Sunday, March 17, 2013

Attempt Two

The weekend saw Cassie and I hit the ring again in our second novice jumping run.  Unfortunately not a clear round but pretty damn close with only a refusal at the tunnel.  I had finished Sonic's runs for the evening so it was nice to be able to totally focus on her and get my "papillon handling skills" embedded in my head!  That part of it went pretty well.  As she was approaching the spread I could see that she was a bit hesitant so I really had to push her to commit.  It was after the spread that she went to the side of the tunnel (and over the ring rope).  She seemed to relax a bit more after that and had a lovely run home.  So again I was really happy with the run and as with all baby dogs each one will only bring more confidence to her.  I can't wait until I can just run and know that she has the confidence to take what's in front of her.  Next up I have entered her in agility and jumping at the Cloverdale trial on 4th April.  That gives me another three weeks to finish off her A-Frame training.  When she does the full height A-Frame she skies it every time but there are legs flying everywhere so it would be nice for her to get a bit more control over what she's doing so she can make better decisions about her body.  Doing her first agility run I think will be one hell of an adventure!

Sonic was a very good boy at the trial with his first double Q of the year.  I'm still working on getting his body back to full capacity.  I thought he looked nice and powerful but I'm a bit concerned that he's not jumping quite right.  Hugely happy with the way he's handling though and hopefully if I can keep him sound we'll have a good trialling year.   He certainly enjoyed himself.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cassie's First Trial

Finally the moment arrived last night with Cassie's very first run in a competition.  I was surprised by how much more nervous I was than normal, mainly because I just didn't know what to expect.  So I'm very glad I only entered novice jumping as I don't think I could have mentally coped with running in the agility class as well!  I felt pretty confident she would stay with me because she's been training so well but you never really know what's going to happen when you get out there.  I needn't have worried though as she was fantastic.  She was with me all the way, totally focused and enjoying herself.  I think it helped that we had a lovely open and fast course where the dogs could just stretch out and have fun.  I had been telling myself that I had to run with her the whole way and be as close to every jump as possible.  Unfortunately when I got in the ring I went into a bit of auto-pilot and reverted to my border collie handling and of course she came off the tunnel entry and a couple of jumps.  I was pretty annoyed with myself but I just kept going though to make sure it was  nothing but fun for her.

So mission accomplished, first one is done.  I learned a lot and have plenty of things to work on.  I wasn't going to trial her again until the States but I've decided to enter her in novice jumping at the Dobe Club trial in two weeks just to get a bit more ring experience under our belts.  I'd prefer not to leave it all to the States and blow our chances by not being prepared enough.  Then hopefully I can get this A-Frame finished off and she'll be right to hit the agility ring too.  Just so much fun, I can't wait to get out there again with her.


Sonic was a good boy and went clear in Masters Agility.  He is running so well for me at the moment and is handling like a real pro.  Unfortunately the poor bugger has been sore in his back all week.  He looked OK but would not drive through the weavers so I can only assume that he's still not 100%.  I wish our dogs would listen to us when we tell them to slow down.  I hate to think what his body is going to be like in another couple of years when he takes so little care of himself.  More treatment this week and hopefully I can get him right for the States.