I was thankful to only be running Excellent JWW, which was the second class of the day. I didn't have to get up early! But I am a member of this club, so I had some duties to accomplish when I got to the trial site each morning.
Saturday Excellent JWW
Devon ran a flawless course; she did everything I asked of her ... including when I cued the first tunnel about 2 steps too early, causing her to go into the wrong entrance. I knew it when it happened; while I gave her a call and rotated my shoulders, I didn't try too hard to call her off of it. She was searching for direction and I gave it to her and she committed.
According to the judge and AKC it was an NQ, but it was my fault, so I celebrated a perfect run with my girl. She doesn't care about ribbons or qualifying scores! I got a lot of compliments on her last line of jumping. I cued extension and boy did she read it!
Sunday Excellent JWW
Today's course was shorter but more technical. I love technical courses when I ran them with Ian. I'm still not as sure with my handling of my baby dog, so I didn't jump up and down for joy at the challenge our judge presented us today.
But I planned my run and stuck to my plan. Front crosses to pull speed and give good direction. There was another dratted tunnel where we had to pull to the far end. I was determined to cue this one correctly!
This was a lovely run! Even though I can pick it apart (which I will), it was still a clean run and Devon's first AXJ leg! Yippee!!
Now for the critique! Both days Devon showed startline stress by scratching, and she was slow off the startline. On Saturday's run she recovered nicely. Today Devon was distracted on course and wanted to disconnect several places during the run; I worked hard to keep her connected. I wonder if the disconnection was stress due to the more technical course that required lots of side changes. I'll have to keep track of this in the future.
I wonder if the scratching/stress at the startline was simply four weekends in a row of trials. I was exhausted, and I'm sure Devon was too. Plus we had two days of field training outside the two days before the trial this weekend.
Devon's course time was fast on Saturday, running 4.49 yards per second (YPS). Today's shorter more technical course dropped Devon's speed a little to 4.04 YPS. She's still well above where she was this summer, and she's looking confident.
I was thrilled about Devon's weaves this weekend; they were lovely! She was a little slower than she has been, but after last weekend's struggles that's to be expected. I know these weaves are 22 inches, and I know she does well on 24 inch weaves. Since last weekend's weaves were 20 inches, and that answers the weave question for Devon. Last weekend wasn't Devon's lack of skill at weaving; it was her lack of experience on various weave spacing.
Finally, I think we're all looking forward to taking the next 6 weeks off from trialing. We have a seminar to attend in a couple of weeks, but other than that we'll be sticking close to home and training. We've had a busy fall beginning with 5 weekends of hunt tests, then lots of tracking and tracking tests followed by 4 weekends of agility trials. It's time for a rest!
And Devon also did me a huge favor by listening to my request and reading the calendar. Devon was due in season Dec. 1 by the calendar. I asked her to wait until Dec. 7 so we could get through these trials, then she could come in and be out before our next set of trials. She's not in yet, but I'm certain she will be shortly! What a good girl she is!