This past weekend CB and I attended one day of the Training Troop’s pre-Hallowener Agility trial. CB was entered in one Gamblers, two Standard and one Jumpers run – all Starters level. We didn’t Q but I had a great time and came home just zapped. The only thing I forgot was CB’s costume for the costume parade – but it was fun to see what other people brought for their dogs. Too bad I didn’t think to take pictures, there were some pretty creative costumes including one inspired by Duck Dynasty.
The trial was at Wet Creek Stables and was on a shaved dirt/sawdust surface so lots of smells. Our first run was Gamblers and it was an overall mess. CB plodded along and we only got 12 points but no matter, I’d rather warm him up on a run like that and I was not alone in having a distracted dog in the ring first thing in the morning.
Our second run was Standard. It started off great with some good speed and we were looking pretty good when CB got on the table. And that was just where we lost momentum. From the table the next obstacle was 12 weave poles and we just didn’t have the speed so the entry was pokey and we spent way to much time there. I think the fact that the bigger dogs channel the “dirt” away from the weave base either distracts or confuses him as he has to hop over the weave bases when he goes through. In any case it’s different and something else to work on.
Our third run was also Standard. CB started off okay and I had his attention going from the table to the weaves (6 poles) but we lost time in a tunnel. Tunnels usually get him moving but lately he’s been a little weird with tunnels. Once I got him moving we picked up some speed and even though we ran over time again we finished to cheers, because who doesn’t like to see a pom run agility.
Our last run of the day was the most fun. It was Jumpers. CB plodded on the first half of the course but was in a near zoomie dash on the back half. I’m surprised he actually stayed on course because he’s usually uncontrollable at zoomie speed. He can really move when he wants to. Even though we didn’t Q it was a rush running the back half of the course. He did great and got faster the louder the crowd cheered him on.
Fortunately we both get better every time we trial. I’m less nervous and CB is less interested in the turf. It took some practice in the summer and he lost interest in grass. It’s going to take some work now but I’m sure he’ll lose interest in “dirt” too. It was really obvious we need to practice going from the table to weaves and other obstacles that slow him down like the chute. And we also need practice in non-ideal conditions like channeled dirt around the weave pole bases. Best thing about the trial was that some other handlers that have seen me around have invited me to join them when they practice at the stables. That will give me a chance to work on some of the things that we lost time on this weekend and hopefully we’ll be that much faster at the next trial.