Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Good the Bad and the Extremely Ugly

Last weekend saw the whirlwind that is the Perth Royal Show descend with the usual series of "if only's" muttered after most classes that I ran with Sonic. I'm the first to admit that there is a lot to be happy about with his performances in general but still feel frustration when he blows me off on course. I absolutely have to take some of the blame. My inability to execute a front cross even remotely close to when I should be still eludes me. I will no doubt continue to suffer the consequences of Sonic doing off courses until I am blessed with far improved timing.

Sonic's speed is still climbing. Out of 18 qualifiers in the Masters Jumping class he came fourth which was even more impressive given that my handling wasn't anything to be smiling about and I got in his way more than once. He ran a fantastic Masters Agility course and if I hadn't gotten out of position over the end sequence of jumps I'm sure he would have gone clear. As it was I got behind him and then it turned into a big fat mess. I was pretty disappointed with that one after spending the first two thirds of the course demonstrating his wonderful independant contacts and some great focus.

I do seriously need to sort out my late front cross timing. What I'm doing is not working and even though I plan to move early it's not happening the way I want it to. I'm going to have to focus on rotating at least a stride further out than what I am now. Maybe that will minimise the lag time between my brain thinking "move" and my body actually doing it! It also has a lot to do with my paranoia of turning early and dumbing them down. The other weirdo thing that I need to work on with Sonic is the table. We blew Open Agility with him walking around the back of it again before he'd get on it. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why his table performance has suddenly changed but I'm none the wiser at this stage. I spent a little time working on it after he ran around the table at the Gosnells trial but he still did it at the Royal. Luckily we rarely see the table in Masters but I don't want the times that I do to be a problem.

Some good news on my agility training area at home. We have planted our first grass runners and put in the first bits of reticulation to get it going. It's not a big area yet, it only gives me enough space for a set of weavers, an A-Frame or a couple of jumps, but it's a start and hopefully we'll keep chipping away until it's finished.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Over Enthusiasm?

Just when I thought that Sonic's broken start lines were under control out emerges Mr Over Enthusiastic... Sonic really loves his agility now. His speed is going from strength to strength along with his growing confidence. Unfortunately joy for Sonic is appearing in the form of a lot of silly barking and any semblence of a start line stay floats away over the horizon never to be recovered. I think I was lulled into a false sense of "Sonic has really settled into his agility now" after having a few trials where he really didn't put a foot wrong and I thought I only had to deal with my inept handling. But apparently not. Dodgy handling is irrelevant if I can't actually get Sonic over the first jump because he's carrying on like a nut job! My withdrawing him because he wouldn't sit and stay at the start line was met with "good decision Karen" from ring side. I obviously wasn't the only one who thought my youngster needed to realise that acting like a nut job means NO agility for Sonic. And trying to tug on your leash as you are walked back to the car after being withdrawn in disgrace from the class for acting like a clown will definitely not work. Not quite sure how he's going to handle the Royal Show this year where the excitment level is doubled with big crowds and much smaller agility ring.

If he was perfect all the time I guess it would be boring...