Okay, so technically this is day 2 of the trial since it started yesterday, but it's day 1 for us so I'm going to stick with that. I got to the fair grounds a little later than originally intended, but still managed to snag what looked to be the last available open crating space that was big enough for all my gear. The plan was to crate both dogs inside the arena, but still park the truck in my normal mostly shaded spot just in case I didn't feel that I was able to keep Heffner cool enough inside.
The day started off coolish and overcast so I was very hopeful that the predicted 80 degree temps would either not really happen or they would hold off until after I was already done for the day. No such luck, but I was able to keep both dogs happy and cool throughout the day with LOTS of complete hose downs! Two thumbs up there!!
First up for both dogs was Open Jumpers With Weaves. Thankfully there were enough 24" dogs entered that I didn't have to stress about how many dogs were in between my guys. Bess was up first. I did a lead out beyond jump #2 and did a little hand switch cue that I've worked on a little bit to help signal the dogs that there's a change of direction coming up. I just forgot about the part where I do need to actually move. Preferably before she takes off for the second jump so that she knows where to go. D'oh! I started moving late, we almost collided and there was a knocked bar. I believe that the rest of the run was fairly decent. She did pop out of the weaves towards the end and I had to fight the urge to just push on through the course so that we didn't take forever. We redid them and I just chilled out and let her take however long it was going to take her and I think that paid off for us in Standard. So not too shabby of a run for Bess, but no Q.
Heffner followed and I did the same initial move, but I think I still botched it for him because I'm pretty sure that's the bar that he dropped on the course. His weaves were awesome! We haven't practiced them at all since I believe June, he just loves them! He really started to open up on the course and thoroughly enjoyed himself. It felt so good to be running him again! The big grey dog is back and ready for action!! He did have the one dropped bar, so no Q.
After a few hours of hanging out, Heffner was up again in Excellent Standard. It was a pretty nice course. I'm not usually a fan of tunnel or chute starts, but between the two, I'd much rather have a chute. Everything was going well until the teeter. Heffner shook himself off after coming out of the tunnel and I didn't support his entrance onto the teeter. He went on at an angle, lost his footing and bailed off. I chose not to repeat it for two reasons 1) he doesn't get weird about contact obstacles. 2) I wanted to finish the course. If I had chosen to take him over the teeter again, I would have forfeited the ability to finish the course. The rest of the run went pretty well until jump #13 where I think I cut him off and we got a refusal. Otherwise, he did great and I was really proud of him!!
We ended the day with Bess in Open Standard. The course was still nice and I was definitely going to pay more attention to the teeter entrance. Everything went really well and she was more lively for this run! She was actually pretty fun to run! Her weaves were slow, but she didn't pop out and she nailed the entrance with basically no help from me. The only minor blip on the radar that didn't seem to get caught by the judge was the ending. We ended on a tire jump. Instead of jumping through the tire, Bess jumped through the side area within the frame. I turned her around and had her go through the actual tire. Otherwise it was a nice clean run! Which means a Q!!!:0)
It was a great day. And now I'm sitting here typing this, sitting in multiple layers of dried sweat and trying to figure out what exactly I'm going to eat for dinner before I crash for the night so that I can do it all over again tomorrow!