Friday, July 5, 2013

Results from the June Trials

For the month of June, I hit up one day at the Derby City Agility Association's trial in Buckner, Ky., and then just five days later I hit up three days at the Hoosier Kennel Club trial in Indianapolis, Ind.

At the Buckner trial, Dally was her usual rock star self, pulling out a QQ. The courses were fun--I was able to do all blind crosses on the jumpers course with Dally. Each presented a challenge where the ending wasn't really the end, because the dog would have to come back around after jumping near the exit. Endings like that can be pretty difficult for dogs because they get in a habit that as they come down the final line, they kind-of know when the last jump is. But with courses such as the Buckner courses, the handler really needs to cue to the dog to come back around because they're not done. For me, it's more of exaggerating the cues for the next obstacle and calling their attention to the fact that we're still going. Both Dally and LaMesa handled that pretty well.

With Buckner being LaMesa's last trial jumping 12", it comes as no surprise that she knocked a couple of bars. But there were also a few times where we'd miss cues, plus she'd miss her weave pole entries. It was a frustrating day for Team Vallhund, but my spirits were raised when we got our last challenge measurement so she could jump 8-inches from now on.

Hoosier Kennel Club
The next weekend we travelled North to Indianapolis for my dad's trial. My dad's the secretary for the Hoosier Kennel Club, so I always show in their trial all three days because I help keep the trial moving forward. It's always an exhausting weekend for me and the pups (they show all three days, plus I show them in FAST when it's offered).

Dally was a perfect 3-for-3 for QQs! I was so proud of her hanging in there and rocking the courses. Again I was able to run with a good amount of blind crosses in, which has been great for Dally--they really drive her forward more. I just know I need to get to my spot faster and cue her better, but thankfully she's a little more forgiving because she's seasoned.

Dally's debut in Open FAST wasn't as successful, though. Dally's just not a distance dog--she knows that if I'm not there to support the obstacle, she doesn't have to do it. Friday's course had jump-teeter-tunnel for the send, and she refused the teeter. Oh well! Saturday I thought would be easier, with jump-tunnel-jump, but she went in the wrong end of the tunnel. I wasn't made or frustrated. I know that I don't work her on distance sends any more, so you can't fault her. She's definitely no Porter!

Three days--8 runs--can wear out a Corg!

LaMesa made her trial debut in 8-inches at the Hoosier. Friday we ended up getting a gift-Q. What's ironic is that at one of the previous trials my friends and I were talking about gift-Qs and how almost everyone had gotten one, except for me. Someone commented that in your agility career you'll get gift-Qs and you'll have Qs taken away from you when they shouldn't have, so at some time it'll all even out. So when LaMesa missed her weave pole entrance the first time in Excellent Standard, but I immediately put her back in, I figured we had NQd (the rest of the course was clean and well-run). My dad then told me that we had in fact Qd. The judge even reviewed the sheets and approved the results. Did I feel like I should have gone up to her and said that LaMesa missed her weave entrance? Maybe. But, to be honest, I had just gone through a hellish 24 hours (I lost my job the day before) and was already an emotional mess. After conferring with friends, I decided to let it go. (Zipping up the fire suit now...)

But LaMesa did actually earn her first Novice FAST Q on Friday by nailing her course, so she ended up with two Qs on the weekend.

LaMesa's problems the whole weekend was mostly weave pole entries. There was one or two times that she nailed the entrance the first time, but most of the time it was a missed chance. I finally decided to start picking her up if she missed her entrance--that it wasn't a game to keep running around if we don't do our job (weave). After doing this once or twice, our last run she nailed the weaves. So maybe it got through to her.

Naughty Vallhund after being carried off the course in the
"Walk of Shame" after missing her weave entry.
Now we've been working on weaves in the back yard for short bursts of time throughout the days, and she's getting very consistent. She's even nailing them in class at both BFO and Shamrock Acres. This weekend will be the true test if she'll nail them at Queen City.

(Sorry I don't have the videos from these trials--I've lost the cord for my camera for the Buckner trials, and Matt has the Hoosier runs on his iPad and they haven't been uploaded to YouTube yet. But I'd like to show you some of them as soon as I can.)

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