Friday, May 27, 2011

Muddy Paws Trial Preview

While I was away I wasn't sure if we'd be ready for a trial this weekend, but after a good lesson yesterday I think we're ready to go.  We're heading up to Vermont tonight, we'll have tomorrow off, and then Jonah will run on Sunday.  Here's a peak at what's ahead of us:

Round 1:  Jackpot Level 3
     This will be our Level 3 Jackpot debut.  It appears that we'll have a traditional Jackpot (Levels 4/5/C, 3, and 1/2 run separately).  I did a little distance work with Jonah today in the back yard and I think he has the skills to do a Level 3 Jackpot if he's not stressed, but we'll have to see how things go.  I think it's unfortunate that it's the first run of trial for us, but we'll do our best.  It does look like we'll have a good while between the briefing and our run, so hopefully Jonah will have settled and be relaxed.  We'll see what he thinks when he goes into the ring.  The arena is an indoor dirt ring.  It will be our first time running on dirt and (obviously) our first time at this site.  Grace says some dogs really love running on dirt, so I'm hoping he enjoys the footing.  Our goal for this round will just to have fun.  I hope I can plan a good, motivating opening where he can run and get a sense of the space.  Then we'll see what the gamble is like.  If we don't qualify, I won't be too upset because I know we haven't done our homework for this recently.

Round 2:  Standard Level 2
     We still need 2 legs of Standard for our Level 2 title and we missed our last shot at it, so I'm really hoping we can nail this one.  I have a fair amount of confidence in our standard ability, so I'm looking forward to this run.  I'll try to support Jonah as much as I can without babysitting him where I need to get in place for good handling.  Other than that, I hope it's an open course where we can run fast and have fun.

Round 3:  Snooker Level 3
     Snooker courses always depend so much on how they're set up.  As usual, my goal will be to make the most flowing course I can come up with.  We need 30 points in Level 3, so unless we come up with a great opening we'll have to get pretty far into the closing.  Anyway, we'll see what the map looks like when we get there.  We've already gotten one Level 3 snooker Q, so we know we can do it.

Round 4:  Colors Level 2
     This should be a nice way to end the day.  We share the course with level 1, so it shouldn't be too hard, and colors courses are always nice and short.  It's nice that we have easier courses to split up the harder Jackpot and Snooker.  Overall I think it will be a good day.  We might even have a bunch of spectators, as some of my family members are talking about coming to watch.  The weather is supposed to be great, too.  It will feel good to get back to a trial.  It's been quite a while now.

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