I was a bit nervous about this day finally dawning, so much so that I couldn't sleep the night before and then managed to oversleep... oops! This meant I got to Honiton just in time to run my 1st 2 courses without walking them!
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!
6 months ago