Friday, June 25, 2010

4 for 6

So an update on Dally's debut in 4" Preferred. I showed Dally all three days at the Hoosier Kennel Club trial in Novice Preferred 4-inches. She went 6-for-6, earning her Nov P title! level down, at least one more to go to be back where we were in Excellent.

The question is, did Dally like jumping 4-inches better? Well, it means she really doesn't have to hike up her compact body up and over 8" jumps. With 4" she doesn't seem to have to put forth a lot effort--which I think she likes. Now, the weather was horrendously hot! I'm talking lower 90s and high humidity. We're talking brutal! I was lucky that the fairgrounds where the trial was being held is only 10 minutes from my parents' farm, so when the Open started, I could call my mom and have her bring Dally (along with Mesa and her Vallhund, Smoke) and she'd be fresh and ready to run. (The show is a 2-ring, 1-judge trial, so it was a long day.)

Last weekend I ran Dally one day at the Queen City agility trial, but I kept her in Exc B 8" (Regular) due to the format of the trial. This was indoors on padded rubber flooring--N-I-C-E footing! Now here, she ran fast!! We didn't Q in either class, but she was fast! I was very happy to see her running and looking like she was having fun. In standard she ran past the A-frame (she came out of the jump and was in an odd position, and I probably didn't support the A-frame like I should have), but everything else was clean. In jumpers again she ran clean, but she popped out of the weaves and ran past a tunnel (again, I might not have supported it as well as I should have), but she was still clean.

That was it for agility trials entered so far. I haven't done any planning for the remaining summer, but we'll probably take July off. I'm not sure when I'll permanently keep Dally in preferred.

As far as Mesa's training goes, I started her on some more groundwork tonight. I set out one of my stake-in-the-ground weave poles to start teaching her (and Dally) some distance work. She took to it easily going from right to left, but going right to left seems to be a difficult concept for her. Same with Dally, which is strange...but once they both got it without me really pushing them (I was standing just a couple of feet away), we ended with a game of tennie and then dinner.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Change for the Better?

Back in May, Dally and I competed at our first AKC agility trial since March. This was in Hamilton, Ohio, at an indoor soccer facility that has great artificial turf footing. Dally loves it--it's always the place where she runs the fastest. It's a fan favorite.

At Hamilton, we started the weekend off right with our first AKC Excellent Q since September in Exc B STD! She ran beautifully, and stopped the clock 7 seconds under the standard course time. Unfortunately, a slight mistake in the Exc B JWW caused me to correct her, which also meant she shut down--a slow Corgi means a mistake in a pinwheel (she missed a jump). Oh well, no Double Q ("DQ") that day.

Sunday saw Dally start off very s-l-o-w in the Exc B STD. For some reason, she didn't wake up until half-way through, when I fired her up on the table. She was on fire the last part of the course, but unfortunately she stopped the clock 12+ seconds slower than the standard course time. Our Jumpers run saw a fast Corgi throughout the course! She was on fire!! We stopped the clock at 45 seconds flat....but later found out the standard course time was 42 seconds. Even after seeing her fly through the course, it was frustrating that our fastest wasn't fast enough even for a Q. And, if we do Q, we are accumulating MACH points slowly. So the discussion has turned to dropping down Dally from jumping 8-inches to jumping 4-inches.

What that means is she'll be running in "Preferred," which allows her to jump one jump height lower than she was originally measured for (any dog measuring 11-inches and under jumps at 8-inches), but she also will have additional time added for standard course times. I think they add five seconds to the time to allow for the older, less-capable, dogs running in Preferred. I think "less-capable" is a wrong choice of words, but it's hard to explain via blog and to those that don't know dog agility. Dally measures 10.12" at her withers, but considering she'll turn 5 in July, she's finally matured into a full Pembroke Welsh Corgi body, which means a broad, heavy chest and weaker hind end. It's hard to propel that much body (25lbs) over an 8-inch jump and run through tight courses in record speed.

I jumped her in a couple of 4-inch courses at my two classes this week and she seems to be comfortable and happy with it. We'll just see how it goes.

This weekend we have the Derby City Agility Association trial in Buckner, Ky., but she'll be running in the Exc B 8-inch regular division. Next weekend is the Hoosier Kennel Club AKC agility (my dad is the show secretary) and that is where she'll make her debut in Preferred. One negative about dropping down to Preferred is that we have to start all over--accrue our titles, yet again, and start at Novice. I'm hoping that in the 3-day trial in Lebanon, Ind., we can earn all three legs of both the Nov P STD and JWW levels in the weekend. Then we can go up to Open in an upcoming trial.

I'll keep everyone up-to-date on how the "Preferred Experiment" goes. We are able to run in Regular at any time, just as long as we enter Regular for one trial, and not run Preferred one day of the trial and Regular the has to be the same for the whole trial.