Friday, September 2, 2011

Trial Preview-ARFF USDAA

We're going back to USDAA this weekend.  This time I have to say I'm much less nervous.  This trial is really close by and we're going to know a lot of people, which will be fun.  I also know now that USDAA people aren't mean and evil :).

The day will start with dreaded measuring.  Last time it wasn't bad at all, though, so we'll hope to repeat the pattern.  We'll also hope that maybe, somehow, he will measure under 20" again so he won't have to get extra measurements.  So long as he measures under 21", though, I'll be happy.

Round 1:  Starters Standard
     This will be a nice way to start the day because I like Standard a lot.  Of course, I'll have some stress about the A-frame contact, but I'm going to try my best not to worry about it.  If he blows it, he blows it.  Grace suggested that I not try to 'handle' it--as in slowing him down and getting him to shuffle through the yellow.  I will try to keep a nice, big stride and hope he hits some yellow!  I'm also going to try really hard to demand a 2o2o on the dogwalk.  He always looks nervous coming down the DW at trials which is why I've been a little lax, but last night at class it was clear that he could nail his 2o2o away from home, so now we just need that at a trial.  There are 10 dogs in this class (but only 3 BCs), so it's pretty big compared to what we're used to (although the masters standard 22" has a whopping 40 dogs!  yikes!).  I'll be really happy with a Q, and whatever happens with placement happens.  Hey, we may very well not get the Q anyway if we blow the A-frame!

Round 2:  Starters Gamblers
     I have no idea what to expect for this gamble and we haven't done much distance work lately, but we'll give it our best go.  He's certainly capable of most starters level gambles if he's in the mood, so my job will be trying to get him super excited and confident so he'll drive right over the line when the time comes.  I'm guessing we'll need a bunch of points in the opening, so there might be more pressure there than we're used to, but I'd think it would be a doable requirement for us.  We'll have to see.  There are 9 dogs in this class.

Round 3:  Starters Snooker
     I have to say I've come to like Snooker.  It's really easy to screw up, yes, but when it goes right it can be a lot of fun.  I'd very much like to pick up a Q, so I'll plan a relatively quick and flowing opening that will give us a good shot at getting through the closing.  Anything can happen, but we'll try to take fewer risks and have a nice, motivating course.  We'll have 10 dogs in this class.

Round 4:  Starters Jumpers
     It will be fun to end with Jumpers.  There are no contacts to blow and we can just run fast and have fun.  Jumpers is becoming one of my favorite classes.  So, the goal here will be to give Jonah the smooth handling he deserves and run my butt off!  Again there are 10 dogs in the class.

Usually I pretty much expect to Q in all our classes.  Lately our Q rate has been dropping.  In USDAA especially, I'm ok with not acing every round.  We'll just do our best and have fun.  I would like to collect a few Qs, but what happens happens.  We've got another shot at USDAA next weekend, anyway.

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