Next weekend CB and I will be heading up to Edmonton to compete in our first Agility trial. I’m feeling pretty calm about the whole thing which is good because I was pretty anxious before our first Rally trial last year. The big difference here is that we are really well prepared, we weren’t so much for Rally. There are some obstacles that could be better (teeter, chute) but those will have more impact on our time than anything.
A few weeks ago I attended a speed seminar with Shannen to learn ways to motivate CB and to encourage him to run as fast as I know he can. This seminar was super helpful and I’ve seen some significant improvement with CB’s speed since I started implementing the conditioning exercises she recommended and I’ve also started running intervals with him. I think we are now fast enough to make standard course time.
I’ve also been studying any course map I can find and spent time dissecting them so I can understand the lay-out and envision how to handle them. That’s been a big gap for me, understanding the course – seeing it in my mind and just doing the course. If all goes well we may end up with a Q or two.
If we don’t, that is totally fine. There are a lot of factors that can affect how we may do as the trial is outdoors and the location and equipment will be unfamiliar. To mitigate some of this we have practiced at 4 different places. including a couple of times outside on grass. What we haven’t done is practice in bad weather, hopefully that won’t come and bite me in the ass.
Either way, this trial will be a good start in Agility for us. I’ve also submitted entries for the AKC agility trial (CKC) and the Calgary Agility Association’s June trial (AAC), and I’m planning on entering a couple more that are happening over the summer. Fingers crossed that we’ll be able to compete in some of these since the trials are all limited entry and some of them fill up really fast.