Friday, June 15, 2012

First Agility Trial of 2012!

So our first trial of the season has come and gone, and wow, what a weekend! I swear, this is what the last two years of practice has been all about.  This is the first weekend I have ever entered Shimmer into a full weekend of runs (okay, so it was a full weekend minus one run, but still).  I had no idea how it would pan out, but I knew it was time to start applying what we had learned in the various games.

And perform she did!  She ran 7 runs two weekends ago, and she took home 5 Qs to her name.  She got her second Starters Jumpers Q, so she has now moved up to Advanced in that class. She got 2 Standard Qs, so she now needs one more under a different judge to get her first agility title, ADC. She got a Q in both Gamblers (and a nice one at that!) and Snooker runs, so hopefully in the next trial she'll get one more of each and that will be her second titles, SGDC.  Really looking forward to our August trial (Sigh...can't believe we have to wait that long!), and what that will bring!

The weather was very warm, the first warm weather we've seen so far, so there was lots of water, sunscreen, and sweating. But the dogs couldn't have been happier, with so many smells, the beautiful river to run alongside and dip into, and camping. Who doesn't love camping? There's something surreal about camping in a huge 3-bedroom tent with 4 dogs and having everything go right!

I suppose I can mention the two runs that she didn't Q in.  Turns out both of them "could" have been Q's, but I'll tell you why there weren't.

In the first Standard run we ran, Shimmer popped out of the poles at pole 6.  Being new to Standard (and therefore sometimes forgetting the rules!), instead of simply putting her back through all 12 again like I should have to get the Q, I put her back in at pole 6, which cost her that run.  Oh well, just one more "shame about the handler" moment to add to my list!

The second "almost Q" came the next day, in her first Standard run again.  All was going very smoothly until she fell off the teeter. I'm not exactly sure what happened, she approached it from a good angle, I think she was just going faster than she was used to (she was really in the zone this particular weekend!), and lost her footing as she braked at the end.  She tumbled off sideways and landed on to her back. After making sure she was okay, and realizing she really only got a scare more than anything, I put her back over the teeter again to let her know that all was well on course, and we finished cleanly.  The "almost" part comes because if I hadn't have put her back over the teeter, technically she performed the obstacle right as she didn't slip off until after her foot touch the down side of the contact. However, had I not called "training" and worked the teeter with her, knowing her environmentally sensitive personality, I may have risked future teeter performances so it was absolutely, totally worth it and I'd do the same thing again in a heartbeat lest it ever happens again.

After the trial was over we did the touristy thing and travelled around  Fundy National Park.  We visited beautiful Hopewell Rocks, and took on some of the amazingly beautiful trails throughout, including the walk to Dickson Falls.  I recommend anyone who likes to get out with their pets to consider seeing the Rocks and Fundy Park, it was our second time there and you can be sure we'll be going back again. 

I couldn't have asked for a better start to 2012 trialling season, and cannot wait to see what the summer holds in store! We're trial-free for June, but will be taking on the Rally ring in July with Kash!

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