Monday, October 27, 2008

GLBTC Agility Trial - Manhattan, IL Oct. 25 & 26, 2008

We had a very nice weekend of trialing despite the evil wind and chilly temperatures. Some interesting courses - Saturday's Standard course in particular. The beginning was an exercise in rear crosses with NINE jumps in the opening including the broad jump. I can't say that I've EVER seen that before. We blew it at the tunnel discrimination after the a-frame. I actually left Ruby in the weaves to beat her to the end of the a-frame so I could front cross but she ran into my leg to get the wrong side of the tunnel. I can't tell on the video but I think I was too deep in the pocket and may have over-rotated just a bit.

Jumpers went very well. Ruby and I were definitely on the same wave length and I got all my front crosses where I wanted them. It was really nice having Dana come over after our run and tell me how nice it looked. =) Ruby took 4th place in her class on that run.

Sunday was crazy. We were expecting 50mph gusts of wind and we sure got them. Ruby's Standard run went very well though she got creepy on the DW. When I told her to "touch" she stopped halfway down. She's clearly not understanding the end position right now for some reason. It was a nice run however and she placed 4th in her class.

Outside was Jumpers and the wind had picked up. One jump in particular kept losing it's bars every time the wind would gust so the judge decided to rubber band the bars into the jump cups. Ruby was raring to go and the first part of our run went as planned. As we came around toward the end I had planned a front cross after the double but it was no longer there! I held up for a fraction of a second, remembering to just keep going if the jump is demolished and send your dog between the standards. I ended up doing two very sloppy rear crosses to finish the course cleanly. Surprisingly, Ruby placed 2nd and we earned QQ #3!!!

After all the Excellent dogs ran we ended up rubber banding ALL of the jump bars into the jumps for the Open dogs. I honestly have never seen anything like that. All in all, it was a fun weekend even with the cold weather and wind causing havoc.

I also REALLY need to post some pictures of River soon. He's getting so big and will be starting Puppy Agility class on November 4th. He's very excited! =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Car-Dun-Al Obedience DTC - October 18 - 19, 2008

Some very nice runs but no QQ's. On Saturday in Jumpers we had a great run going but I called her off a jump in the pinwheel as I anticipated her taking an off-course jump. !@&#$% I can't believe I did that, so I ruined our chances for a QQ. I was feeling a bit out of sorts this weekend and it was a lot colder than I thought it would be. I guess I was just really off. Standard went very well and Ruby took 1st place in her class with 28 MACH points.

On Sunday someone left her start line a little early on me in Jumpers. She was already coming at me when I released her - so she literally got the jump on me LOL! - and she missed the weave entrance because I wasn't where I wanted to be. I tried to run the rest of the course "balls out," getting all my front crosses in and pretty much leaving her. Brat! She had a very nice run in Standard, momentarily getting distracted by a rock holding the chute open (it was VERY windy) and then I forgot to say her name so she took an off-course jump. It was still a nice run though and her contacts were good.

It was great getting to trial and hang out with Diane & Rookie, Shawna & Crush, and Cindy & Madison. Kim & Jersey joined us on Sunday. Julia & adorable Jolie finished both of her Open titles this weekend. She finished her OAJ on Saturday and had a lovely Excellent Jumpers debut on Sunday. Her Open Standard runs were fabulous and she won her class both days. Go Jolie! =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rand Park DTC - AKA Dogs on Ice

Unfortunately, as much as I like this club I just can't put my dog through that again. They either need to change trial locations or SportZone needs to put new footing in the Jumpers ring.

Her Standard run on Saturday was GORGEOUS! I just didn't check the table when I was walking the course and she hit it hard and fast coming off the a-frame. She tried to hold onto it but slid off, so we NQ'd but it was my favorite run from the weekend. She ran it in 44.58, 182 yards, SCT was 64. Fun, fun, fun!

Jumpers was another story all together. I sprayed her feet with Show Spray to help her hang on but it really didn't help. After she had trouble with collecting from jump 2 to 3, I slowed her down a bit. She Q'd and took 1st place but only 10 MACH points and it was carnage for most of my class.

Here are two of her runs from this weekend:

On Sunday she was a bit slower in Standard, possibly because of the course design or maybe because she remembered slipping in Jumpers the day before. It felt ugly but she was clean taking 2nd place and earning 16 MACH points. I was also late on a FC because someone has decided that the DW contact doesn't need to be held at trials and she went really wide. Naughty girl! ;)

Then in Jumpers she missed her weave pole entry after barking once over each jump around the course. I think she was telling me that it was complete crap that I was making her run on that surface and that I should have my head examined. She told me off at the weaves and after four attempts finally did them after I told her that I agreed with her, that it sucked and if she just did them, she'd get lots of yummy treats. She finished the rest of the course clean. Carnage again for most of my class; only two dogs qualified: big, heavy slow dogs.

I've realized that after having no off-courses this weekend that it must have been me causing them the last two trials. I'm either opening up too much, not turning my shoulders right or plain old not doing the "turn and run" after my front crosses.

We will be at an agility trial in Belvidere, IL this coming weekend. We need QQ's so keep your fingers crossed for us! =)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

GRCI - October 3 - 5, 2008

I'm posting this a little late but it's been crazy busy lately.

First things first, River had his vet appointment on Friday, October 3rd. He weighs 16.6 lbs and is about 12" tall now at the shoulder. He's growing very well and just loves to visit everyone. A very happy boy at the vet's office. Not even a yelp when he got his shots. :)

Then onto our trial in Manhattan. We had a noon start time on Friday since it was Excellent only. FAST class was first, our little warm-up. I didn't really plan well and didn't really care but I would like Ruby to get her XF. We missed the third obstacle in the send portion again. That's four attempts now and we're messing up in the same spot, though I think if it wasn't the far side of a tunnel this time (a different obstacle) she would have gotten it. Maybe I should have taken Dana's distance workshop...

Standard went okay for the most part. Ruby took off way too early for a jump and knocked the bar. Pretty much just blasted through it with her chest. I don't know if it was the lighting in the building or her getting used to the footing in there. Then an off-course up the DW which was my fault because I didn't call her when she was IN the chute. Timing is everything...Jumpers went well but she seemed slow to me. We were clean and she placed 3rd.

Saturday & Sunday I only entered Standard and Jumpers so no more FAST until next month. Standard went pretty well on Saturday until three obstacles from the end. There was a pinwheel with a odd angled jump and an off-course triple facing it. Surprise, surprise, Ruby took that off-course triple backwards. I was thoroughly disgusted to have had a clean run going and blow it like that. She got a pretty tough weave entrance as well. Grrrrr!!!! The carnage continued for the rest of my height class with only one dog qualifying: Darby, my friend Julia's Dalmatian. A lovely run for her! I put Ruby up for auction briefly until after her Jumpers run when she redeemed herself and placed 4th.

Sunday was a rather cold and dreary day. I had to work most of the day and was working Excellent FAST when I should have been walking Excellent Standard. Somehow only walking the course three times seemed to work and she ran it beautifully taking 2nd place behind the Clever Dog. I was very proud of her! :) Jumpers was good for the most part but I didn't help her with a jump at a strange angle and she crashed right through it. I should have pushed on her line a bit more to shape her approach. Weird thing was when I walked the course (heck, I helped build that course) I couldn't figure out why something about that jump was bugging me. Now I know. She also somehow managed to jump the wing of a jump on that course and NOT knock it over. So we missed a QQ by inches. Ugh! 48 MACH points for the weekend though so not too shabby.

So as we stand now, she needs 4 more QQ's and 186 more MACH points to qualify for Nationals. We have 6 more trials before November 30 (this is assuming that we get into all of them - there's only one that I'm not sure about), that means 10, possibly 13 more attempts to get those QQ's and points. I'm not saying that we're going if she does qualify, I'd just like to have the option and be able to say that my little girl did it! :)

We have Rand Park this weekend at the SportZone and I'll update Ruby's blog next week.