Nursery Trials 

Nursery trials generally take place during the winter months each year, and take place to assist young dogs gain valuable experience before starting to compete in Novice and Open trials. They are intended for dogs that are already fairly competent but need further exposure and experience away from home territory. It is amazing how a dog can seem extremely comfortable and competent on home soil, but when they take those first steps into new pastures and widen their experiences it can be a different story all together, and therefore nursery trials are a fantastic start for a dog and can astir you in identifying where additional work might be required within their training. 
Although these trials are referred to as 'Nursery' this doesn't actually mean that they are any less challenging. More often than not they will be similar courses to those used for novice and open trials, and the sheep will be just as stubborn and difficult! 
Throughout the four nations and the local sheep dog societies within each nation, the age rules for a dog or bitch competing in a nursery trial are very similar. A dog or bitch entered for a nursery trial must be under 3 years of age at the start of any nursery season and must not have won anything other than a nursery competition. 
Nursery trials are a great place for new handlers to start their trialling careers, as nursery trials are generally very low key and less daunting than open trials, with lower expectations of both dog and handler.