Another weekend and another trial. Winter has finally arrived in Perth. It was a bit like summer to winter in 24 hours. Friday and Saturday was wet, windy and generally very unpleasant after weeks and weeks of mid to high 20's. I'm sure my garden enjoyed all the rain though. Sunday however was a magnificent winters day with beautiful afternoon warming sun on the skin. My favourite trialling weather. The trial was OK for us. Sonic got his first Excellent Agility qualifyer after a really nice run. We started the afternoon with the Excellent Jumping class. Sonic managed the first half well but unfortunately ran straight across my body to take the off course tunnel entry. Not something I was expecting but that's the joys of a novice dog for you.... As it happens he knocked the last jump after attempting to bounce from the jump before. Good on him for giving it a red hot go but he didn't get high enough out of the bounce and went straight through the bar.
Next up was Open Jumping. It was a lovely open course with lots of space between obstacles. We didn't manage a particularly good run this time round. He missed the weaver entry and then couldn't find the tunnel entry. Once again all baby dog mistakes.
Then we were onto our best class of the day. It was pretty much straight after his Open run which I think actually worked in our favour as a bit of a warm up. He handled the course really well. There was a perfect set up for him to take an off course jump but we've been working pretty hard on fixing that issue and he came around with my shoulder like a pro. His dog walk and AFrame was nicely done. His see saw was so-so. Most definately still on the list of "needs a lot of work". After his Geraldton weaver melt down he looked confident through the weavers which was a relief.
So overall I was pleased with the days events. I'm hoping that I will start to see a bit more drive off the ground from him as he gets more experience in the ring. I've had the joy of experiencing what he's capable of at some of our training sessions but I just can't seem to get him to reproduce it regularly in a trial. As everyone keeps reminding me he is just a baby, but if I want to be truly competitive with him here in Perth then I need to start seeing the power that I know is in him. I'll certainly keep breaking things down with him and keep up a nice high reinforcement rate. I also think I've neglected some of the little things, for example, speed onto the table. Something I never work on at training and I noticed that from the AFrame to the table in the agility course he was really quite slow. All those things are costing time on course and with some of the speed demons we have over here you just can't afford to throw that kind of time away. Ahhh, more things to add to my "needs a lot of work" list!