I think LaMesa likes running in indoor horse arenas--the courses are larger and more spread out, which allows her to really run. She seems more comfortable running on the dirt with her style of running and jumping. I came to this conclusion at the Dayton Dog Training Club's AKC Agility Trial this weekend.
That said, we're still knocking bars. :-( She was perfect on her weaves, though, and I couldn't tell you when the last time was that LaMesa nailed her weaves the first time every time! So, that's one big positive.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any videos from LaMesa's runs on Saturday, but you know how they run from Dally's post and the course maps.
Standard LaMesa ran so well, except she took the 180 after the teeter a little too tight, thus knocking a bar. Everything else was really nice, though. In Jumpers, she knocked a couple of bars, one I think was definitely caused by me being too tight to her on a rear cross--I tend to crowd her too much some times.
Since she knocked the bars, we decided to have a little fun and she ran around the trial rocking her Minion costume. She got a lot of "How adorable!" comments, and I think she enjoyed the extra attention.
Sunday's Standard run:
Everything felt great about this run--I was able to stay with her through the whole course, I didn't make her go too tight in the 180, and she stuck those weave poles. She did start to come off the table a little too early--I figured the judge would call us on it, but he didn't, and I'm so thankful that he didn't because it was LaMesa's second Masters Standard Q with a 2nd place (narrowly getting beat by a speedy Papillon) and 28 MACH points! I was so proud of her!
Sunday's Jumpers run:
This time I wasn't thinking "This could be LaMesa's first QQ" like I did in Tennessee--I just wanted her to run clean and weave again. Unfortunately she knocked a bar towards the beginning…and again it was on a rear cross, but I don't think I was too close to her (was I?). The rest of the course was spot-on and I was proud of her!
Looking at the still photos from the trial, there were quite a few jumps where LaMesa was taking off 2-3 lengths too early, thus starting to come down from her jump arc as she's over the jump. She's literally tucking her butt under her as she's landing to try to avoid hitting the jump. We always knew she was over-jumping and some times jumping too early when she was jumping 12", but I had hoped that she would calm down at 8". Four months of jumping 8" later, she's still jumping around 16" and way too early. It amazes me to think of how fast she really could be running if we cut the extreme height on her jumps to be more efficient.
So now we're working on some jump exercises by Susan Salo that Merinda recommended. I'll do a post on those as we progress. Last night was our first set, and it was a good learning experience for LaMesa.
This weekend we're heading back to Queen City for some more chances. Dally runs so well at Queen City, but it seems to be a little harder for LaMesa. We'll see how it goes!