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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Monday, September 28, 2009

Learning to compete!

We just did the Kathy Keats seminar this past weekend, & as usual it was really great! Kathy is as much a coach as a trainer for us - she really gets into your head & makes you really want to go for it! She always has some surprises up her sleeve & this time was no different! We ran a couple of Worlds' courses & she had us betting on how our dogs would do.
The courses were tough, but boy, did the dogs do well! I intended to run Bizzie, and I did a couple of the patterns with her on Sat, but I thought Blast would benefit more from the Sunday session & he did pretty well. He can do some really great things, & then totally drift off - this then causes me to get upset & him to get more distracted. I think he really does try, but as soon as I hesitate, or seem unsure, he chooses to disconnect. So in other words, I'm probably causing most of his problem! (Except when he leaves me right at the startline - I'm not taking all the heat for that one!)
Anyhow, I really enjoyed the weekend, & I probably needed a kickstart to get back to training on a regular basis with some structure! Wish me luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another trial Weekend

We did the Medicine Hat trial this past weekend with mixed results. Running 3 dogs is quite difficult, particularly when 2 of them, who need the most attention before they run, are often only 1 or 2 dogs apart in the running order. I'm thinking maybe I should rotate trials with them so they get more attention from me when they need it.
Blast was hot & cold (just like the weather). He was really stressed & left the ring quite a few times. I only did half the standard course with him, & praised a lot, & that was better. He managed to Q his snooker & I just realized that that was his 3rd adv snooker Q, so he's now in Masters Snooker, which is just wrong!
Bizzie had wonderful moments & cheeky moments. She did get a Q in Standard (even after stopping in the middle of the dogwalk to bark at someone) and an Adv Snooker Q. She can be very fast & driven, but I can also lose her really quickly - having no visible boundaries to the ring didn't help our situation! But I know that's a training issue!
Boo was really running - I think he really likes the grass surface. He did have a couple of off courses, but he managed a Standard Q & a Gambler Q. The challenge course was very fun to run - lots of obstacles, many opportunities for an off course, but he just missed the weave pole entry out of the chute. Note to self - better work on those entries, we also had some missed entries at Nationals!
Wayne & Cactus managed 3 Qualifiers this weekend, Jumpers (what a smokin run that was!), Snooker & Steeplechase. Still can't quite get those Standard Q's.
It was a fun weekend, lots of great friends & we really enjoyed the pot luck!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Long Weekend

We spent the past 4 days in BC enjoying their wonderful weather.
We had a family event to attend in Creston, then moved on to take part in the Cookie Power trial in Kimberly.
We had a great time, but arriving late to do one day of trialing makes you feel like you're always playing catch up!

Blast & Bizzie had never been there before, so that plus spending 2 days in kennels & Xpens didn't help their confidence level. Both of them were very distracted on the first run of the day, which was a Standard round. The second obstacle was weave poles, which Blast can't seem to deal with at trials, so he left the ring to pee; Bizzie was all over the place, then bailed off the teeter & started limping. Not a great start to the day... Boo had a strange refusal at a jump, but he ran well for the 2 runs he was entered in. I sent him off course in Steeplechase, (second time I've done that recently!)

With Blast, we bypassed the weave poles for the next run & he seemed to be a little better, but much more distracted than normal. He had a refusal in the Jumpers & back jumped in Snooker, so we pretty much covered all that could go wrong! Bizzie was just entered in 2 runs, so she ran much better in jumpers & actually Q'd.

I'm getting quite discouraged with my training - or lack of - I need to get a structured program to follow since my dogs don't seem to be improving. Lack of a place to train regularly is a huge issue. And of course Bizzie is just coming off maternity leave. Maybe my expectations are too high. Sigh. We have another trial this coming weekend, so hopefully things will go better...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Practice, practice, practice!

We managed to get in 2 outdoor practices this weekend. Since the area is not fenced in, I was a little worried about Blast taking off, but he was really good. He stayed focused & other than his weave pole entries, he ran really well.

Bizzie had a good time, she ran quite well, but does still get distracted easily. I forgot how fast she is, & I remembered how out of shape I am!
Boo ran well, no major issues, he even ran for Wayne for one run!

Speaking of weave poles, a friend had his 24" weave poles there, so I ran all 3 of my dogs through them just to see if they'd notice a difference - Bizzie buzzed through them really fast & had no problem. Blast ran through them but not as confidently, & the same with Boo, but I'm sure none of them will have any problems adjusting to the different spacing. In the meantime, we'll continue to practice on our regular weaves.

I've signed up for the Kathy Keats coaching seminar in a couple of weeks, so I'm trying to decide if I should run Bizzie or Blast... I have run Blast in her past seminars, but maybe I"ll run Bizzie this time. That's the problem when you have 2 novice dogs at the same time...