Monday, March 21, 2011
Third trial -- We found speed (and horse poop)!!
Well, Secret proved that she isn't "little miss perfect" all the time, but I couldn't be happier! Secret found a new gear at our trial on Saturday. She RAN and she had FUN!
I brought jumps out into the (almost) dry yard on Thursday to try to get in some practice time. It was bad. I was being overly cautious trying not to fall on my butt in the mud and Secret was completely freaked out by basketball games going on all around us (so much as I can figure, at least, because she was hiding in the garage while I picked up poo). Probably not the best circumstances to play agility outside for the first time this spring. She went through the motions but she was slow, cautious and didn't want to play.
Because the night before had been such a gigantic flop, I decided to try again on Friday before we left town. Instead of trying some fancy-schmancy world team type course, however, I just set up the jump arc that Secret found so fun last fall. GREAT CHOICE. I brought out her Jolly Ball and she was over the moon with joy. I had all of the jumps set at 16" and she just flew through it, two striding between each jump. This made me feel much better than I had the night before.
We stayed at a friend's house up near the Cities on Friday night. Secret was *worn out* playing with the other dogs. I thought surely that would mean that she would sleep great -- Nope. Even though I "let" her sleep on the couch with me, she thought it was so wrong and she wouldn't sleep. It occurred to me that she has never slept anywhere but up by my head, so in desperation I went and slept on the floor to try to get her to get some sleep. This did help her, but not me...
Perhaps the hour-long nap on the ride to the trial Saturday morning helped, but Secret was ready to go right away! She was even playing & tugging before her turn in the ring, which thrilled me to no end. Her first two runs had speed on par with what I see at home! Were they clean? No -- but I was still thrilled with them!!
We did have an issue with searching for & eating horse poop. She found a big chunk of something at the end of the dog walk on the first run and that was it -- She remembered that spot for the rest of the day and found a few more as well. The only time it caused us real problems was in Jumpers when she slammed to a halt and then shut down a bit when I yelled at her. She was mad that I wouldn't let her keep eating poo and it took FOREVER to get her reset before the jump, making us come in just under 5 seconds over time. That was her fifth run of the day (I added Touch-n-Go to her runs in the morning), so I think she was getting pretty mentally tired.
She finished her Novice Weavers title on a somewhat non-traditional Weavers run (the club was a set short, so all Weavers classes ran with just one set that you performed twice). I think I'll go ahead and move her into Open at the next trial to get her on 12 weaves. I will have to decide about Regular.... I kept her in Novice for this trial to make sure the last trial wasn't a big fluke or anything -- And while she didn't Q in either run, the speed & confidence she exhibited made me happy and I think she would handle Open just fine. Then again, there's a possibility that Novice is encouraging that speed & confidence, so there is a point to be made on both sides. We'll see.... I have to get entries in this week, so I'd better decide!