This describes our spring weather, and the state of health of some of my friends! I had an awful cold last week, and feel guilty that Karen was feeling terrible over the weekend (actual degree of guilt not established).
Zazzy had a little scrape on her pad Monday, but I didn't want to take any chances with it so she had a quiet week, and it had healed by the weekend. Saturday we went to Waverunners, a local UKA show. Freezing cold wind! I kept my dogs in coats most the day! Becky had a run in the casual agility class which meant she ran at standard height rather than large ( I have always run her in large without measuring her because it is the same height as KC jumps). She LOVED it! (and got 1st place for her efforts). I decided to get her measured, and she is easily inside standard height, which is fantastic news as it will be great fun to be able to keep competing with her (I had decided to run her in veterans classes this year, which I will still do at KC shows). Better get her a bit fitter! (Do you think at nine years old it is too late to teach her to wait at the start?!)
Well isn't it so much easier to see where other people could improve than do a perfect run yourself?! Zazzys first run was snooker. I walked my course, then thought about it, and decided I would do a training run instead. Except I found myself running my pre-prepared course and only realised I wasn't going to get to do the bits I wanted to train when the whistle signalled my time was up. What a fool!!
I thought most the 'beginners' courses at the show were very hard, two that I did needed a recall across the entire ring (three or four obstacles); happily Zazzys waits were fantastic. (Well I say fantastic, sometimes I wonder if she is ever going to move!) She is still a bit flat, I have been told this could go on until the puppies would have been due, so I guess there could be many weeks of this yet! Zazzy's responce to my handling was very accurate, just one misunderstanding. She slipped and nose-dived going into one set of weaves, unfortunately just as I was crossing behind her (no comments on the size and/or weight of her nose please Toni, you are soooo rude), so she came out of those. Otherwise her weaves were good, also her see-saw was confident so I was happy with that (she has been very unhappy doing see-saws for a long time due to an early scare which had made her very cautious). There were no dog walks (taken out due to a very strong gusty wind). She didn't miss an A-frame although one was higher than I'd like, so we need to build on that technique a bit more. She won her steeplechase by three seconds, and I'm pleased with her jumping style. We are starting to do a few grids and turns in training now, I think this will be really beneficial. I'm looking forward now to doing a few more shows as I am hoping her confidence will grow with more experience.
Sunday I had a Toni Dawkins training day, which was a hoot, and included rather a lot of hilarious banter forming the background to some very good training. I was disappointed again as about 30% of Zazzy's A-frames were higher than I wanted (although again she didn't actually miss any). Toni had us recalling the A-frame from beyond other equipment, a good way to see if our body positions are affecting the dogs performance. We did some handling of more testing turns, and with a bit of help from Toni I was really pleased with our progress. Between those two things I have plenty of homework!
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