Friday, 11 December 2009
Next was 1-2 jumping. Had some nice parts, again missed the weaves, I don't think he saw them. Not sure why he came inside no. 12, if it hadn't been for that would of been quite a good run. Especially as he probably wouldn't of knocked those poles.
Next was 1-7 helterskelter. I thought we stood a good chance of getting round this course but then he knocked no. 2 (if anyone can spot any reasons for these knocked poles can they please let me know!) and I kinda gave up. He got E'd cuz his dozy handler was running towards that jump with her arm out, doh! Can't say he wasn't listening!
Finally was 1-3 jumping, again knocked no. 2, kept on extending his stride so knocked no. 4 and the angle was too tight for him to get in the tunnel as hard as he tried! This put me too far behind him to keep him going straight after the tunnel and he got E'd. Worked the rest of the course nicely apart from the 2 more poles. Although I have to say he doesn't look quite right in this run and I wonder if he hurt himself a bit trying to brake for the tunnel although he seemed perfectly sound afterwards.
So again good parts and bad parts. Really need to teach him some sort of steady command but not really sure how to go about it or what criteria it should meet, need to have a think. Also need to do lots more grid work to try and stop him knocking those pesky poles. It's funny how he doesn't knock poles in agility classes. Didn't have any in either of the classes at honiton or at the weekend. And thinking about it rarely has 1 in the 'agility section' at training. Maybe the stops on the contacts give him time to regain his composure and think about his striding better?
Anyways heres the video (Big Thanks to Tasha for filming and Sarah for making it :-)):
Saturday, 5 December 2009
The starters are coming on well, they are learning changeovers and they can now all do 4feet turns on the box with no ball, so it is just the hardest bit of adding the ball to go.
I then had agility on Wednesday. Asher can only be described as one word... an Arse! He was really being quite annoying, I know people say it's always our fault, something we were doing wrong and part of it probably was but he was being really awkward. I don't get angry at him, I find him quite funny really but I did get a bit frustrated when I was stood at the start and he went and made up his own course that yes did include the weaves, a wing wrap and a blast round the circuit of the arena taking any jumps that happened to be there. He was very pleased with himself. His weaves in general were ok, his entries are amazing but he still does have a tendency to pop out at 10-11 if he sees something exciting to do next or if I race him too much. We practised wing wraps which he's not actually too bad at providing I cue him early enough and can get in a reasonable position to bring him round the wing. We also practised waits which have got very twitchy recently as he thinks that when I stop ready to release him is the point at which he should go. A couple of reminders and they were dead solid again and he looked alot more relaxed on the start so this does need to be worked on a bit more to maintain it. We then did some contacts and he flew his seesaw, soon sorted that. He then nearly broke himself on the flat tunnel, did i mention he was being an arse?! Came at it at a funny angle, couldn't decide to go through it or not, at last minute decided he would and ended up nearly knocking himself out! So then i'm walking him around to check he's ok and he decides he didn't do it right the 1st time so had better go through it again, tries to trot through it and gets stuck, we have to lift it at the end so he can get out! He is totally unfazed by it all! So just as I am losing the will to live we get set the hardest course of the night and he goes straight round it 1st time perfectly, no poles, lovely wing wrap and the most beautiful Aframe contact! Funny dog! My trainer said that if he was a person he would be a obsessive, compulsive athlete, I think that sums him up!
We are off to Blackdown Agility Show on Sunday that I am kind of looking forward to as long as Asher brings his sensible head for atleast one of his runs so that he might look like he's had some form of agility training before! No really it should be fun!
Best news of this week is that Asher's blood test results for his passport came back and he passed!! Euro's here we come, so excited now!!
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Each dog has individual things that we need to work on and then we are doing general box/power/speed training. I am basically in charge of boxwork and give ideas for the speed exercises which Louise actually makes happen as I am not very organised! I think our combination works well! We haven't done any full runs yet and won't until after Christmas. We've been working on power jumping over 6 jumps although they are still at a low height as we want to get the dogs going really fast over them before we increase the height (it also means we can train all the dogs together and don't have to worry about changing the height for the littlies). We also tried chase runbacks for the 1st time this week. This is where the 1st dog is released then the next dog is released as the 1st dog goes over the 2nd jump so that it is chasing the 1st dog down, then the next dog is released 2 jumps later etc. We started this with 3 dogs but managed to get 6 dogs in a chain by the end. I wasn't sure how much difference to speed it would make but was amazed by the effort the dogs were putting in. You could see their extension and drive improve and they looked faster. Dogs that jump high over the jumps such as Elliot and Jamie were noticeably flatter and driving forwards more.
I am really enjoying box training. Everyone is happy to try whatever I ask them and we are already getting some great results. The way I teach the turn is by having a jump infront of the box and asking the dog to jump over the jump and back. The jump is then inched back towards the box until the dogs are jumping on and off the box. Once the dog is confident with this I then introduce the ball. We reward the good turns, ignore the bad ones and if at any point the dog stops jumping on and off and tries to do a two footed turn we go back to turns with no ball. Last year all the dogs learnt to jump on and off with no ball, but we didn't have enough time to introduce the ball properly which I think is the main reason why the turns deteriorated in competition. What is really good is that most of the dogs remembered all the work jumping on and off which means with most of them we have been able to progress straight to doing work with the box loaded. I think with box training you have to be very open to trying new things and doing what works for each dog. Although each of our dogs began with the same method, each one now has various different props in different places and with me in different places to get the best turn. Obviously I know that you can't have props in competition and these will eventually have to be removed but for the time being they will remain to build muscle memory and hopefully make the turn second nature. I'd like to list all the dogs and the stages they are at/what we are going to do next but that could go on for a while (if you would really like to know please leave a comment and I may find the time!). At the moment I am really pleased with Sonny, Lacy, Jem and Elliot. They are doing the box totally independently with just the props. With them we are working on foot placement and drive off the box. Perry, Smartie and Jamie are making the most progress. With all of them we had the issue of the two-footed turn but they are now doing 4 feet turns with me and the props in place. We have retaught them to go round rather than jump on and off. I don't really like teaching this way as I think it is slower and can teach them to go wide but as I've already said you have to do what works for the dog. I am already backing away from the box and they are maintaining the turn so I don't think it will be long until i am completely out of the way and can start making the turn tighter and faster. Seeing Perry do a 4foot turn with the ball is a beautiful thing. He is a 26" Munsterlander cross and has been racing for 6yrs with a two foot turn, who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks!! Whether he will maintain it in competition is different but we will give it our best shot! We have a couple who are proving a little more tricky. Diefer is just a bit nutty so doesn't think about what he's doing, we are getting there and now he's realised what we want is catching up with the others, no rush though, we've got plenty of time and he had a decent 3foot turn anyway. Then their is Luna who after alot of analysis we have decided to retrain to turn left. This will be a slow process as she spent alot of time being taught her right turn so she thinks this is what we want from her. But everything about her movement suggests she should be a lefty, we've just got to convince her that it's ok! Finally Bunty who has got a beautiful fast turn anyway but she only uses 3 feet and pivots on the 4th so is not getting as much drive as she could. I think we found out this week what is going to work but it will be a very slow process!
Then we have our starters. Our 2 'in team' babies are looking very promising. They are both Collies. Piper is just fantastic, he is so fast over the jumps and is picking the box turn up very quickly. He is also 1 of the most handsome Collies I've seen. His father is Littlethorn Continental so he is the nephew of Darwin and half brother (I think?!) of Bentley, both of Molten Magnets so we have high hopes. I'd love a pup by Tally and I know Nat has a litter by him so I can't look at her website at the moment lol!! Next is Moss who is still a baby at coming up to 12months. He is from Waggerland lines and again is gorgeous. He has a very high chase drive and likes to herd the other dogs so is proving a bit of a challenge. He is also showing lots of promise and his box turn is looking good. I have taken over handling him for a while as I am currently a bit more exciting than his mum. Won't be long until his recall is sorted though and then I'll have to give him back! It's fun training a baby again even if he does knacker me out lol! Then we have the new people. We have a Collie cross who is picking things up really well, a Cocker who really reminds me of William if anyone remembers him?! Would be happy if Chez ends up as fast! At the moment he is a bit nervy and won't follow a 'dead' ball which is making box work a bit of a pain but we are making progress and a Border Terrier who is due to start next week who I've met and she is mental!!
Finally we've got the ballistic puppies who come along to training for a bit of socialisation and 'puppy races' lol! We've got Loki and Shani who are both 13ish weeks old. Loki is out of Piper from Hinckley Hooligans and Bray from Coventry Racers. He is such a good puppy, very focused and very cute. Shani is gorgeous and reminds me so much of Asher as a puppy it is actually spooky, I think everyone is praying she ends up like him! These 2 won't see any equipment until the summer when we will probably start a little bit of boxwork in the evenings at competitions. They will be over a year old when they start formal training. I don't see any need to start before this, all the foundations can be laid without drilling them up and down jumps!
I am now really looking forward to taking Asher back to training (hopefully 2wks time), I think he's missing it! I will try get someone to take some pics/video of training but it is difficult as everyone is either helping or running a dog!
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Well to be honest we had a slightly disappointing start to the year with regards to times and also to boxwork. We put in an awful lot of work over last winter and unfortunately partly due to us not having the new box until the beginning of March and partly due to me not pushing the dogs on quick enough, the last few weeks of training before competition were very rushed. This resulted in the dogs not doing enough repetitions with the props in so when we went in to competition alot of the dogs reverted back to their old turns in varying degrees. This wasn't exactly disasterous as none of the dogs had slammers turns anyway but it was disappointing. Times wise we hit 18.00secs at our 1st show at Easter which we were pleased with especially as Asher was barely hitting sub 4 back then, which I was gutted about (as he had been at 3.8-3.9 in 2008). But then we didn't beat this time for nearly 3months until Frimley when we finally went sub 18 with a 17.84secs.
The positives of the start of the season were bringing out all of our starters. We've had some real crackers come out this year. We had 6 dogs in starters at Easter and 5 of them debuted in May with them barely putting a foot wrong. Bonnie is cracking running 4.2s but I know there is more in her. The only disappointment we had with her is that she had to go start dog as she tried to nip the returning dog on her outrun although we are hoping to cure that this winter. Lacy is just a total star, she will run anywhere, she has a beautiful box turn and she runs consistent 4.3s after starting out around 4.6s. Jamie our little height dog looks like he has been running for years, there is definitely lots of room for improvement in his box which we are working on and will hopefully bring his times down from 5.3-5.4ish to closer to 5secs. Chelsey has also been so good, she has a lovely box and when we get some weight off of her I'm sure will be quicker next year. Then their is Fraggle, our crowd puller, he really is great to watch and he has improved so much over the year.
So after Easter the ballistics didn't have a full 1st team for a while due to various dogs being unavailable, we managed some good low/mid 18s times anyway but I think we all got a bit frustrated. I think Frimley was the turning point for us, running the 17.84 gave us a bit more belief and we won division 2, a win always lifts you up. After that we continued to get faster with 17.72 at Becketts and 17.71 at Chilterns, both without the full 1st team. It was at this point we changed the order, putting Asher 2nd. This gave me more space in the runback area to work him back properly and I was finally able to sort out his return drive. This is when Asher really kicked up a gear (although he did run fantastically at Cornbury Park in June). The real high came at Stockbridge in August when everything came together and we won division 1 with a fantastic time of 17.37secs. In some ways I was happier about this than winning our div at the champs. Just because we ran a faster time and also because we beat shooting stars and maple leafs in the process. Saying that, winning at the champs was fantastic, don't think you can beat that feeling of going up infront of anyone to get your plaque (apart from going up to get that gorgeous trophy ;-), thats the next target lol). The disappointing thing for me at champs was that Asher wasn't as fast, it was a shame because it was the only time alot of the people there would have got to see him run and it was probably one of the slowest he ran all year and I don't want people to think I lie about his times!!
After Champs we only had 4 competitions and although we didn't win anything I really enjoyed them as I felt Asher was at his best and was just a joy to run. Ending on a high at Becketts when he "officially" hit a 3.77secs running start dog. I say official as we don't record all of the dogs times particularly if we have to work them out from splits so I'd say it was very likely he had run under 3.8 before, we just hadn't recorded it.
At Shackerstone we had Luna debut dead on 18months. Unfortunately she had had little training over the summer months so her box requires a lot of work. However she was running 4.3-4.4secs which we were pleased with and also ecstatic about the fact she was measured as a 12" height dog. Alot of hope for her for next year.
Finally at Becketts in October we had our last debutee Elliot who was fab and will hopefully get faster with confidence and more work on return drive. We also tried Luna on the 1st team and will be working hard on this combination over winter.
Overall I think it has been a successful year beating our fastest ever time by 0.7secs (would be thrilled if we could do that again next year lol!). We got 3 1st places despite never being top seed. I had at the back of my mind that the target for this year was to qualify for division 1 at the champs (as i'm sure it was for alot of teams) and based on the seedings for last year we would of done but the quality this year just seems to have improved alot so to win division 2 was the next best thing.
Things to work on over winter are mainly boxwork and return speed although it does vary for each dog. We probably won't do any full runs until after christmas although as we are now planning to do Wimbledon we may do 1wk of team training before that! We have our new group of starters and only 2 full collies, how novel! I've got high hopes for them! Although a couple of them are looking like they are going to be hard work! So thats it, Asher is currently having a break, he's had 2 weeks of complete rest to give his muscles and soft tissue time to recover and he's now back to gentle (for Asher!) exercise. He'll probably start flyball again in a few wks and just work on power jumping and box work. The aim is to have him at the absolute peak of fitness for the European Champs.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
"If you had to choose a dog from each KC group, what would you choose and why?"
The only problem I had was choosing 1 so I have chosen 2 from each group!
Obviously 1st choice is Border Collie. I love the willingness to work, the ease with which they learn things, their total drive in just doing something.
2nd choice is a Malinois. I've really admired the breed since meeting Ronnie (Bonvivant Kronik) a few years ago. He is an awesome flyball dog and just has so much power and drive. They also seem to be clowns and a really fun breed to work with.
This was quite a difficult group for me as none of them really stood out but my 1st choice is Great Dane. I don't know what it is about them but they are my favourite of the giant breeds. They seem to be more bouncy and have more personality than the others and although I can't see myself owning one I think they are magnificent!
2nd choice is Boxer, they just have a love for life and sense of humour that is infectious. I have a 'type' that I like.. tall, slim, well muscled (sounds like my perfect man actually lol!). We had 1 that did flyball with us when I 1st starting training and he was just hilarious!
1st choice is a bit random but it's a Pharoah Hound. I just love them and have done for years. They are so unique and elegant looking. I'm determined to have 1 eventually although I think I'll be letting myself in for trouble as apparently they are difficult to train and have a wicked personality!
2nd choice is easy... a Whippet. Again determined to own 1, hopefully from racing lines as i like the slightly taller dogs with lots of drive. I think they are possibly the perfect family dog (obviously generalising lol), good natured, like to play but not too hyper, easy to look after and have around. I just think they're lovely.
Again 1st choice is random... Irish Setter. I think they are beautiful. The ones I have met have had the most lovely temperaments. A neighbour of ours had 1 when I was growing up and she was lush.
2nd choice is a Working Cocker Spaniel. I know a few and love their happy attitude and working ability. I can definitely see myself owning one eventually.
My favourite are Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Most have got lovely natures and are the sweetest dogs but they also have so much power and working drive.
2nd is Parson Russell Terriers. They are so fiesty and have so much attitude. Mainly I like them for their working ability as they do so well in dog sports.
1st is defintely Papillon. Such pretty little dogs that are usually so confident and wanting to work. Loads of energy and loads of personality!
I also have a soft spot for Chinese Crested although I will admit I do prefer the powderpuff. Sweet nature and very cute.
1st I had to have Poodle somewhere! My favourite is the Miniature. Very intelligent dogs that have great personalities.
2nd is a German Spitz. I've liked them since seeing a couple at flyball. They seem to be very alert, bright and lively little dogs.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
On Saturday we had the Extraset as 4th seed (I think:-S) in division 9. The team was Jemma, Perry, Elliot, Jive, Molly and Fraggle. The plan was to run mainly Perry, Elliot, Jive and Molly with Jemma and Fraggle doing warm ups and if they were good, Jemma getting a few runs in the blue lane and Fraggle a few runs in the red lane to give Jive a rest. What I'm forgetting to mention here is that it was Elliot's 1st open and 1st time doing flyball since doing starters in May... you wouldn't of known, he was fantastic, didn't put a foot wrong all day! Unfortunately on the last leg of the 1st race disaster struck when Jive suddenly went very lame. We won that race but it meant either Jemma or Fraggle would have to run in her place. Jemma did well, running some nice legs in the blue lane but was naughty in the red. We won another race with Fraggle who was really up for it and ran really well. Despite winning 2 races we came 5th with a best time of 22.57secs. Well done to Sarah who had to do proper changeovers for the 1st time and did really well under my instruction lol ;-)
Sunday we had Rockets bottom seed in division 3. The team was Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny, Smartie and Jamie. To be honest we weren't expecting much as our seed time was still on 18.89 which was the fastest this year and they hadn't been sub 19 since. However the dogs were really up for it and despite losing the 1st race hit another 18.89secs. In the 2nd race everything came together, Bonnie had a perfect start and ran a brilliant 4.18 and the team went on to run 18.48secs! (I did say Rockets could go faster!) The team won 3 races and were abit unlucky on the last race getting lights to finish a very credible 3rd.
Ballistics were bottom seed in division 1 and I was expecting an absolute hammering but actually really looking forward to it as we were hoping for some more records and we knew their would probably be quite a few people watching. We also had a new edition to the team. The team was Diefer, Asher, Rosie, Bunty and Luna! 1st race was against High Flyers, we went with the normal 4 and ran 17.57secs which we were thrilled with as our times seemed to have been dropping off the last couple of shows so that was a definite improvement. 2nd race against Bassetts we had Luna instead of Diefer so I went start. Asher ran a 3.77 :-D (3.82 with a 0.05 start). Luna was really good but our changes were a little off but we were pleased to still run sub 18 times. 3rd race was the big test, we decided to run without Bunty over Luna's height of 12". We hadn't trained it, it was more just a tester race to see what happened. Thankfully all the dogs accepted the height change very easily and it didn't seem to make a lot of difference time wise to Dief, Ash, or Rosie however it did affect Luna's times quite a bit. That combined with our changeovers being a bit rubbish (allowing for them to have slowed up over the higher jumps when they hadn't really) meant we only managed 17.80. It was still a good close race against Live wires though. We lost all the morning races but the dogs were brill and we got to see Bassetts break the British record again... twice! 1st running a 16.65 then a 16.60, well done Bassetts! In the afternoon we had a fantastic race against Molten where we were 2-0 down then they got a light and the next leg was a dead heat! We lost but you can't beat that for closeness! Last race we held it together and ran really smoothly against Cheshire to win the race and finish 5th. Asher was a good boy, 1st race in the morning he looked quite sluggish, wasn't rotating properly on the box so wasn't getting the drive off, but then I had no voice so that didn't help. Luckily half way through the 2nd race when he ran start he woke up, ran the fab time and started turning beautifully. He was amazing after that, i think every box was 4 foot and he was driving back really well. I know Carol (with Luna) was a bit gutted that we weren't any quicker running over 12" but I still think that will be the way to go next year. As I mentioned in the previous post Luna's box is pretty awful at the moment so she is not getting the drive back, she is also very inexperienced and needs to get a bit more focus. Over the winter we will work on her box and see if she would in fact like to be a lefty like her boyfriend! We will also work on her speed on the return. Even as she is at the moment she is 4.3-4.4 over low jumps so with lots of work she should easily do that over 12". And with the other 3 currently averaging 12.5secs (12.3 on a good day) we could end up very quick! Time will tell, atleast it gives us something to aim towards!
Asher started the Pet Passport process so that we can go to the Euro's next year, very excited! So thats it for the year, back to training! I'll write a year review soon!
Friday, 2 October 2009
1st run was 1-2 combined jumping. It was a nice course and had I been more prepared we probably would of done better. He nailed his weave entry which I wasn't sure he would as it was close to the jump before and he was going full speed. Unfortunately he came out the last pole. I then didn't go far enough with him to a jump and he came inside it. He worked the rest of the course really well and I was quite pleased with it as a 1st run! (15 faults)
Next was 1-7 steeplechase. Again hadn't walked it! He was actually fab in this. There was 1 part where I wasn't sure whether to front or back cross. I decided to front cross after seeing lots of people do it that way and thinking it would keep him tighter. Unfortunately to get there I had to pull away from him quite early and he came with me coming inside the jump. I put him back round and worked it as a rear cross and he did it beautifully, should of done it that way from the start! He had 2 poles in the course, 1 of them I know was defintely my fault! (15faults)
Last run of the day was 1-3combined agility. Really liked the course, actually got to walk it :-D, muppet handler! He was going brilliantly clear, fab seesaw, fab Aframe. 5 obstacles from the end was weaves. Which were right angle turn from a straight line of jumps. Of course Asher was going like a million miles per hour. I didn't slow him or cue him for the turn so he jumped really long. Told him weave, he tried really hard to get the entry but just couldn't steady himself to get it. I then forgot what I was doing and sent him over the wrong jump. Dog walk was then a bit creepy but I don't think I worked it like I do in training. But no poles :-) (E)
Sunday started with graded 1-2 jumping. The course didn't really suit him with quite a tight bit at the start. He didn't turn tight enough for the 3rd jump and ran round it. Brought him back and he did the rest of the course well. Had 1 pole. Got his weave entry but then was really odd, got to the 4th weave and then came out turned around started barking at me, don't know why, never done that before. Put him back in and he was fine. Think it might be because I hung back a little bit so he could get the entry which I don't normally do. Note to self, run him in competitions like you do at training! (15faults)
Then 1-7 collie jumping. Liked the course for the fact I could test him a bit more but wasn't sure we'd get round it. It started with a snake, he listened really well to his directionals but had a pole. We then got E'd on the simplest bit up a curved line of jumps where he ran round one, I have had this problem before where he doesn't pick up a line very well but I thought he was much better. Then another pole. The rest of it was fab, I managed a lovely front cross, he stayed out of the tunnel when I told him, so yeh not too bad! (E)
Last run was graded 1-2 agility. I think this course definitely suited a slightly slower dog, not because it was tight or twisty but because you needed to either be with your dog to avoid the traps or have excellent obstacle discrimination. I decided I was going to stop him after the flat tunnel as coming out of there the dog had a choice of tunnel, jump or dog walk and had to do jump. I knew mine would choose tunnel so I didn't want him self rewarding by having the tunnel as an easy option. Unfortunately prior to this he knocked the long jump. This being due to the fact he jumped very long from the jump before and deciding he was going to bounce the long jump when every other dog I saw put in a stride. He only just tapped it lol! My strategy worked well after the flat tunnel, was able to send him over the correct jump in to the weaves. It was then 2 jumps and turn back for the dog walk. He went on to the dog walk at a funny angle and despite managing to hold on most of the way along fell off half way down the down plank! I asked if I could put him back over, he was fine then left the ring. (E)
At the time I'd be lying if I were to say I wasn't a bit disappointed about not having any clears because at the end of the day you compete to win. But the more I think about it the happier I feel with the weekend. He only missed one weave entry (my fault), he didn't actually have as many poles as it felt like at the time (the most was 2!), he was nowhere near as manic as at Agilitynuts shows, he really listened and really tried and thats all I can ask of him, the rest is faults in my handling and training. Things to work on are mainly my handling, apparently I have flicky hands that distract him and wide him up. I need to work contacts and weaves the same as I do at training. I need to teach him to collect for turns and tight bits. We need to work on jumping grids and exercises to teach him to be more careful with his feet. We did some of this at training on wednesday, he worked really well on a bounce exercise with the jumps really close together. After that he didn't have any poles for the rest of the session so it looks like that may help him. Afterall all he wants to do is get it right so I don't think it will be too long before it comes together!
Saturday we had Ballistics and Rockets running. Rockets were up 1st as 2nd seed in division 2. The team was Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny, Smartie and Jamie so it was full strength. The team ran really well and only lost one race against Molten Magic who were running low-mid 18s. They came 2nd with a best time of 19.21secs. I'm sure this team can go faster so we'll work on them over the winter!
Ballistics were 3rd seed in Division 1. This team was also full strength with Diefer, Asher, Rosie and Bunty. We had a great start to the day beating Molten Magnets with them getting lights. We were a bit inconsistent, getting lots of lights and managed to lose against Racing Herts as Bunty decided their Lab was rather interesting. She is very funny, I guess she is so used to running with Collies that she gets fascinated by any other breed. She was the same when she raced against Whisper (lurcher) from Bassetts and shes done it a couple of other times with non-collies but can't remember who they were! We also lost against Bassetts, but won our other races. Our placing was decided by the last race between Bassetts and Molten which went to a thrilling 5 legger with them both getting lights on the last leg but Molten turning their dog around quicker. This left us in 3rd place. Our best time was 17.77secs, we seem to be getting slower now :-(! Asher was fab as always, our last race was against an empty lane so our judge was able to see the dogs times when running. He didn't seem to be familiar with Asher as he was quite astounded when he did a 3.84 including the change over!
Sunday we had Extraset in division 6. The team was Perry, Luna, Jive, Chelsey, Guiness and Molly. With the combination of dogs we had our times varied quite a bit depending which dogs were running, this made us a bit inconsistent. We won 1 race but really should of won 3, we got lights at the wrong times! They came 6th. Luna was really good, her box wasn't so much though, she looked to me like she wanted to turn left rather than her current right turn. This indecision resulted in her hitting the box straight on on quite a few runs which isn't what we want. She also fumbled the ball a few times and she ran out twice. The positive of this is that the next run after she ran out she made really sure she did a good run which shows she understands her job. I always worry with a dog that has just come out of starters that they don't realise they can run out until the ball goes wide and they don't stay in so then they know it is their decision whether to run over the jumps or not. This is when a lot of dogs decide they're going to consistently run out.
Me and Katie also helped out on the line for Demonz which was good fun although Nat should of sacked her handlers lol ;-) Only joking, they weren't that bad especially considering they had a break out time they were trying to avoid!
Off to Becketts Farm tomorrow, last one :-(. Should be good though, really looking forward to being annihilated in division 1 haha, we are trying something new though so we'll see how that goes!
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Thursday, 17 September 2009
As Sarah (author of campbellsdogs.blogspot.com) is currently doing work experience she has bravely entrusted me with the walking of her 2 dogs. Walks are definitely never boring and so far i haven't lost anybody so all is going well!
I was very impressed I got them to stay still for this photo so thought I'd post it here. Left to right we have: Asher, Jemma, Elliot and Tess.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
I have entered our 1st KC show. We are going to Honiton on the 26th-27th September. I am camping Saturday night so if anyone reading this is going please let me know as I will hardly know anyone!
Well Asher is getting better. His weaves are cracking now, always gets entries and hasn't popped out of them for ages. Hopefully this will repeat in competition as at the Agilitynuts shows he just got too excited and hit them too fast. Contacts are ok, I think he is understanding a little bit more now. His position is alot better although he is not driving quite as much as I would like. I just need an hour alone with Asher, a dog walk and an Aframe and I reckon I could sort it but at training you only get a couple of reps of each at each session. As far as jumping work/sequences go, we have good days and bad days. He has more poles than I would like, its most common when I ask him to jump towards me or when he's trying to turn after building up speed along a straight but to be honest sometimes I don't see the reason for it! He's quite good at snakes and can do pull throughs. Lefts and rights are now pretty good but we still go wrong a fair bit. The main problem is that if I'm not clear enough in my handling he gets very frustrated, starts barking and switches off. Thats when he turns in to the tunnel demon and heads for the nearest tunnel. Tunnel obsession is still a bit of a problem but it is getting better as he is getting more confident in other areas. I'm quite happy that he's ready to start competing as I don't think there is alot more I can do until I find out how he reacts to the competition environment. He should certainly be capable of grade 1-3 courses. So we'll go with an open mind and see what happens!
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Sunday we had 2 teams in. Extraset were in division 5. The team was Sonny, Perry, Jamie, Guiness and our lovely baby Luna making her debut. Luna was fab, she ran really well and was very quick. She only had one little wobble the 1st time we changed lanes when she really thought she should be on the other side but we soon sorted that and she was paw perfect after. Although I think Carol found it a little difficult adjusting to running a dog that goes out like a rocket (especially with a hangover!!). We only lost one race and ended up in a 3-way tie for 1st place, we had the fastest time of 21.63secs so won the division :-), not a bad way to start a flyball career. Oh and the best news is that Luna got measured at 12".
Ballistics were 3rd seed in div 1, we had Diefer, Asher, Rosie, Smartie and Bunty. 1st race against Molten Magnetics didn't quite go to plan, we went 2-0 up then got a light and the next 2 legs they beat us very slightly on speed. Against Northants we got lights on the 1st 2 legs then the last leg everyone was late so we lost that. We were trying to be quite fair about the amount of racing everyone got so 3rd race against High Voltage we rested Diefer which meant I got to go start. I never go start and the last time Asher did it was his 1st starters! I really enjoyed it and Asher was really racing the other dog, his times were soo fast! We won that race. In the afternoon we had Bassetts and Flyers who we lost to. Last race was against Mutts, Asher again got to go start and we won that one. Our fastest time of the day was 17.64secs. I was hoping for a bit quicker than that as the ground seemed to be running quite fast but a couple of the dogs were a bit off their usual times. Asher was just awesome though, he was driving back so well. Box wasn't so good, if I can ever get him doing the perfect box when his speed is like it was on Sunday then he will hit consistent 3.7s. As it was, last leg of the day I had a 0.05 start and he ran 3.88secs. I don't think he had a single run all day that wasn't sub 4. Sorry for the massive brag and I will shut up now but I'm just so proud of him! So anyway we won 2 races and finished 5th. Mega huge congratulations to High Flyers who ran 16.66secs which should be the new British record but doesn't stand due to the rule that states all record breaking runs must be filmed. The record will just have to wait til next time!
Big thanks to Mutts and Flyers for the use of their boxes again and to the Nunnies for a fantastic show. Just 2 more for us this year.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Sunday we had Ballistics 3rd seed in div 1. We didn't have Rosie or Bunty so decided to try Jamie the usual Rockets height dog along with Diefer, Asher and Smartie. To be honest I wasn't expecting too much but the dogs did well, we won all our races in the morning, then it rained and everyones times really slowed, we lost all our races in the afternoon but that was to Bassetts, high flyers and moltens so can't really complain and we finished 4th with a best time of 18.11secs. Asher ran well, box wasn't great but is was a bit slippery and he was driving back better than he was at Champs.
Thanks to Flyers for lending us a box as ours is still broke and also letting me stay with them to save me driving up both days! The show was good, we had a nice look round, I went on the Waltzers, very scary experience!
Really looking forward to Shackerstone this weekend, we have a full 1st team and Little Luna will be making her open debut dead on 18months, fingers crossed that it all goes well. Oh and that the rain stops so the show can actually go ahead this year!
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Friday morning came and we were 1st in at 8.30am in division 32 with the Missiles. The team was Tyne, Sky, Chelsey, Fraggle, Molly and Guiness. With alot of our members including captain Lou not arriving until Saturday we were a little thin on the ground but we managed ok. The dogs had to run on a boomerang as our canam had packed up at Stockbridge, they all coped fine and Chelsey maintained her lovely turn. We were bottom seed so the aim was not to come bottom of the entire show! All the dogs ran really well and despite not having Jive managed to better their seed time by over half a second with quite a late start. We won 2 of our races and the others were close aswell. This put us 3rd overall so we were pleased with that result.
Friday night was neon night, so out came the leg warmers and glowsticks! I had a brilliant night raving in the marquee and then getting drunk with Katie, Kristian and Faye. I then went on for a few more drinks with Livvy and Craig and ended up going to bed around 5am!! Woo hardcore!
Saturday was a quiet day for us with no teams racing. I just milled around and watched racing, tried to keep my dogs occupied by taking them for little walks around by the ring. Bless Tess she was still going mental to get in and show the youngsters how its done! Saturday night was dress up night, I was brave and wore my little dress and partied hard! Katie deserted Owler camp to join us (me, Katie and Sam in he middle of the dance floor bouncing to BEPs was really something to be seen!), the music was fantastic and I loved every minute, still smile when one of the songs played that night comes on the radio! A few of my team then went to play the much talked of Sociables with Cheshire, my god that game is lethal! A certain member of my team got absolutely wasted! We had a wicked time and a slightly earlier night of 4am!
Sunday we had 2 teams racing. Rockets were 1st on in division 8. We knew we were going to be a bit up against it as the seed time we were on was the fastest we'd done all year and we were missing Bonnie the quickest dog on that team. The team was Lacy, Sonny, Smartie, Perry and Jamie. We lost the 1st 2 races in the morning as things didn't really gel and we were unlucky on 1 race where a ball rolled infront of Jamie just before he was released resulting in him getting that ball instead. The afternoon was alot better, we ran much better times (very low 19s) and won the 1st 2 races. The last race was against High Voltage who had managed a fantastic 18.20secs earlier on so we just went for it and weren't far behind even taking a leg off them. Despite winning 2 races we came 5th which gives you an idea of how close that division was with High Voltage being very worthy winners.
Ballistics were in Division 2 which I was very excited about. We were bottom seed on paper but as the seedings list had changed quite considerably since the running order had been done I knew that we had a chance (not that I told anyone else for fear of putting the pressure on lol!). First race was against Shooting Star Comets, we raced well and beat them 3-0 with a time of 17.8something. Next up was Cheshire Set, I knew this would be close and it was, it went to a 2-2 decider when fortunately for us they got a light although I think Bunty was back just ahead anyway. We ran 17.65secs. Next up was Wire Flash who again we beat quite well. In the afternoon, 1st up we had Mutts who again it was very close with, they beat us on the 1st leg then I got a light on the 2nd, luckily we pulled it back to 2-2 and they got lights on the last leg! Final race was against Rotherham who came out and beat us 3-0, I think they had a dog running who is taking a while to be reliable (Scooby?) and so they couldn't run him in every race and I think it was lucky for us that they couldn't! With Rotherham having lost 2 races previously that made us the division winners! I was so thrilled that after the disaster we had last year that we were able to make up for it and more, really was a very proud moment! Don't really want to think about negatives but I wasn't overly pleased with the way Asher ran, his box wasn't great and he wasn't really driving back the way i know he can. His box was probably due to it being a different box (we borrowed 1 from the bandits which I am very grateful for but probably did affect him a little bit). The only thing I can think of over his speed is that he wasn't feeling quite right, he did seem to have a bit of a dodgy tummy and the last couple of days he has been very quiet which is not like him. Luckily he seems brighter today. But anyway we won :-) :-) and I really am so so happy, going up and getting our plaque infront of the crowd was a great moment.
Division 1 was amazing to watch, Bassetts deserved the win, they really just looked like they were coasting for much of it and I'm sure they'll break the british record again in the near future. What really seems to set them apart is the amazing boxwork, it really does shave so much time off each dog and of course that cracking little dog that goes by the name of Lizzie who is pretty much unbeatable so huge congratulations to Bassetts. Also big well done to High Flyers who pushed them more than anyone else and stepped up their game from last year. They were gracious in defeat and I'm sure will be back fighting again next year.
I had the most fantastic weekend, I'm actually really sad it's all over. The atmosphere was brilliant, everyone was so friendly and the racing was all so close. Roll on next year.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Rockets were in Division 3. We had Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny, Perry and Jamie. Weather was a bit rubbish on the Saturday so it was a bit slippery. Bonnie was alot better on the box although still fumbling a bit, she was running around 4.2secs when her box was ok. Lacy was fab as usual, then I was running Perry and Carol was running Sonny as Louise was on holiday. We just swapped Perry and Sonny so as to keep the team fairly consistent with Jamie on the end. They ran really well and ended up winning all their races and therefore the division with a best time of 19.43secs.
Had a brilliant night Saturday, playing games with my team then after most of them went to bed we invaded the Mutts and then the few of us left standing invaded Lightning and somehow stayed up til gone 4.30am. Don't know where the time went! Was up again by half 8 and I swear I was still drunk! Had to go run a dog though!
Ballistics and Missiles raced Sunday. Missiles were on 1st and bottom seed by quite a margin. We decided to put Jive in this team to give them a little bit of speed. They still ended up coming last but did take a couple of races to 5 legs and raced quite consistently.
Ballistics were 5th seed in Division 1, we had Rosie back from her holidays so had a team of Diefer, Asher, Rosie, Smartie and Bunty. 1st race was against Barkshire Bandits, we went without Smartie, and proceeded to break our seed time 3 times in a row by doing 2 times in the 17.50s and then a 17.46secs! We won that 3-0 and it gave us a lot of confidence to go and face our next competitors... Shooting Stars. Ordinarily we would rest one of our faster dogs as we wouldn't think we had a chance of beating them on time but now we decided to were gonna go for it! We rested Smartie again, went in and did a 17.42, then a faster time than I could of dreamt of for this year 17.37secs!!! Stars got lights on both of these legs so we were 2-0 up. 3rd leg was sooo close, no lights, they did 17.55, we did 17.52... Omg we'd just beaten Shooting Stars! That was it for the morning, in the afternoon, 1st race was against Maples which is nearly always eventful! We went 2-0 up, the 1st one they got a light then the next we beat them on speed. 3rd leg, Diefer came really wide off the box and ran out so 2-1, then we were late on our changes so 2-2. Last leg there was a lot of pressure but we held it together and won it! Then we also beat Shooting Star Comets. Last race all went a bit pear shaped against Hampshire but we'd won 4 out of 5 and won Division 1!!
I can't remember the last time we won Div 1, it was literally years ago. I had a goal for this year which I set back in January that was for ballistics to go sub 17.50secs, i thought after the way some of the comps had gone this year and after it taking so long to come together that this aim was a bit unrealistic so I am so thrilled that we beat it by over a 10th of a sec and hopefully we can go a little bit quicker! It's funny how everything happens for a reason, and how an unplanned chain of events can lead you to success. E.g. If it hadn't been for June (with Rosie) and Lou and Bobbie being on hols at Becketts Farm then Smartie never would of been in the 1st team. Smartie can't change to Diefer cuz she loves him so much she nips him on her outrun so Asher had to go 2nd. If it hadn't been for this we wouldn't of realised how much better Angie with Buntys changeovers would be to a slightly slower dog. We also wouldn't have known how much better Diefer would be with Asher running to him. He was back hitting 4.1s at Stockbridge which he hasn't really done all year and we believe it is because although Asher is fast he is also very inoffensive and non-confrontational unlike the other bossy bitches in the team! So from Frimley to Stockbridge just swapping Rosie and Asher round improved the time by half a second! Obviously some of this has got to be improved racing fitness but it really makes you think!
So yeh bring on the Champs! Can. Not. Wait.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Rockets ran Sunday in Division 2, the team was Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny and Jamie. We went in to racing with the intention of bettering our seed time to ensure that this team ran on the Sunday at Champs, this is very important as Lou and Bobbie will only be at the Champs from Saturday night and there dogs make up atleast half the team! The team ran really well apart from we had some problems with Bonnie fumbling the ball, she needs constant reminding of her box turn as she is so nutty, she did gradually improve over the day though. I've included a couple of photos of Lacy on the box as she is my star pupil from box training over winter! As you can see from the two pics that she is consistent in her position, I like the 2nd pic as she is turning at the same time as her older lilac brother Logan :-)! Her turn is exceptionally quick and consistent (despite her foot placement not been technically perfect) which makes her like the easiest dog to change on ever! The team won 4 out of the 6 races. They lost 1 on speed against the division winners maple leaf raggers and 1 by getting 3 lights against a team they didn't really need to. They still managed to finish 2nd with a new best time of 18.89secs! We are now praying that that time will get us Sunday at Champs.
Missiles also ran Sunday, unfortunately one of our team pulled out who owns 3 of the usual missile dogs so we were left with 4 dogs in a very mixed team! The team was Jive, Perry, Fraggle and Molly. Fraggle has been getting better and better recently but for some reason in the 1st couple of races he didn't really want to play (he must have sensed we only had 4 dogs!). Luckily by the 3rd race he got a lot better and we actually managed to complete! In the afternoon, we had quite an audience around the ring and Fraggle decided to show off resulting in us winning a couple of legs and a race going to 2-2 only for Fraggle to go and make friends with a retriever right by the fence next to the box on the last leg, how annoying lol! We came last but I don't think I've ever heard such big cheers for a dog as there were for Fraggle, he certainly held everyones attention!
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Missiles ran Saturday and were Tyne, Sky, Chelsey, Fraggle and Guiness. Had a bit of a nightmare start to the day when the lights decided they weren't going to work and we had to go with hand timing! The weather was pretty rubbish but this helped a couple of our dogs who suffer with the heat. I ran Chelsey the Lab, god she's a very strong dog! The four big dogs ran a lot better than they had been previously but we had to be a bit careful on changes with it being judged by eye and Guiness really wasn't up for running, she was on a bit of a go slow. They managed a best time of 27.something and finished last but they had some closer racing than they've had recently and noone messed about or ran out so atleast that was an improvement :-s!
Saturday evening we had a few drinks to celebrate my birthday, I got horrendously drunk and was just chatting nonsense but apparently I was quite entertaining so atleast I was useful! Luckily I'm still just about young enough not to suffer from bad hangovers so although I didn't quite make it to ring party 1st thing in the morning I was fine by the time Div 1 was due to start!
Ballistics were 4th seed in Division 1, we were missing Rosie but still had a strong team of Diefer, Lacy, Asher, Smartie and Bunty. We knew it was going to be an exciting division with Bassetts, Flyers and Moltens all pushing for times. 1st race was against molten meteors, we went with what we thought would be our fastest combo of Diefer, Lacy, Asher and Bunty. We got a light on the 1st leg and then 2nd leg we won with 17.84secs! We then lost a leg as they did an 18.02 and we were very slightly behind, next leg we won with another sub 18 but unfortunately on the last leg we got a light! Next race was against Flyers, we went with Smartie instead of Lacy. We were really winding our dogs up as we have a friendly rivalry with the Flyers and although they were much faster than us they got 3 lights in a row so we won with a best time of 17.81secs!! We then watched as Flyers went in and broke the 17sec barrier by doing 16.91secs!! Go Flyers! Our next race was against Bassetts who we knew we couldn't beat on speed so we rested Asher, we did take a leg off them when they got a light so all in all we were pleased with the morning racing. 1st race in the afternoon was against northants falcons who had done a 17.88secs in the morning so we knew it would be very close. 1st leg we both got lights, luckily i have an instant rerun on Asher so we won that 1, the next 2 legs we were very slightly behind so swapped Lacy for Smartie and managed to win the race! Last race was against molten magnets, we didn't think we could beat them on speed so decided to rest Diefer however we were only just behind them so after 2 legs we swapped diefer back in and raced a 17.72secs winning the leg and getting our fastest EVER time! Last leg we couldn't quite repeat that speed but it was still really close and we only just lost. Came out of the ring and got ourselves in position ready to watch the British Record broken, go Bassetts... 16.70secs and I'm sure they've still got more to give, it was amazing to watch! We managed to come 3rd with some of the best racing I've taken part in for ages!
Think we've learnt from the weekend that Asher should really go 2nd, he used to be a bit scared of changeovers with big dogs but he's fine now and it does help him giving us that lead early on. Angie with Bunty also struggles to change with him as she literally has to let go of Bunty as he's coming off the box so she found it much easier changing to Smartie resulting in Bunty running much better times. And well Smartie, she was on fire, must of known she was up in the big league so her promotion has remained for Chilterns this weekend. Will be interesting to see what we can do!
Friday, 10 July 2009
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
1st up Rockets were in Division 3, the team was Lacy, Smartie, Perry, Jamie and Jive. In the morning we won 1 and lost 1. We lost against racing herts who did there fastest ever time, Lacy was racing against her mother and sister in that team (she is an elthea)! In the afternoon we went out hoping to win 1 out of the 3 races as the other 2 teams were running under 19secs, fortunately our luck had changed this weekend and we managed to win all 3 races due to them getting lights so we finished 2nd. Our best time was 19.46secs. We had the lights with the timer that shows for each dog which I think is fantastic as it gives you an accurate picture of a dogs times throughout the day. We recorded all of these, I don't have them but from memory... Lacy was running consistent low 4.3secs all day, its so good to see how shes come on as at her 1st show she was running 4.6s. Her box was also fab, 4 feet consistently, I take responsibility haha! Also think she loved running start, although she can forget that as we already have enough start dogs lol! Smartie was also on form running 4.4-4.5secs and again very consistent. Perry suffered with the heat (he is a massive black, hairy dog!) and was running around 5.1-5.2 (he is usually 4.9-5s). Jamie also suffered as he really gives it his all and was around 5.2-5.4s. Jive ran a few legs to give Perry a rest and did really well running around the 5sec mark and that is only going from 20ft.
Ballistics were next on in Div 2, makes a change to be in div 2 and we were only 3rd seed on 18.14secs!! We decided to really go for it on the 1st race and see what we could do, we had arguably our strongest team lineup of Diefer, Rosie, Asher, Bunty (Sonny as 5th dog). 1st leg we did 18.05secs with slightly late changes, 2nd leg we held back a bit as the other team got a light, 3rd leg really seemed to flow and felt so good, waited for the time to come up... 17.84secs!!! Ahhh we were sooo happy and Bunty still had a bit on her change! Next race we had Sonny in instead of Rosie, we won that 3-0 with a best time of 18.32secs. In the afternoon things didn't go so well. Rosie had not been well the previous night after stealing and eating liquorice allsorts! By the afternoon that combined with the heat caught up with her and she was exhausted, this resulted in me getting lights in the 1st 1 legs of the 1st race, we brought it back to 2-2 but the re-running of Asher had caused Bunty to spook and she ran out on the last leg. June decided to rest Rosie after that as she could tell she wasn't right, i'm sure she'll be fine by the weekend. We won the next race without too much drama but it wasn't as smooth as the morning. The last race we couldn't lose (nfc) but did our best to when our box literally fell apart (well the whole ball mechanism came out of Asher's hole) and we had to run the last leg of the day on a boomerang! Luckily for us the team we lost against had only won 3 races so we won the division! I was so pleased with Asher he was consistently under 4 all day and not just by a little bit, many of his runs were 3.8secs, quite a few 3.9s and a couple of 4-4.1 when i was significantly late on my changes. Diefer ran 4.3secs, Rosie 4.3-4.4, Sonny around 4.6 (bit of room on changes) and Bunty around 5-5.2secs.
Missiles were in Div 8 on Sunday and all of these dogs really suffered in the heat. It was a difficult day for them, on a positive Fraggle was fab and ran really well. And yeh thats all I'm gonna say!
Unfortunately I'm missing Millets Farm next weekend :-( as I'm going to see Take That Saturday night :-D, my next one will be Becketts Farm when it will be my Birthday celebrations!!
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Bristol Babies are Bonnie, Lacy, Chelsey, Fraggle.
Bristol Ballistics are Diefer, Rosie, Asher, Bunty then in the last clip they are Sonny, Smartie, Asher, Bunty.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Saturday we had Ball-istics running in Division 1, we were bottom seed. The team was Diefer, Sonny, Lacy, Asher and Bunty. Sonny and Lacy were up as Rosie was on holiday, it was Lacy's 1st time in the top team and she did really well (as did her handler Lisa!), it is abit daunting being told you're running in Div 1! Since Acremead, Diefer had been playing up so we had a bit of a shaky start but he soon sorted himself out and by the end of the day he looked his normal self. We raced well but weren't very fast, we managed a best time of 18.43secs, again in the last race of the day! If only we could get ourselves sorted earlier on! We won 1 race against Fourpaws and finished 5th so I guess we can't really be too disappointed with that seeing as we were bottom seed!
Sunday we had Rockets running in Division 2. The team was Bonnie, Smartie, Perry and Jamie. Bonnie is a cracking dog but she is an absolute fruit loop and a bit kamikaze, this results in quite an inconsistent box! I think if we continue to work on this she could become a consistent 4.1/4.2sec dog which would be fab! At the mo she is 4.2/4.3secs. Smartie ran brilliantly and was very easy for me to change to with Perry. Jamie was also a good boy but seemed to be putting in an extra stride before the box, we checked him after and he had a bit of a sore toe bless him! We had some really close racing and finished 4th with a best time of 19.93secs.
Asher got to meet his future girlfriend for the 1st time, he decided he quite liked her :-). She ran brilliantly in starters and is going to be a superstar!
I had a lovely weekend with perfect weather, really looking forward to Frimley this weekend where we are in Div 2 so for once don't have to get annihilated by the likes of bassetts and stars lol!!!
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Saturday, 13 June 2009
I was really pleased with his weaves, he seems to be able to pick up any entry and fingers crossed the problem I had of him popping out of the weaves on the 9th/10th pole seems to have gone away. His jumping work was ok, we practised some pull throughs, he did it really well going in one direction but when we tried to do it the other way he was being a total muppet and ignoring me, got there eventually though. His contacts were really fast but I'm not too sure how to progress from where he is now. At the moment he still has food or a target at the bottom, he drives to these equally well, however when you remove these he will still go to his position if I am close by but if he can't see me he tends to slow up until I am at the end of the contact or he will go in to his position but trying to face me which resulted in him nearly coming off the side of the Aframe! I guess it is a matter of practice and confidence, should I maybe send him to a target and stand well back then get someone else to feed him so that he is more independent of me? Hmm, we'll see. I really want to enter some shows but he still needs to be measured and I don't want to go to a show risking missing a morning class because he can't be measured until lunchtime, it would be a long way to go for 1 run. Flyball has also taken up pretty much all of our weekends this summer. I have 1 free at the end of July, then 1 the weekend before the Champs when I really want to completely rest him. Then I am busy until October!
Had some free time on my hands this week so decided to teach doglets a new trick. They now both know how to cross their paws :-). Asher's repoirtoire is getting quite big now, wasn't sure it would ever be as big as Tess' but I think he knows more now. It's funny how they learn so differently, Tess is so full on, throws herself about trying to get it right and it takes a while for her to calm down and learn but she will usually get the fundamentals in one session. Then when you go back to it you almost have to start from scratch cuz she will of forgotten, this happens for a couple of sessions until it sinks in. Asher on the other hand is a thinker, he'll try a few things then he'll get frustrated and start being silly, you show him how to do it and he just doesn't seem to get it. You stop, then when you go back to it after he's had time to think he suddenly seems to understand what you are asking and perfecting the behaviour is easy, once he gets it, it's stuck and he doesn't forget!
No flyball this weekend, gave ourselves this one off as we then have 5 in a row :-).
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Rockets were up 1st in Division 2, we were a bit short on dogs this weekend so we had old girly Jive up with us as our start dog and then the usuals Perry, Smartie and Jamie. Jive did really well considering Louise insisted on getting like a gazillion false starts, it wasn't entirely Lou's fault as she is now running Jive from around 25ft so that she doesn't hit the box so hard and can get a better turn as she finds accelerating back off the box a little harder now (she'll be 11 in Sept), this worked really well and I found her really consistent to change to with Perry. Perry was an angel as always, I feel sorry for his owner Bobbie who doesn't get to race him at the moment due to running Jamie! We were top seed but weren't sure how we'd do as we expected to be considerably slower with no Bonnie, Lacy or Sonny on this team but we were really pleased to just lose one race and finish 2nd with a best time of 20.09secs.
Ballistics were 2nd seed in Div 1, we were quite hopeful for a good placing as there was around half a second difference in seeding between us and the next seed. We didn't have Diefer this weekend so the team was Sonny, Rosie, Asher and Bunty. The 1st race was a total disaster, we got 3 lights in 3 legs and that was that! The 2nd race was alot better, we got our act together and managed a best time of 18.14secs, the next race we managed 18.16secs and we won both of those. We were really pleased with those times as we would expect to be slightly slower without Diefer and we had a little bit of room on our changeovers. I must say though, I felt Asher was on fire, he looked amazing and he had some awesome boxes. I think he even shocked himself with some of them as he was over rotating slightly, certainly no chance of him going wide that day lol! We have discovered that we must anchor the box down at the sides aswell as Asher hits it so high he lifts it up which puts him off balance, with it firmly anchored he seemed to have more confidence in putting his 4 feet up higher which I hope will continue to improve and become more consistent. This also helped Jive and Sonny. Sonny was fumbling alot less, he is gradually getting better. We've had problems with the fact that his box has got so much better that he has less time to catch the ball so he has been mis-timing it quite regularly and fumbling. With the box anchored I suppose the box fire was more consistent and easier to judge, makes perfect sense now but only when you think about these things! Anyway in the afternoon we managed to lose another race on lights, won the next one. Then had the Bandits as the last race, we finally managed to put in 3 perfect runs but they were just that little bit quicker. So we finished with won 3, lost 3 and somehow ended up 5th! A bit disappointing but I'm sure were just saving up all our good luck for the Champs!
Had a couple of lovely comments on how fantastic Asher is, makes me smile, god I love my dog :-)! And the weather was mostly lovely, hot and sunny!
Saturday, 30 May 2009
Monday we had Rockets in Div 2 and Ballistics in Div 1. Rockets were Sonny, Lacy, Perry, Smartie and Jamie. All the dogs ran brilliantly even though it was very hot (not that i'm complaining.. it makes a change!), they lost 2 races but one was to the division winners who were running under 19 and one was due to us getting lights. I got to run the lovely perry again :-) and we managed to better our seed time by almost half a second to 19.24secs. Was again very impressed by Lacy, she was quick, reliable, lovely fast box and very consistent all day. We ended up 2nd :-).
Ballistics were Diefer, Asher, Bonnie, Bunty and Jive as reserve. We took a bit of a gamble with this team as we didn't have Rosie, we could of played sensible and put Sonny up but Bonnie is quicker than him so we decided it was worth a go. Unfortunately it didn't work out for us this time. Bonnie has only done 2 starters and 1 open and with her being so fast and focused we had always ran her start dog at competitions. At training we have done loads of changeover work and really didn't think it would be a problem as she had to go 2nd to Diefer as he has to go start. Unfortunately maybe the change of environment or over excitement of competition caused her to nip at Diefer on her outrun, this completely freaked him and he wouldn't come back over the jumps if he could see her lining up. We then changed her to anchor so that we could keep her completely out of the way until Diefer had run but this caused Bunty to start dropping the ball. Eventually we were able to run her 3rd from close to the gate and a very late changeover on Asher as we didn't want him to be spooked aswell. By the end of the day she had settled a lot and wasn't looking at Asher so I think it will be easily solved, it's just a shame it didn't go right on the day! Somehow we managed a best time of 18.80secs! We finished 5th. Better luck next time!
Big thankyou to the Mutts, firstly for changing venues so that we could go :-P (and it was a lovely venue), the fab party on Sunday and the great, relaxed day of racing on Monday!
Oh and this weekend Asher decided that he was infact a lefty again apart from one random right turn in the middle of the days racing.
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Sunday we had the rockets in division 3. They were Sonny, Perry, Smartie and Jamie. This was such a close division!! I think all the teams were running low 20s or v late 19s so every race really could have gone either way. I had the pleasure of running Perry as Bobbie was running Jamie. Most of the races went to 5 legs and we were just abit unlucky in a couple, we ended up coming 4th with a best time of 19.97secs which we were really pleased with considering the ground had deteriorated quite alot by Sunday.
Ball-istics were 2nd seed in Division 1. They were Diefer, Rosie, Asher and Bunty. Was lovely to have our height dog back and be running over 10" again! First race against Kiddy Monsters didn't really go to plan, we just didn't gel and weren't very fast so we lost that one although Asher's box actually looked really good despite the slippery ground! In the next 2 races in the morning things came together and we started running well, not super fast but we won. Don't think I was working Asher back aswell as I could cuz I was too scared i was going to fall over lol! Not sure what time's he was running but Mark said he had got him at 3.8s on his phone. In the afternoon, we had 2 races and you get to find out what my post title is about!
Now I may have mentioned before that Asher was trained to turn right on the box as a young dog as from about 7months he looked like a definite righty. At 18months just before his 1st comp he decided he didn't like turning right and refused to turn that way so we swapped sides and it took me ages to get his left turn as good as his right turn was. Towards the end of last yr and a couple of times this yr he accidently had the ball loaded on the wrong side and went up and adjusted himself and turned right which I thought was very clever of him but didn't think anything of it! Now in the 1st race in the afternoon he went up, hit the box and basically did a somersault, I think people thought that it was a dip infront of the box that had caused it but I watched him and it was because he'd tried to turn right even though the ball was loaded left ( everyone still with me??!), so the judge kindly arranged for this dip to be filled and we ran again and he turned right again. So next leg we loaded it right and he went up and did a 4-foot turn to the right. We won that race. Last race was against High Flyers, decided to give him a warm up with the ball on the left again just to double check that he wasn't just trying to turn so that he could see the other lane (as we were now in red lane and had been in the blue lane in the race previous) but he insisted on turning right so we decided to load it right and just let him sort himself out. We had a really fun last race against the Flyers, we took a leg off them (light) and had a really close last leg as we managed to get Bunty a bit of a lead but Chuckle was just a bit too quick for her! If anyone can shed any light on Asher's turn, answers on a postcard please :-)! So we finished 3rd with a best time of 18.41secs (last leg of the day!).
Was really nice to catch up with people we haven't seen for aaages and race against teams we don't usually see. I still don't think I have managed to get rid of all the mud, and haven't even looked at Asher's harness since, don't think you can tell it is blue anymore! And just for the record I was tucked up in bed by 9pm Saturday and had nothing to do with signs being moved to the flyball ring!!
Friday, 8 May 2009
Bouncers were Jemma, Lacey, Luna, Fraggle and Keri. I was priviledged to run Keri as her mum couldn't come, it was so lush to have a nice, obedient dog that doesn't pull and doesn't bark, she was a little star :-)! We were abit worried as to how Jem would run as she does like the other lane!! However she was a good girly and although she had a look, she didn't stop and bark or attempt to run across on her way up to the line so I think we are making progress. Lacey was brilliant as usual! Fraggle suffered a bit with the heat, especially as it was best of 5 legs, he was a good boy and did some nice runs but it was lucky that we had super-sub Keri there to give him a rest, I think she had fun aswell! Luna is still getting faster, hope this continues (and she doesn't grow anymore!!). They won every race so finished 1st with 20.10secs!
Sunday we had all 3 teams running. Extraset were up 1st, they were Tyne, Sky, Jive, Molly, Guinness and Fraggle. Racing didn't really go to plan with Tyne running out, then Sky was on a go slow and Guinness was having trouble triggering the box. On a postive, Fraggle got his 1st points, granted not many of them, but it is a start. He did keep pausing to have his picture taken but was a good boy and didn't go say hello to anyone! Needless to say they finished last, and I think we'll just move on from that one!
Ballistics and Rockets were in the same division... what a kerfuffle!!! We've done it before and managed fine but that was with all experienced dogs and handlers. Well the rockets had 4 new dogs and 2 new handlers! The team consisted of Bonnie, Lacey, Smartie (Miss Experienced), Chelsey and Jamie. The 1st race went a bit pear shaped due to Bonnie deciding that she was now racing for real and speeding up. This resulted in a faster outrun and a wider box turn, so she ran out a couple of times (well she had speeded up to around 4.1secs so we might let her off!). It was all just a bit hectic to be honest but in the 2nd race they managed to settle down and things started to come together. We ran Bonnie closer to the startline and did a warm up with the jump in to remind her of her box turn, this seemed to sort her out and she was fine after that! Lacey and her owners were just fantastic all day, you never would of known they were new, they are gonna be such an important part of the team. Chelsey and Jamie were also brilliant, another very valuable height dog! And Smartie did a great job of holding all the youngsters together. They only managed to win 1 race but there were a couple of others that were very close and they took the ballistics to 5legs so all in all a good day for the debutees! There best time was 19.67secs.
Due to having no Bunty we submitted a time of 19secs for the ballistics, we had Diefer, Sonny, Rosie, Perry and Asher. Diefer has been the bain of our lives with regard to full height jumps, he just wouldn't do them. Well we finally thought we had cracked it with him through loads of power jumping over winter and a trip to the chiropractor a couple of weeks previously. First couple of races he was fab, we managed a best time of 18.78secs which we were really pleased with. However in the 3rd race he started running out and we had to bring in Perry, the 3rd race also happened to be against the rockets! That was a stressful race with Perry trying to get back to Bobby who was racing Jamie and Smartie being pretty damn sure that she should be in our lane as she ran with our dogs all last year! We only just won it in the end with Asher having to catch up Jamie! In the 1st afternoon race Diefer was still running out and then Sonny started aswell, little git! It was so disappointing as we were fast enough to win but you can never predict flyball! Luckily in the last race we got Sonny running again and we won so finished 2nd overall. Was really pleased with Asher particularly in the afternoon, he seemed to be driving back alot more. His box was better than the last comp although still not perfect. He was running between 4-4.1 over the full height jumps.
So we had a great weekend, lovely weather (I've got sunburnt lips!) and good racing. Also played rounders on the Saturday night which was fun. I do think flyballers these days need to get a bit more hardcore though, by 1am we were the only party in the field still going, whats with that?? Although I am assured that there will be a party at Arbury and another certain Mad team will be keeping us up all night through the summer!!
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Gave them both a bath the other day, so that they would look pretty for their birthdays and so I could take some nice photos to put on here, unfortunately my phone is playing up and won't let me send them at the moment so you'll have to wait for those!
Were off to flyball in the morning at Stockbridge, really looking forward to it as training went so well last weekend! Taking both my dogs as decided that it's warm enough for Tess now and I couldn't really leave her at home on her birthday! I'm sure she'll be very excited!