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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Second Trial

About ten months ago, Clementine and I had our first agility trial. I wouldn't say it was a complete disaster...we had some nice moments, but no Qs. It definitely made me realize some of the things we would need to work on to be competitive. Our biggest issues were time and distance. Since I have a disability, and Clementine has always been a "velcro dog" - I knew this was going to be a challenge. I was truly afraid we would never be fast enough to be able to compete in NADAC. Now, every single one of my agility teachers has said that NADAC would be one of the hardest venues for us to compete in, because the courses are so spread out. Yet, I really like NADAC, because everyone is just so dang friendly and supportive. To be fair, NADAC is the only venue we have competed in at this point - but I have heard many agility folks voicing the same opinion.

So a few weeks ago, Clem and I had our second trial. We took 10 months to work on distance and building up her confidence..and also to finally get the hang of weaving. It paid off. We ended up getting 2 Qs for the weekend. Our first Q was in Novice Jumpers:

Even though in class Clementine often gets too excited to maintain her start line stays, she nailed every single one of them at the trial. It took a few rounds for her to find her confidence..but while having a bit of "ring nerves" kept her slower, she was also more focused on me. Our second Q was in Regular, which I was not expecting at all considering she has only been weaving for all of a week before the trial. I wish I had a video of that run!

So I walk away from this trial, knowing we CAN do this! I have an incredible dog who wants to please and most importantly - loves doing this. I know that we need to work on discriminations (between contacts and tunnels specifically) and me being able to call her off of obstacles ahead of her. I never in a million years thought that her having too much distance would ever be a problem. It is now!

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