Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's getting there...but, sometimes it just doesn't feel fast enough

The short story, is NO q's on Sunday. Open JWW had 2 refusals, the weaves and a missed rear cross, and the standard run, well, that ended up with the judge doing his exercises raising his arms repeatedly during our run, he got a good workout, LOL. We always try to do our best to keep the judges fit in standard runs lately. I felt GREAT during the runs and was so happy with so many things I saw and I was so happy with Breeze, but as I drove home and thought of all the things that we really need to work on.....sigh...I started feeling discouraged.

I really have to say this weekend I ended up feeling a bit frustrated because now we have been making a lot of little mistakes, and some big ones...but luckily my training buddy Denise had come to the trial to watch today and she really helped me look back and more accurately look at what we have accomplished. Less then a year ago we had just got to the point of four or five obstacles and short little sequences like pinwheels, some good foundation and we had started us on our current handling system, but I had no CLUE how I was going to get into the right place on a real course or to actually handle my fast little BC girls. I had no idea how I was ever going to keep up on a course-NO CLUE. We did not even have rear crosses at that time, so it would have been really hard to imagine keeping up.

Not even a year later-I am figuring it out and I am keeping up-we have so much to learn but it is coming together. For a couple of years I have had so many people reminding me how slow I am and asking how was I going to do it, and they did intimidate and scare me a lot. When everything is said and done, Breeze and I are keeping up with each other and it really is coming together, just this weekend it was feeling a little frustrating and overwhelming thinking about all that we still have to work on. A big part of the reason I wanted to start trialing now was so I could see what we had to work on, I think some holes in our training just were not going to become apparent until we put them to the test by trialing, so shoot I can see where the holes are pretty clearly now that we hit that Open Standard ring.

The really great things that have been developing is that Breeze is getting faster and more confident. With each run Breeze is doing less looking back at me and just going on and finding her line. Our contacts are holding up really well. The best thing I have seen is that Breeze has went from pulling to get back to her crate after a run, she wanted to duck into her crate as quick as she could. This morning going to the trial her ears were set up higher and she was so happy to get into the car. On each run she pulled to go to the run, and just walked quietly back to the crate, she seemed to want to run, so that makes me really happy. Breeze enjoying agility more and more is a HUGE accomplishment I think.

I think we might end up stuck in open standard for a little while, which after going three Q's for 3 runs in novice, well, I was hoping open standard would be at least almost as easy for us, lOL. One could hope you know! We just needed our last jumpers Q to get our open JWW title and I thought we did so good but the last place I needed to do a cross the rear I had planned just did not work, and looking back I had plenty of time for a front, which I originally planned then changed my mind, grrrr, so we got a second refusal. The deal is that would NOT have been a second refusal if we had got our weave entry more then one out of four runs this weekend. We had worked weaves a LOT, and they had got so much better, and they have been awesome in class, but in trials she is just zipping on by, but she always does them the second time, yikes, that has been killing us.

BC are sooo weird, and the start line in jumpers is just not that is a real bad thing but the start line is perfect (well as perfect as Breeze and I do) in standard runs. That is pretty consistent. Breeze gets an idea in her head and she just knows that is how it is supposed to be -- start lines are no exception and that is what she has decided, you stay until mom looks ready to go in jumpers, and you hold your start until released in standard that is going to need some major work. I always said I would maintain my criteria with the starts and the contacts and not let it go...and we are doing what I said I would never do and just going with the sloppy start lines. BAD handler/trainer/mom (slaps wrists).


The open Standard does not have video, but the first obstacle was a tire and Breeze ran around it, so we were done before we started. Then I had to run with her because I brought her back to do the tire... we did a rear cross into a serpentine (plan B because I had to run with her so could not do the FC I had planned) the serpentine was really nice, up to a gorgeous Aframe, then coming out of the weaves she came really close to going up the aframe but read my front cross came back for the dog walk but she was frustrated. At the end of the dog walk she really almost didn't stop and do her contact, but at that point I insisted. When Breeze gets frsutrated she switches into a herding mode and is very handler focused sort of dancing around me, so she went into the tunnel and was not looking for obstacles at all and totally veered to miss the jump. I need to figure out when she gets that frustrated if I should stop and try to collect her or say thank you and walk off because she really isn't thinking when she gets that frustrated, silly girl.


Diana said...

I know about frustration. 20 exc. JWW runs and no "Q"s. LOL Last weekends run just keeps playing back in my mind. "If I had just...." LOL It will come. Plus you dont get any refussal in Exc. so migh as well work it out in open. You and Breeze are looking really good. So many things to be proud of. And as far as being slow, we are all slow. Dogs are faster than humans and no one can run as fast as thier dogs. The more you run the more you will come together as a team. That run on Saturday was beautiful. Rememeber that run. Learn from Sundays run but remember and relive Saturdays run. You guys are looking really good and it will come. Diana

Ricky the Sheltie said...

You said it - Breeze is enjoying agility more now and that is a HUGE accomplishment! Hurray! That's what we're aiming for here too. I think you guys are doing absolutely great!

I love it when Sara calls the judge's arm movements the Y.M.C.A. dance!! We get that all the time too in standard! So we're with you on keeping those judge's fit - LOL!

Sara said...

Yes Ricky, I guess all judges' favorite band is the Village People, and they feel YMCA is just the best song EVER. They need to get a life.

That is awesome how Breeze is getting more excited about trialing and agility.

I admire anyone who tries to keep up with a border collie!

Jules said...

It is so helpful to have a friend that can help you put it in perspective.

Breeze enjoying agility so much is a tremedous accomplishment!

Danielle's Dog Training Blog said...

I know what it's like to feel discouraged. I'm teaching myself agility, and every time I think about everything I do not know and everything I need to learn, I get really discouraged. But the important thing is that the dogs are having fun. Your dogs always look so happy in their pictures.

Morganne said...

What nice runs! Just one or two little things - yes, that is very encouraging and part of the process. I think trialing is great for showing us the training holes. I can practice perfect at home but it is in a trial (under pressure and the dog is excited) when we get that valuable feedback on our progress.

Have you seen the rear cross article (with drills) in the July Clean Run?

Sagira said...

Just keep up the work and it will pay off for you.

Sagira is also enjoying the 24" weaves better as well.