Monday, August 6, 2012

Lessons Learned...

The husband and I attended the North Central USDAA Regional this past weekend. Lots of things for me to work on in regards to courses and training. 

The Regional was AWESOME! Just AWESOME!!! Well ran , great judges, great courses (we shall talk more about those later) and we had a blast. The competition was very stiff, lots of big names there to really push you in competition. I LOVE THAT!

Granted all my dogs did is sleep most of the time....but still...
Lots of things happened...and some good, some bad, some just what they were :) Dog training is constantly adapting and changing...so yeah. 

GOOD things: Crackhead is the NC Regional Grand Prix Champion and got 2nd place in Steeplechase Finals--so all his Byes done :) His team ended up 2nd and he placed in other team stuff (I just can't remember!). Gator ended up 4th in Steeplechase Finals and 5th in Grand Prix so his Byes are done! :) 

Gator didn't put ONE foot wrong this weekend, he was just a blast to run. 3rd in  a TOUGH team Snooker course, 6th in Team Standard, a owner induced refusal in Team Jumpers. He really was a brilliant boy this weekend :) 

BAD things: Klink doesn't do so great not being trained before a trial. As in "I know I am gonna be 7 soon, BUT..."...she had ONE great run, her Grand Prix run on Friday. Then it was one bar here, one bar there, and a complete brain explosion in Grand Prix Round 1 so she had to go to her kennel for that one. She did manage to get into the Steeplechase finals, but she knocked a bar and missed the WP entry. In regards to her injury..she looked GREAT! TOPS looked at her and said she was looking just perfect. GOOD DEAL. But...we kinda will need to train some for this next weekend in Kansas. So no Byes for her :-/ 

Klink is the type of dog you really need to keep working...as proven this weekend! HA! :) So she will be getting some work this week to hopefully prepare her for the Kansas regional!

Now...things to work on :) First off, I love me a Regional!! The courses are normally tougher, the competition is AWESOME and that really brings out your strengths and weaknesses.  Dave Grubel seemed to know ALL of them :) And apparently I share many of the same weaknesses as others!

Straight tunnels...need to work them more. I have a skills drill I will be setting up TODAY in fact on it. My dogs all do different things out of them, and I need to get that more consistent. 

180 work---they did them, and it was fine, but I had to baby sit them more than I would have liked. 

And Lynn...dear, darling, sweetheart, biddable, cute as a button, Lynn.

First off...she was a great little demo dog for the Jen Pinder/Rachel Sanders running contact seminar :) GOOD JOB STEWART!! I think maybe that got her thinking she was super-mega-awesome-famous...because...
Lynn has entered a new realm of agility training...she is in the "I am confident and I know more that you do"...uhhhh...K? (Thanks Jen Pinder for that saying...you are so right) The dogwalks were LOVELY! I MEAN LOVELY! And off coursing us! :) The jumping was FAST, I mean FAST, and flat :) Major grey matter explosion in Steeplechase Round 1 and I tried to lay her down to tell her to knock it off after she, as Judge Leslie put it, "didn't even try to jump the bars" and Lynn barked at me...brilliant. Her weaves were SINGLE STEPPING, aframes LOVELY! But we had not as much control and thinking as I would have personally liked :) SOOO...we shall have some higher expectations, and I will be getting her mind blown before running her on courses so she can learn to focus on the task at hand. I have to say it is frustrating, however...it's what I wanted from her at some point (a local trial might have been better timing?? LOL). So we shall be going with the flow. She needs more miles. And that means more trialing...so we shall work on that :)

And the final HUGE ONE..Thanks Grubel! Is RUNNING...as in HAULING YOUR ASS ACROSS THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE AGILITY FIELD. Yes...Dave loves to make people run. And it was a huge weakness...I had to do some interesting handling and rely on verbals on some things. THAT REALLY BOTHERED ME. I could complain about it, but in reality it is agility...and well, that means you need to be agile and stuff right??

I am not Terry Smorch by any stretch of the means, but I can run, and I can cover ground...but...well...irritation IS motivation!!!

THEREFORE. Ten whole pounds needs to be gone from my ass by Cynosport. I WILL be eating better, I WILL be running more and I WILL be in much better shape. Dave's courses showed me that is my MAJOR weakness...

So thank you Dave...you have motivated me to get my rear end back in shape. I want to be able to run my ass off the next time I see you...

Maybe I can pay someone to lock me up in a kennel, feed me only kibble and run my butt off with a four wheeler everyday? Yes? Anyone?? I might scream at you and even cuss a little, but still......
No more of this kind of stuff...

LOVE having things to work on!!! 

On a few aside notes...thank you to everyone who came up to say they enjoyed my teaching at the camp this past week :) Your kind and supportive words are much appreciated. I would like to say that Jen, Rachel and Karen were very good with "The Rookie" and I learned a ton from all of them :) It was nice getting to work with such talent, and even train dogs with them in the times we had off :) I don't hardly EVER get to train with anyone, so it's very nice to get that! (another goal I will be working on!!!)

And finally...my teammate and friend Diane...one of the strongest people I think I have ever met...ran the camp, the regional and all her dogs this weekend after losing her amazing dog Streak to an illness...seeing her mental strength, the agility community come together to support her through it...and how she was able to just keep going and going and going...really put things into perspective...

I thought about her every, single, time I walked to the line this weekend. This is a game, enjoy your dogs, enjoy this time. Really hit home. I know Diane would give anything to have more time. I am so sorry Diane, he was an amazing dog, and I know you loved him with all your heart. 

Hug your dogs everyone.

That'll Do Streak...

3 comments:

Karissa said...

I was all ready to post a giant LOL to your "I'm no Terry Smorch" comment -- But then I got to the bottom. Oh how sad. I had no idea that Diane lost Streak. :o( What a loss.

Congrats on a great Regional! I'm sad I didn't get to see more of your runs, but I got to see Gator tear it up in Steeplechase finals and he rocked!

Catalina said...

So glad you are back!

agilityfrk said...

Dave hasn't judged in my area recently, but whenever I know I'm showing under him, I do a refresher on straight tunnels. ;-)