Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's Agility Time

Yesterday saw Cassie's first ever run in the novice agility class.  On the drive there I was feeling a little apprehensive about my decision to enter her.  Firstly she had never done any agility at the Cloverdale grounds so she had never been on their equipment before and secondly it was her first day trial and the weather forecast was for 30 degrees.  Needless to say there were many "what was I thinking moments".  Aside from that I was keen to see how she'd go.  I've done so much work on her contacts and her confidence that it was hard not to be excited to see how she would handle it. 

All in all I think the day was a success.  No clear rounds but she was happy, fast and confident.  With the warm afternoon a lot of the little dogs were barely breaking out of a trot in the jumping course but she ran just as fast as she normally would.  Her contacts were very good in the mornings agility class and no slowing down as I thought might happen when she realised it was all new.  The only piece of equipment that she didn't do well was the weavers.  She just didn't switch onto the entry at all and wanted to enter half way through.  We made a second attempt for the same result so I kept going and we'll endevour to get a load more work done on those in the next couple of weeks.  She is still running past jumps and sometimes I feel like I'm really hanging around to make sure she fully commits but in saying that I made some dumb handling decisions with her and I can't help but think that contributed towards it.

We have the State Agility Trial in two weeks.  I have no idea how that is going to go and I'm not overly confident that it will be a roaring success but I like the fact that we get more than one go in both agility and jumping with three classes of each up for grabs to try and qualify for finals.  She will only improve the more she's out there.  That will be the last trial we do before Colin and I make our way  back over to Europe for this years World Agility Open so Cassie will have a big break until June when we are back.  I think that break will likely do her good and it wouldn't surprise me if she comes out even more confident.

Speaking of the World Agility Open I have to say I'm very excited about competing in Spain this year.  I have been very lucky in being given the opportunity to run a dog by the name of Hydro who is owned by Lizzie Langwade in the UK.  Hydro is a lovely four and a half year old border collie beautifully trained by Lizzie and is currently competing in Grade 7 agility in the UK.  Hydro and Lizzie have been doing really well themselves, recently winning the Senior Agility class at Crufts.  It is great to know that I just have to focus on running him well as he certainly knows his job thanks to Lizzie's great training.  Here is the video of Hydro winning at Crufts.

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