Last weekends trial would easily have to be the most successful agility trial I have had in a really, really long time. While I am extremely pleased with Veto's progress what has me beyond excited is Miss Pappy Pants. She had been on an agility holiday after the Nationals and then the holiday got extended when Ve hurt himself. I've done some small bits and pieces with her but it's been very light and non-intensive. I decided to enter her in an NFC class just to see how she was feeling about the competition ring and get some sort of idea on her head space in the trial environment. We'd had two super training sessions the week leading up to it where she was confidence plus so I was quietly optimistic but let's face it, you never know what goes on in the mysterious mind of the papillon... But at the trial on Saturday night she far exceeded any expectations that I had. We did both Excellent classes and I modified the course so there were no major challenges and she could just run. And run she did. I would struggle to find a time when she has run faster, she was insane. Watching her go into the ring you would not believe for a second that she'd ever had an issue. She strutted in there like she owned the place and then blasted around like a mini sized demon.
I'm trying to temper my enthusiasm as I know how quickly it can all go tits up. But this time around I am so much better prepared. I will never put any pressure on her and I feel very confident now with what to do if she shows any signs of being uncomfortable or stressed. With that in mind I'm hoping that those times will be further and further behind us. She is entered at Albany in her normal competition classes. Seemed silly to do NFC when we are travelling all the way down there but if she shows any stress at all we will be straight out of the ring. Then we'll finish the year off with a couple more NFC classes. I just wish I could bottle what I had on the weekend because it was pretty damn special.
Veto was also amazing. He managed his first two Novice Jumping qualifiers which I was a little surprised about. I thought it might take a bit longer to get our first passes! What is really exciting is that he's running really good times already even though he is far from producing the sorts of speeds that I know he will be capable of. He is trying so very hard for me and improving every run which is all I can really ask. Lots of work to do on his turns and he's not reading them all that well just yet. I don't think anyone would call him a natural turner but I'm sure we can make them better with more skill work. His first ever agility run wasn't too bad at all. He pulled out of the last half of his weavers but I'm not worried about that and I don't believe that will be an issue. His running dog walk was really, really good for his first one in the ring. He didn't have the greatest approach and tried very hard to adjust himself accordingly which exactly what I'd hoped to see even though it wasn't perfect. He was driving so hard that he completely missed a 90 degree turn shortly after. His running a-frame was lovely as was the rest of the course. So I'm feeling very excited about his agility future and to have the two of them going so well feels like I'm being spoilt!