It's getting late, but I'm going to get this all written down before I forget! Today was the AKC trial in Canby, OR. I had Bess entered today in novice FAST, JWW, and Standard. There was a slight glitch at the very beginning because they had us down for running FAST in excellent. Um yeah, definitely not there!! That got fixed and everything was good.:)
FAST was a pretty straight forward course. The send portion was quite simple and we did get that portion. Unfortunately, I had only built in two extra points. The obstacle that we screwed up was a 9 point obstacle. Bummer! That was mostly my fault, not too surprisingly. Bess was going pretty well and I sent her to the A frame and as she was coming down the other side I was telling her easy. They she launched herself off the A frame without so much as a little toe in the yellow down contact area. ARG! The problem was that I didn't give her the spot command. That's the command I use with both dogs to nail their down contact. In class she pretty consistently misses her down contact on the A frame when I forget to give her the spot command. Big D'OH! At least it was a good warm up.;o)
Next up was Jumpers With Weaves. This was a pretty nice course where I had to figure out exactly where I was going to throw in front and/or rear crosses. My rear crosses with Bess aren't to the point where I'm comfortable trying them out in a trial. That actually probably would have been a good thing to try out in FAST, but I wasn't thinking about that at the time. Anyhow, I tried to avoid using them whenever possible. There was a bit at the beginning of her run where I thought I could get a front cross in in time to have a smooth transition, but I boffed it pretty badly. What I should have done was lead out to the second jump instead of just the first. That would have been a lot smoother. Either way, we got a Q and second place! That's Bess' second Q in novice JWW!! Kennedy was also at this trial running Vegas and was nice enough to video us!:) Thanks again Kennedy!
The biggest thing that I notice (aside from the first crappy front cross) is how incredibly late I'm giving my commands. Our instructor has told me plenty of times in class that I need to get my commands out ahead of time. I've been thick enough in the head that I've been taking that to be object specific and that I'm just late getting out some of my commands some of the time. It doesn't do the dog any good when you're giving the jump command as they're already collecting to take the jump. D'oh!
Our final run of the day was standard. This course was also quite nice (I'll try to scan my course maps tomorrow and post them for those interested). I will say this, the first half and the second half of our run were quite nice and Bess did really well. Unfortunately things fell apart at the weaves. We gave it two tries and then I decided to just move on. We were taking up enough time that we were going to be over anyhow. So aside from the weaves, I felt that we did well on the course.
I think that I got a little over confident on Bess' weaves today. She's been doing sooooooo well in class and at home that I didn't even worry about the weaves. I was actually more worried about how she was going to respond to the texture stuff that's on the contact obstacles (she's funny with textures. Our instructor doesn't have it on her equipment and Bess has been funny about walking on it in the past.) than how she would take the weaves.
Tomorrow it's Heffner's turn!! I'm looking forward to getting back into the ring with the big guy too!! The only possible hitch that I JUST realized today is that I've never run him at an outdoor trial. Most of me thinks that it won't be a big deal, but a small part of me is wondering if we're going to have a performance like we did in the rally ring in Lodi. Needless to say, the boy will get LOTS of potty walks beforehand! I'm going to also make sure to get him plenty acclimated to the site in the morning. Today the weather was beautiful, but tomorrow it's looking like rain. Kennedy had also previously brought it to my attention that this trial was outside and I just didn't even think about that as far as crating goes. I was hoping to set Heffner up inside in the big crate (which I am now dubbing the agility crate!), but I didn't snag my in-laws' easy up and sharing the same tent space tomorrow that I did today with Bess wont' work. Bess doesn't care at all about other dogs. Heffner most certainly does and I don't want to spend the majority of my time trying to regulate his mouth. He'll be spending his down time in the truck (there are thankfully plenty of nice shady spots that I'm comfortable parking in that will keep him cool). Tomorrow we'll be running in just JWW and Standard. FAST wasn't offered for Sunday.
Part of the reason that I'm up so late writing this post and not get some much desired sleep is that I finished packing all the meat after I got home from the trial!!! Woo hoo!!! That means that the dogs are good for another three months and I am one happy camper that I don't have to finish that up tomorrow.:)