by the human member of the
team. The dog is simply executing requests as they are
processed, they are completely at the mercy of the information
they receive. Chris Bach’s Third Way underlies all training
here. Force has no place, but consequences are always present,
and operating on the team. If the handler can’t find the fun,
they need to train somewhere else. I can’t participate in
anything that works on the sensitivities of a dog. If it is
painful to watch, I want no part of it. My Aussies taught me
about the joy and speed of agility, and I know no other way. It
is my goal to maximize the fluency and competence of all teams
training here, while maintaining the unique style of each
handler and dog. It is a constant delight to shepherd teams
through the learning process, and watch each partnership take
form. I am constantly amazed by the confidence and communication
that develop, given a positive, supportive foundation.
Our beautiful Carrie
Not everyone who finds their way to agility sees ribbons and
titles at the end of their journey. But everyone does come to
the realization that it is the journey, not the destination,
that matters. Forming a partnership with your best friend.
Testing yourself against the day, you and your dog alone
with the course. Those are the moments that stay with you
forever. Those are the gifts of agility, and all dog training.
Our dogs are with us all too short a time. We know that when we
begin the relationship. Agility is an extreme sport, and
unforeseen events can end it much too quickly. One of the
biggest lessons we learn with an agility dog is that each run,
in competition or practice, could end up being our last. We
never know when the game will end, so it makes each moment of
that special connection that much more valuable.
The wonderful part is how vivid those agility moments remain in
our hearts and minds. It is such a gift.
I teach agility because I want to share that gift and be part of
that joy. It truly is that simple. My Border Collies have
taught me about work, and doing what has to be done. The Aussies
have taught me to find the ‘party’ in life, where the joy
That is AUSSIUM AGILITY.
On the following pages
you will find lots of photos of our dogs and some of the other dogs that take our agility
Also you'll find
class schedules, registration forms and lots of
other information that we hope will help you in your quest for agility titles!
If we can help you with answers to your questions, please send
us a note!
Please click the photo above to go to the Twenty Mile Farm
section of our website for lots of photos and information about our
Border Cheviot Sheep