Sunday, September 29, 2013

2nd USDAA Trial

Today  Katie and I went to our 2nd USDAA trial with Diva and Annie, and Phira came too just for the ride.

The day started way too early, having to get up at 4:55am to get all the chores done and everyone loaded in the car for 5:45. We left in the dark like thieves in the night...It was nice watching the sun come up as we drove out of the foothills. I made a mental note to check start times and distance before I make my entries! It's not like it was a super long drive (just 1 1/2 hours, but there are so many trials around that I just don't need to drive that far that early for an outside one!

We had an interesting day..

We got there without Phira throwing up...that's definitely a plus, and was good way to start!

The first thing I learned is yes  you do have to check your almost 13 year old's choice of footwear-I should have known better when she took every minute she had this morning getting glammed up for an agility trial? I had this thought as we were driving to the trial this morning "what's she wearing on her feet"?  Sure enough we get there and she's wearing some kind of flats. Just where did she get these genes from? I think she learned why I nag at her about her footwear choices though when she slipped and fell on the wet grass in her standard run. Happily she got to her feet quickly none the worse for wear.

Katie ran first with Diva in regular and I was very perturbed. They did the first jump and got on the dog walk and stopped, and I mean a standstill. I thought Katie had lost her mind. Apparently Diva was gagging on something. Once recovered from this she ran fairly well until she got to the table. Diva forgot how to down. We obviously need more practice at quick drops on that table. The rest of their run wasn't bad but Diva messed up in the weaves-always a rough spot, and Katie wisely chose not to worry about it.

Highlights: Diva did the chute and the tire jump!

Annie's run was decent but she was definitely not connected with me-she was looking everywhere. Outside trials have so many distractions for her. I had to work very hard at her turning with me and not taking whatever was in front of her. She knocked a bar (really Annie, 16" jumps and you knock a bar?).  She was slow on the down at the table, and somehow got on the wrong side of me at the weave pole entrance (I don't think I was in her face enough). I believe she also ran by the last jump and I had to bring her back for that.

Highlights: Hmmm..not sure there are any there. She made time despite her bobbles?

Next I learned that mosquitoes do come out after torrential rains. I couldnt believe there were so many mosquiotes out so late in the year. I was happy when the sun warmed things up and they went into hiding.

Our next run was snooker. Katie had a good run going but got befuddled and sent Diva into a tunnel out of order and so wasn't able to do the closing. Diva just stopped once to look for me.

Annie was ADD. We did our opening line but then got to the far end of the pen and she stopped to watch a border collie playing frisbie. I was worried she might bolt, but after what seemed like an eternity (and probably just a second or two) I got her headed back on course. I had to really play blocker as she was intent on doing whatever was in front of her and not turning with me. We got the the 2nd to last obstacle and I lost her coming out of the tunnel. I let my guard down for just one second and she was over a jump that she wasn't supposed to do. The good news is we had enough points to Q-not bad considering this was our first snooker run ever.

We then had a long break and my daughter decided she'd have a nap in the car listening to some tunes. I watched the steeplechase and was really awed by how quick the handlers were in getting their Q's out and getting in the right spot. My chair was right in front of a particularly tough section where the dogs came full board down a line of jumps and then had to do the back side of a jump and turn away from the handlers direction. It was interesting watching what worked and what didn't.

I enjoyed just sitting doing nothing for a couple of hours-this isn't something I get to do often. The day was beautiful and the venue pretty. We took the dogs for another walk and Annie saw a bunny-she was crazy!  It was all I could do to drag her away.

Our last class of the day was the jumpers run. Diva ran pretty well for Katie but Katie stopped at a jump confused about which was next and cost some time. They were clean but 1.69 seconds over time.

Annie was tired mentally at this point in time. I had a hard time keeping her focused.  She got through but slowed down drastically in one corner, and then I lost her coming out of a tunnel, she didn't do the jump in front of her (after doing them all day, now was the time she decided not to!). I was in good position so I'm not sure why she ran by other than being tired (And being Annie). I had to loop her around, and we got done but were 0.16 seconds over time. Geesh.

I have to work on handling her out of tunnels-seem they are always the precursor to our problem. Perhaps I'm not vocal enough leaving it up to her to decide on what to do next?

We packed up and went to leave. I turned my keys in the ignition and nothing. is in park, what gives. I did it again nothing...I turned to Katielyn "did you leave the radio on". Her .."uh yes". The battery was dead.  We went in search for a boost and found someone with cables.

Next lesson: You can't boost someone with a Prious! Happily we found someone without an electric car, got started and were on our way.

We were pretty happy with the day despite only coming home with one Q. The dogs worked pretty well, most of Katielyn & Diva's problems were caused by Katie, and mine were typical Annie.

Phira was fun. We practiced some directionals through the practice jump (without a bar) and played chase out in the field. She was awesome.

Friday, September 6, 2013

First USDAA Trial

This past Sunday Katielyn and I ventured out to our first USDAA trial. Here in CO there are not many ASCA trials so we really needed to find another venue to run at. I enjoyed working at the USDAA nationals last year and decided we'd give this venue a try.

The trial was held at the foothills sports center in Lakewood and all I can say is Wow-what a nice location for a trial.  The building features astroturf (I say astroturf-fake grass with rubber?), was spacious and temperatures stayed cool.

Annie and Diva both ran as 16" Novice dogs, Annie in the performance and Diva in the regular division.

Our Day:

Gamblers Run: it was very straight forward and both dogs handled it well.

Diva: Score 35, Time 37.73 Q

Diva went first with Katielyn. The run went as planned except for Diva taking the wrong end of the tunnel during point accumulation, and that actually worked out in her favor as she garnered more points. I saw that and actually changed my plan to do the tunnel twice like she did.

Annie: Score 33 Time 38.23

Annie: She handled well and was running pretty fast and Q'd. I did my opening as planned with the exception of she did the chute when I sent her over the jump to the side of the a-frame she went to the shoot, I wanted her to turn and do the jump and A-frame! We got it all done and were in a good spot to do the gamble.
Gamble Course
 Standard Course:

Diva: E

Diva was not on. She got off to a poor start with the tire jump. She kept running through it and wasn't seeing it as a jump. Katielyn after 3 times just went by it.  She did OK (slow) up to the teeter and then did a funky teeter which appeared to shake her a little. Then she didn't want to do the chute. I can't recall if Katie got her through it or not. The next obstacle was the table and she didn't want to do that either.  Once past that part they finished the run OK.

Annie: 148 yards SCT 73 Score 0 Q 53.63

Annie ran really well and Q'd. And looking at the results had almost 20 seconds to spare-go  Annie (I thinks she likes running the Novice courses). I did have to call her away from the A-frame when she did the jump after the dogwalk and I believe one other place where she drifted. I know why I have problems on tighter courses-I'm either not being very clear with my body movement or she's not watching me.

Standard Course


Jumpers was our last course for the day.  We had a long wait before it.

Diva: 5.11 NQ SCT 35 Time 40.11

Diva was better than the standard for jumpers but still not eager like she can be. Katielyn rear crossed the first tunnel which was a mistake-Diva came out. Diva also stopped at the pair of jumps before the 2nd tunnel. Katielyn got in position and carried on. Diva looked for me when she came out of the 2nd tunnel stopping again.

Annie: 5.0 NQ SCT 36 Time 29.15

Annie ran pretty well. I blew the hnadling at the last tunnel. My plan was to cross and go the right of the jump after the tunnel but I was late so I ran to the left of that Jump and got in a mess. I didn't want to collide with Annie and ended up jumping the last jump myself while Annie blew by. Big oops.

What I should have done: If I couldn't get the front cross in, I should have decelerated at the jump sent Annie over and done a pivot to turn her to the last jump.

Jumpers Course

Monday, October 24, 2011

Classes 10/17 & 10/24

Katielyn has kicked me off of her dog -she's taking her to class now.

10/17 Worked on weaving from tunnel, and discrimination. Had two jumps in L shape with tunnel as C [_ I _ ) ]. Katie had some difficulty getting diva into the right end of the tunnel -she had to make sure she had her head before she approached the tunnel. She had to go in what was the bottom part here and then come back over the jump in front).

10/24 Had an intricate pattern. Diva was wanting to weave out of tunnel patern was:

Had tunnel under a-frame. Do a-frame send back into tunnel. Jump away from a-frame jump was same angle as a-frame, then a jump diagonally to it on a curve away. Wrap that jump to a teeter.
For some reason Diva wanted to do the weave poles on exiting the tunnel. Katie needs to get her commands out earlier and run faster. Diva was quiting at the end -perhaps because she didn't know what was wanted of her?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Class 01/25/11

Tonight I took Diva. She was good.
We ran the following exercise:

There are many ways to handle this sequence. The idea was to lead out 2 jumps and either do a moving cross or stand at the 3rd jump and cue. With Diva I'm only able to do a one jump lead out. I ran on the right side of the jumps. 1-3 were good but she collided with me in front of the table. I'll need to make sure I'm telling her where we are going, and she needs to watch me.

Tonight I'll practice the same sequences with Annie.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Herding Lesson #1

I've been promising Annie she could go herding again but just haven't gotten around to it. Finally this week, I scheduled a lesson.

First of all Jamie had me put Annie on a down while she watched the other dogs worked. It was hard for her to stay put but finally she settled some.

When it was her turn, Jamie worked her on 4 sheep in a pen about 15x10. She had her on a leash and walked with her around the pen. Every time Annie lunged she was put on a down. When she relaxed on the down, she was released and could work again. Jamie was sure to work the corners, head and tail.

Annie was more bold on the tail but not quite as confident at the head.

Our homework was to work the downs and get her moving off the sides.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Class 12/13/10

Today it was pretty brisk so we worked some more jumping lines. Annie handled the course well. The first time through I tried a lead out to the tunnel -I found it wasn't necessary and it got a little ugly sending her in. She did the serp well but then flew over the A-frame missing her contact.

The next time through I ran with Annie at the beginning on the left of 1 to the tunnel and then back to the left of jump # 1 going the other direction and the opening was much better.

For handling from 14 to 15 Elizabeth suggested I cross at 14 and then try to cross again from 15 to 16. I was able to do the first cross but the second one I didn't. This can be our homework.

Class 12/06/10

We worked on some jumping exercises and more discrimination. Annie was doing the discrimination well. I needed to make sure I didn't turn my shoulders too soon pulling her to the dogwalk.

Next we did some jumping exercises. In this exercise it worked best to slide from 3 to 6 so I could get a cross in at 6 and not get a funky turn from 6 to 7.