Overall, I am very pleased with this weekend. DOCNA is such a feel-good venue and I am usually much more relaxed and do well.
Luce finished up some titles and was running really well. Weather was cool which she prefers. Plus, this was at the building where we train, so it was on home turf. She had 12 runs over the weekend and Q'd in 10 of them ... sure wish that was the case each trial ;-) Too many bobbles, all my fault, for my liking. Some would have been refusals in USDAA, so they wouldn't have been Q's. Only 2 bars down the whole weekend ... unfortunately one in the second jumpers today which meant no Jumpers title this year. My fault though ... I should have put in a front cross, I was indecisive and down it came. Need to be more assertive and stop chickening out! :-)
Blaze did 2 runs per day. Saturday started off with Standard and no stay at the start at all ... first obstacle was a chute and apparently that is just too much :-) I haven't really trained or worked at the start line stay, so when he was vibrating and just staring at the chute, I decided to just let him go. And, boy, did he GO! :-) It was chute, jump, aframe in a line and he stopped at the aframe down contact, so I was able to catch up. I was concerned about the next bit ... jump, jump, then 90 degree turn to the weaves. But, there was another jump beyond the second one with huge off course potential. I don't know how to "turn" him yet and I didn't want to give him a cue to turn and have him just take off and ignore me. I was able to leave him on the aframe (thank goodness for stopped contacts!!) and was able to stand at the next jump and release. Then just one step for him to take the next jump while I then pulled to the weaves and told him to weave. Which he did :-) I crossed behind and got up to the next jump.
The rest was lovely ... from what I remember ... it is all a blur. I know I had to do a blind cross at a curved tunnel as there was no way I was getting there for a front. And he doesn't rear cross yet ;-) Anyway, he was great, he got his first Q ever and a 1st place to boot! I cried :-)
Next run, traditional gamblers, was next for him. He got most of the opening okay ... the gamble was jump, tunnel, back over the jump, then bring them around for another jump. The problem was when they were to come back over the jump, the aframe was right there too and I was worried he would keep going for an off course. I guess I was too close to the jump and he took the bar. Oh well :-)
Today was Snakes N Ladders. It was beautiful ... he only ran by one set of weaves because I was blocking them when he came out of the tunnel and he came with me when I stepped aside. No problem ... turned us both around and he got them for a Q and a 2nd place and his first title!
Last run today was what I was expecting Friday night. Young, green dog running amok! I was debating running either of them in Strategic Gamblers as I was just too tired to come up with a plan. I should have listened to my instincts and just bagged it and gone home. Luce's run was first and it was horrible ... she missed both dogwalk contacts (first of the weekend) and I misjudged the closing and we were over time. I got Blaze out too early and he was WAY too high. No stay at the start and he just WENT. I tried to call him back but he was WAY gone. I am also really mad at myself for NOT holding his contacts as they were NOT what I had the rest of the weekend.
But, overall, good weekend ... for the most part, Blaze can hold his contacts (I REALLY need to work on myself to make sure he DOES hold them!! Definitely no USDAA trials before September!! DOCNA or matches ONLY) If he sees the weaves, he gets in them and does them all. But we need to learn how to turn and to handle ... which I knew. Also, outside trials will be a little easier as I will be able to go behind the tents and watch what is going on. At the building, I had to keep going up the building and peer through the windows to see what was going on. Plus, the very act of going through the door makes him crazy and all the competitors and dogs are all in one spot instead of spread out.