Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ADG Trial

Sorry I'm a little slow getting this up.  I actually wrote most of it by hand during the day on Saturday and then I just didn't have the enthusiasm to type it when I got back.  Overall it was a good day but it ended on a slightly sour note.  Here we go:

Round 1:  Fullhouse Level 5
     Jonah started fast and furious off the start line.  He was flying!  My plan was just a big loop twice, so it was very easy but a good way to warm up.  We did two A-frames that were a little bit runny.  He didn't have a clear 2-hit down side, but instead he broke out of his stride and ran through the contact zone.  It wasn't as fast as it could have been, but there was no question that he was in the yellow.  Then, after our second loop we had all the points we needed and we were just getting more before the buzzer rang.  As he finished his second A-frame I was watching his contact and not where I was going, and I almost ran right into a jump!  My surprise screwed up Jonah's line and we had to get creative.  So, our last ten seconds or so were pretty unplanned and messy, but it didn't matter too much.  I take all the blame.  Anyway, we ended up with 37 points which was enough for a Q and 1st.  We now have 2 level 5 fullhouse Q's--crazy!

Round 2:  Standard Level 4
    This was our first standard run at level 4 and I was excited to be running with the top dogs.  When we went into the ring, Jonah was so high I couldn't get him to sit.  I tried and tried and soon realized it just wasn't going to happen, so there would be no lead out for us.  This was really a blessing in disguise, because the real reason I wanted to lead out was because I was afraid of an off-course option at 3.  Without the leadout, I had to pull hard after 2, but it worked beautifully.  In fact, he didn't even look at the off course.  This way, running with him, I tested our skills and it was a great confidence builder, because now I know I can trust him in that situation.  After that (well, really including that), the course ran beautifully.  He was a little slow coming down the DW ramp.  I think he was a little bothered by the light from the window which put a funny shadow on the DW.  A bunch of dogs bailed right at that spot, so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Anyway, he just trotted down the ramp rather than really driving, but he went right into his 2o2o and off we went.  This time his A-frame was absolutely perfect, and the rest of the course flew by easily.  What a star!  It was one of the best runs we've ever had, and lots of people commented on it.  Another 1st and our first level 4 standard Q.

Round 3:  Wildcard Level 4
     Again, Jonah was very excited to start the run, but then he came out of the tunnel (the second obstacle) slowly.  It took him a few obstacles to pick back up to full speed, but he was very accurate, attentive, and nailed a tough weave entry.  I was enough ahead that I could FC the weaves, which is unusual for us in a 6 pole set.  Then he was back to full speed, got a discrimination and found another tough weave entry.  I drifted pretty lateral while he was weaving and it was enough to pull him out.  Oops!  I honestly don't remember the last time he's done that, but I guess we should practice some more weaves as I do funny things, training more independence.  Once we fixed the poles he finished very, very fast.  It was an excellent note to end on.
     After the run, I was reflecting about the weaves and I realized that, right about when he popped out, I had a moment of panic where I forgot where I was going.  I'm wondering if he sensed that.  I've definitely noticed before that he doesn't run as well when I'm nervous.  I'm really going to have to watch that next weekend for our pairs run, because I know I'll be nervous.

Round 4:  Colors Level 3
     For every other run this trial I had brought Jonah in too early, so this time I wanted to wait a little longer.  Well, of course, now I barely got in on time.  When I got there there were 2 dogs ahead of me, which would have been fine except that the in gate was on the far side of the ring and there were crowds of dogs between me and the gate.  Jonah had been really good with other dogs throughout the day, but this was a little much for him.  We had to pass between dogs left and right and there was a fair amount of barking.  By the time we got there we were both a little frazzled.  Anyway, the course started well and I was taking things for granted and cruising for home.  He came out of a tunnel and I didn't support him enough over the next jump, so he ran past it.  Then, in turning around he back jumped it.  In colors, an off-course means a NQ, so even though the whole rest of the course was great, our one oops was enough that we did not have our third perfect weekend in a row.  Oh well.  It's too bad because we really need colors Qs, but we'll get there.  It had been a long day--we'd been there for over 10 hours.  I was just tired and didn't give him the handling he deserved.  It's a bummer, but we'll get past it.

No titles or anything this weekend, but we're 3 Qs closer to our CATCH :).

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