Sunday, June 12, 2011

AKC Agility Trial Day 2

First I'll start by posting the videos of yesterday's runs. First up was Excellent Standard.

Then came Open Jumpers With Weaves. As it turns out, there were no dropped bars on the course. Which means that I did in fact throw away that run yesterday. ARG!!! Here's the run:

Today was a little warmer, but not quite as warm as predicted earlier in the week. I parked in my usual spot, away from the majority of the activity and in an area that gets mostly shaded starting around late morning. I brought some sun shades along today and got the truck decked out so that Heffner would have extra protection. They were running small to tall today and starting with FAST, so we had a nice slow morning. Because I wanted to get that specific parking spot, we still showed up early. I took advantage of the early slow start to our day and took Heffner out for a nice long walk. After we got back to the truck and I got him settled in and picked up our number and course maps, I settled in for a nice little nap in the truck.:0)

The courses were nice again today. JWW had one section that was going to be potentially awkward depending on how it went, but I was prepared to be fully mentally there today and care about our run. And wouldn't you know it, JWW was up first!

Jumps 4, 5, and 6 were what I was a little worried about. When I walked it, I walked it a few different ways trying to figure out which way would flow the best and which way would I be least likely to cause Heffner to falter. The three jumps were rather like a serpentine, but spaced further apart than any serpentines that we've practiced on, which made it difficult for me to figure out how to get where I needed to be and stay ahead of Heffner. I was also planning on leading out to jump three. Just in case Heffner broke his start line stay, I also walked a different start so that I wouldn't be totally thrown off.

I accomplished my goal of being fully invested in the course. Heffner held his start line stay and the route that I planned didn't go off quite as awkwardly as I thought it might (giving us something to practice!). Overall the run was great! Unfortunately we had a knocked bar on jump 15. Damn! So close! Otherwise it was a great run!
Next up was Excellent Standard. It was another nice course and I was looking forward to running it. Our runs weren't as close together today as they were yesterday, but still within an hour of each other. After JWW I hosed him down entirely and let him hang out in the truck while I walked the course. He seemed in pretty good spirits while we were waiting to run, but once we got out there, you could tell that he was getting tired and hot. He was REALLY slow in the tunnels, but I can't fault him for that. Anyone who thinks that tunnels aren't a big deal needs to run a dog that is not only tall, but just as long as they are tall. It's hard on them, period. Whether they enjoy it or not, it's physically hard. I think those tunnels just really took it out of him. He didn't even really pick up speed through the weaves like he normally does. He ended up dropping two bars, but otherwise I am happy with the effort that he put into the run and the fact that he stayed with me even though he was ready to be done!

Sadly no Q's today, but we had some good runs regardless. And now Heffner is taking a break from agility for the summer and he'll pick back up with things in the fall when it's cooler.

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