Another new trial site for us and what a beautiful place! The trial was held at “Corgi Hill Farm” in Carthage, NC. The drive there was nice among beautiful countryside with some gorgeous Fall colors and the site was actually a working farm full of sheep, ducks, and Corgis 🙂 I only entered Miles this weekend because I wasn’t sure what Rue would be doing at the time. I was a bit sad that I couldn’t run her this weekend, but at the same time judge Tom Slattery had some wicked Standard courses that would have been very tough for her since she just moved up to Excellent.
Warm, humid and raining on and off all day. Somehow Miles and I managed to avoid the heaviest rain, but some folks weren’t so fortunate. Of course rain makes Mr. Man that much faster/crazier for some reason. This was a very small trial with only about 45 Excellent entries and with the weather forcast, there were quite a few scratches. I was glad that I was slated to be timer for the small dogs since otherwise I would have gotten there a little later and would have missed the combined walkthrough.
Excellent Standard was first to run. The course wasn’t too bad, but had about 4 discrimination points and at each one you wanted your dog to take the inside obstacle/tunnel hole (our least favorite). I walked the course about 4 times and came up with an independent plan. Since doing the goal setting exercise last week, my focus really was speed. I want to see our Standard course times getting better and ultimately would love to be seeing 4yps consistently. Once I took my position as timer and started watching some small dogs I realized I walked the course and completely neglected the table, agh. What the heck?? This isn’t Grand Prix, sigh, why am I so dumb sometimes. Fortunately, it made sense where it was and I mentally made a plan for it.
Miles was uber excited to warm up…actually I don’t think he’s ever been this bouncy outside of the ring before. Seeing that it was a new place and there were two huge tents over the ring entrance that were flapping heavily in the wind gusts, I was most impressed with his exuberance! As expected, the course ran really fast. I unfortunately got stuck managing the dw to tunnel entry and couldn’t get in position for my blind before the a-frame which caused a refusal. Since that NQ’d us, I just pushed him for the rest. He had an awesome stay on the table where I led out about 15ft, wow! I failed to indicate the correct tunnel hole after the teeter (which he rode all the way down, yeah) which made the weave entry quite difficult, but he got it anyway. I should have kept moving while he was in the poles and gotten on the other side of the triple, but I hesitated and he popped out. He had a beautiful line of offset jumps to the finish. If you take out the time lost getting him on the frame, this was a 4.2yps Standard run!!
Melanie, Leila and I then took our 7 dogs for a nice long walk around the property while we waited for all of 8 Open and 4 Novice dogs to run.
The JWW course looked fabulously fast. I was very very excited to run this course as I thought it would be one that we could execute well. I think I’ve been a little hesitant lately about front-crosses as I’ve had 2 very recent occurances where I couldn’t get there and was forced to rear on the fly. So I planned two rears in this course, but unfortunately I was there in more than enough time and my lack of motion made the rears very difficult. Miles saved my butt on the first one and miraculously pushed out to the double even though I was way behind, but he just couldn’t do it at the last one. I was literally stopped and he did what he should have and pulled off the jump for a refusal 4 jumps from the end 😦 SUCH and nice run though and at 5.4yps I’ll take it! He also had fabulous weaves in this run 🙂
Today they also planned to demo the new Time To Beat (TTB) class at the end of the day. I decided after looking at the course map that I’d stay and run lil’ Rue. I figured it’d be good experience for her at a new site on new equipment and since it didn’t “count” I could mentally treat it like a show and go. The premise of this game is very similar to USDAA’s Steeplechase in that it’s designed for speed and you compete based on jump height, not level. So there’s just one course for all levels. This course had the a-frame as the one contact obstacle (it will be either be that or the teeter, never the dogwalk) and you had to do it twice. Otherwise it was just jumps, a tunnel, and 12 weaves.
Rue did quite well with this course. She was slower at the beginning and added extra strides, but from the weaves on she was cookin’. I should have talked to her in the tunnel because she came out looking to the left which made the next jump very difficult, but she was a very smart puppy and saved it! She finished in 30 seconds which put her 3rd in the 20″ height class out of 10 dogs and just behind and Aussie and a BC. Yay Rue! I’m thinking that she really doesn’t like when I push back on her at the start as she’s been tending to trot before the first jump when I do it. I’m going to experiment with baby lead-outs versus sending her through my legs and taking off running. I will also continue to reward pushing back on her collar and having her touch my hand for cookies to see if I can build drive for that game too.
Much cooler today than yesterday and far less humid which made it much more comfortable for everybody. The Standard course looked even more evil than yesterday with a hard call off both ends of a tunnel to go into a pinwheel, yuck. I figured I’d give it my best, but if he took the tunnel oh well at least he’d have more fun that way. Well, I got what I expected and he called off the first tunnel hole and went into the 2nd one, so I went with it. After watching the video I think I may have had better luck if I kept my stinking arm down, oops. He found the tunnel to the pinwheel fun and I cheered for him for doing what I obviously told him to do which got a chuckle out of the judge 🙂 We got called on our teeter today, which was a surprise as it really wasn’t that bad….maybe he called it since we had already NQ’d?? I’d like to think that! He had a beautiful table that he had to really hold onto as he was flying at it and then went into his down reasonably fast. His tunnel to dogwalk was beautifully tight and the rest was fabulous. We had a bar after the frame not sure what I did there, but probably was frantically trying to get to a front cross that I hadn’t planned in my walk through, but I wanted to test his weave entry and independence. He rocked that part. Totally hit his entry and let me get about 10 feet lateral and way far ahead of him. I don’t think he’s ever weaved this fast in a trial, ever. He was SUPER happy with himself too! This run was actually 3.8yps even with the extra tunnel and the little hesitation to down on the table. WOW!
We again did our 7 dog, 1 mile walk between classes and Rue got to see horses for I think the first time. She thought they were quite neat 🙂
Once again the JWW course looked super fun…lots of places for fronts and nice areas for them to really open up and rip. I was brave today and planned all fronts including one after the weaves (which was actually a “backy uppy” followed by a front) which required me to have lateral distance off the weaves again. Well I must say I think my boy quite liked this course! I was able to do my whole plan and he responded so nicely and didn’t even look at any of the offcourses that were eating up dog after dog. He ran this in 5.2yps and was still 3 seconds behind Melanie’s Awesome Austie! But 2nd place with 16 MACh points ain’t bad 😉 So this makes MXJ leg #5….
Overall I thought Miles and I did really great this weekend. The courses were very hard and we still were able to pull them off with only 1 or 2 mistakes in each. I’m so thrilled with how fast he was running especially given that it was a new place. He far superceded my yps goals in each run and had some *amazing* weaves! I was also very proud of myself for not trying to play it safe and go for the Q. I would have felt really terrible if I slowed him down to try to be perfect and even worse if we still NQ’d so this was a big accomplishment for me! I got so many compliments on our runs too, which is funny as only 1 was a Q. Just goes to show you that slow and accurate just isn’t as memorable or as flashy as fast and dirty : D
Up Next: A new patient evaluation for both dogs at a sports vet in Virginia. I’m looking forward to learning more about my dogs’ structures and what I can do to help keep them as sound as possible. Following that both dogs are entered locally for AKC 11/7-8 and then we’ll be taking it indoors for a show in Concord (same site as the AKC Nationals this year) the following weekend!