Jen and I drove down to Albuquerque for a two-day USDAA trial this weekend. We weren't sure if we would be able to get out of Denver but the blizzard had ended sometime late Thursday night. The roads weren't too bad once we got farther South but we did pass several accidents on the way down.
The weather in Albuquerque was perfect for an outdoor trial. Sunny and in the high 60's. This was a two-ring, two judge trial. Summit needed one advanced standard leg to earn his AAD. He got that on Saturday as well as qualifying in Steeplechase. He had other nice runs and Q's but those two were the highlight of the weekend. Now he is in Masters so no more ring conflicts! He is also, in addition to DAM team, qualified for Nationals now in Steeplechase. He had a smokin' run in GP but dropped one bar.
Sage also needed just a single standard leg to earn her MAD. She had a beautiful run Saturday morning. It was a tough course with few qualifying runs. She also qualified in Steeplechase, pairs, and jumpers. We had a really nice GP run going and I misjudged her speed coming off the a-frame to the tire and got behind her. She turned into me after she landed off the tire and we collided (it was a straight line of tire and two jumps to a tunnel). So she earned a refusal.
Both Sage and Summit now just need the two GP Q's for Nationals.
This coming weekend we will be in Loveland, Colorado at FRAC's USDAA trial.
Sage's brother, Taz, has been in Alberta, Canada for the last couple months training with Scott Glen. So just like human parents send their kids to Summer camp, well... Taz went to sheepherding camp and is having a grand 'ol time.
Laura picks him up the end of the month. She is very excited and so is Sage who misses hiking with her Bro'.
Tonight Carolyn and Bob said goodbye to Bayda. He was born thirteen years ago out of Bo's Red Cedar and by Hob Nob Juice. He sired several litters of pups who grew up to be amazing agility and herding dogs. He is survived by his littermate brother, Buzz (owned by Susan Garrett).
My deepest condolences to Carolyn and Bob and to all of us who were lucky to have known Bayda. He had the sweetest temperament. Goodbye old man.
This weekend we were back in Castle Rock, Colorado for a three-day AKC trial. Sage had some amazing runs and did not miss a single contact all weekend. I am incorporating forward sends in my handling to get downstream on the course and stay ahead of her. Here is a video of Saturday's JWW run. I was in position in plenty of time to front cross to cue the correct end of the tunnel. Most handlers opted for an RFP or verbal cue to redirect the dog into the tunnel.
Sage Saturday Jumpers run
Sage also had some great Standard runs on Friday and Saturday but with one fault in each. Sunday's standard course was VERY technical. The 20" B dogs ran last so we got to watch several classes NQ on this course. It became a game for the crowd to cheer for every team after each fault. Slower dogs definately had the advantage on this course. I had no expectations for qualifying with Sage. There were many challenges on this course but the main challenge was the tunnel trap at the end. The location of the weavepoles restricted the handlers path so it was very difficult to cue the turn to the tire if you were behind your dog. There were a lot of attempted verbal call-offs from the tunnel at the end but most speedy dogs still got the tunnel. I decided to use a strong deceleration cue to keep Sage off the tunnel and it worked. We qualified with Fourth place.
Sage Sunday Standard run
It was an interesting weekend for Summit and I. He had some very nice runs with a couple of refusals. He is much more responsive to my collection and turning cues so now I need to adjust my timing. I pulled him off an obstacle in several runs by turning too quickly. By Sunday, I had figured out what was going on and he qualified in Ex. A Jumpers and earned his AXJ title. He did quite well on the infamous Sunday standard course but did get the tunnel at the end. Here is the video from Friday's standard run. I needed to support the a-frame just a split second longer before I turned.
Summit Friday Standard run
Here is his Jumpers run on Sunday. First place and his AXJ title.
Saturday morning I went out early and worked both Sage and Summit on several jump drills. With Sage I focused more on lateral motion (away from and into her path) to cue turns. I continued to work convergence with Summit. I included a couple of drills with some speed using a tunnel. I'm thrilled with how much he is progressing with these exercises. He does not hesitate to converge on my path as well as add appropriate strides for collection if needed.
Then Jen came over with Jane and Bode (Summit's little brother). We worked on one-jump drills with Bode and RTH exercises. Then we lowered the dogwalk and Jen showed me how Bode was progressing with his 20/20 as well as running the whole plank. Bode is doing so well and Jen is having a lot of fun with this little guy. Bode and Summit are very similar in personality and drive. They even share some similar little quirks and mannerisms.
Afterwards, I had Jen run Summit through some sequences. She handled him very well and he worked great for her - now she has an idea of what it will be like to run Bode on a full agility course someday.
This Friday - Sunday we'll all be at the RMATC AKC trial at Douglas County Fairgrounds.