As a loyal Ravens fan I have a hard time justifying making the long drive up to the Pittsburg area. This weekend I had a very good reason, a fun filled agility weekend in an amazing facility. We had been to the B & D Activity center last year and I liked it so much decided to come back. Earlier in the week there was a major snow storm in the northern states so I wasn’t sure how much snow they would get, but luckily the gods were in our favor as there was hardly any snow on the ground when I got there and the temps reached the 50 degree mark!! Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. I opted to leave Dasher and Zorro home with Brandon as they were not entered and I wasn’t sure how much play time they would get. So it was just Zip and I on this road trip.
The judge this weekend was Lynn Sigman. I love Lynn, not only is she a good friend, but her courses are always fun and challenging. Zip and I had a great weekend. I probably should correct that statement, Zip always has a good weekend. Zip, aka the perfect JRT, never puts a foot out of place unless I misdirect him so any mistakes he has are mine. I was happy (for the most part) with my handling this weekend. The courses were challenging enough that I was able to work on some handling moves that I had been practicing and wanted to put in a show situation and also some homework issues which always need practicing. We ended up going 8 for 9 and the one off course we had was entirely my fault in a misplaced rear-cross. I was really happy with Zippy’s running this weekend. He gave me really good dogwalks, probably the best we have had in competition. Watching videos of past shows I can see where I am tentative when running the DW in competition, I am not tentative when we are practicing. This weekend I tried to really concentrate on running the DW like we do in practice and so far it seems to be working. Once again proving all of our mistakes are clearly handler induced!
This is our Snooker run from Saturday. The seven pointed obstacle was three elements, the jump, the tunnel and then the jump again. I didn’t think we had enough time to do all four sevens so we opted for a five, 2 sevens and a six.
This is the Masters Challenge Jumpers course from Saturday. I was pretty happy with this run. I did not run the #8,9 and 10 sequence like I had planned. I had planned to do a blind between #9 and #10 but chickened out at the last moment. Zip saved my butt as usual.
This last run is our Masters Challenge Standard run on Sunday. We started off a bit pokey but then picked up some speed as we got into it. I do feel that these international style courses can bleed speed off the dogs, but in my opinion that is a training issue for me. Building and keeping the appropriate amount of speed through the technical aspects of the course is what I have been working on with all my dogs. I think Zip and I have gotten better at it but you can see the first few jumps need some work. #15 to #16 didn’t exactly go as planned, Zip was supposed to be on my right to take #16 but clearly he read it as a blind cross. Good thing that jump was bidirectional.
A fun weekend all around. It was a nice small show so I was finished running by 2:00 pm and Zip and I hit the road. We made it home in record time.