I got some exciting news yesterday. I think I told you that I contacted the local agility club to ask about membership, and yesterday they got back to me. They have a weekly practice during the week and then one weekend day a month, and all for a membership cost of $20 for a year. Considering that open practice at Riverside is $15, that's a pretty excellent deal. Then there are workshops and seminars that offer actual instruction, as well. It won't replace lessons, but it will give us a lot more practice with looks at lots of courses and drills. I looked at some of the course maps from last year and there are some really neat exercises that would challenge us. It may also mean that we won't have to go to lessons as often, which would save some money and quite a bit of driving time. I'd still like to have some teacher's eyes on us regularly, but it might not need to be every week anymore.
So all of this was on the club's website, but what I found out yesterday is perhaps even more exciting.
I'll start off with a bit of a tangent. When I was younger and active in the horse world, I spent all my free time at a farm in Bedford, only about 15 minutes from my house. One summer, we got word that a young foal had been born just down the street. Being a young, horse-crazy girl, this was an amazing thing, since the farm I was at had competition horses and had nothing to do with breeding. Anyway, my friends and I would go visit this foal in our lunch breaks and we met the people there, who were very kind to our frequent oggling. A few years later, I kept my horse at my trainer's parents' house in Concord, farther down the same road from the farm where the foal had been. I'd ride on the trails behind the road, past this same farm and to a public ring a block past it. So, needless to say, this farm was tangentially relevant to me for many years. This summer we took Jonah to the same trails I used to ride on, and he loves to swim in the lake there. In the last few years, I've driven past the farm hundreds of times. It's usually pretty quiet, but I've noticed that there is dog agility equipment in one of the fields. I've never seen agility dogs there. When I started looking into agility for Jonah, the first thing I did was try to find this farm to see if they might do lessons. I was never able to find it, and I finally gave up and decided it was someone's private equipment.
Well, it turns out that it is someone's private equipment. That someone happens to be involved with the ARFF agility club, though, and it is their home field. After driving out of state for my lessons for a few months now, the prospect of being able to do agility fifteen minutes away from home is some of the best news I've heard in a long time. The round trip of driving will be less than one way of getting to any of the places we can go for lessons.
Now the only problem is the snow. They don't have an indoor location, so they don't usually get things in gear until April. Then I'll be away most of May, so we might not really get into the full swing of things until June, but from a cost perspective, so long as we go twice all year we'll be saving money. So now we just have to wait. Oh, and it's snowing again...and the roof is leaking.