Well the trialling season has just started for Red Dog and I.. with our Western Classic event, one of the 3 'big' events in Perth (the other being the State Trial and the Royal Show). I went in with very low expectations as a) it was our 1st trial for the year and b) I don't feel like Red and I are quite in synch yet.
I have been doing a lot of work on her turns at home, and she is improving there, but I haven't seen the improvement on the night we go to training yet, so I wasn't expecting to see it in the ring yet, either.
The 1st run we had was Open Agility. The course was lovely, open and flowing, with a very doable distance challenge. We got to obstacle number 5, the weavers, and she popped out at pole 10. Naughty! Some reminders needed for weaving, apparently it is clear we haven't been working on that.
Masters Jumping was next, and there were some interesting things that happened in that class. The judge had set the course, and 3/4 of the 500 level height had already run it. Then he decided it was dangerous after a competitor complained and he was concerned about how it ran. So the course was then changed slightly (only 1 jump moved) and everyone who had already got to run it got another run. Now the people that hadn't already run it only had the one chance. Not ideal, but I do understand the judges concerns and agree with the course being changed. Anyway, we had our one run and she was a good girl and despite having a few questions still managed to go clear and win the class! Yeah Red Dog!
Next up was Masters Agility and it was a nice course, flowing with some technical challenges, I was looking forward to running it. We started well, and she responded to my handling in the technical areas, even if she was not as tight as I ideally want her to be. Then we got to the dog walk.. and the judge was standing right in my way. So I moved laterally, and he moved laterally as well.. so I had to move laterally again. This was particularly unfortunate as I had decided to ask Red to 'run' on this dog walk as there was a straight exit. I have just started playing with a running dog walk option for her for straight exits (whilst keeping the stop for the turns) and this was the 1st time I had asked her to do it in the ring (well, obviously, as it was her 1st trial back!) She was quite confused by my severe lateral deviation from the walk and collected with her ears pinned back. So it was not a true run, more just a collection then not stop. Finished the rest of the course OK with a very wide turn out of the weavers as I didn't trust her and leave her in them, and ended up a controversial 2nd (apparently you don't get a re-run for having the judge in your way, only if you demolish the 1st bar!) Still, I was pleased with her efforts in the run.
Open Jumping was last, and I suspected the distance challenge would be too much for her, and it was. So no joy there. Still I was very happy that she had gone clear in both masters events with a win in one and a '2nd' in the other. Sadly we had no luck whatsoever in the teams events the next day, the courses were VERY open and flowing and I find them tricky with her as I tend to loose her on the wide open spaces. Lots of work to be done there! Looking forward to her next trial, love my Red Dog.
As for a Tex update.. he seems to be a bit happier in his general demeanor on the fluoxetine, but still not able to train him. The behaviour of scanning and looking around for things that might kill him seems to be very ingrained. Am doubting we will be able to get through this.
Shimmer has been very lame on her R FORE now for the last 3-4 weeks, I took her to see Dr Mark Glyde at Murdoch (got to be one of the nicest vets in the world) and he couldn't find any instability which is good.. just more leash walking and see how she goes. He was concerned about her biceps tendon though so she will need to go back for an ultrasound of it if it doesn't improve, and possible surgery. In his words 'she is a real lemon!' Lucky we love her anyway.. Ink is still around, loves running around catching her frisbee and riding in the car. Sound-ish, but not sound enough for agility. Seems to be the story of my life.. the only good dogs are the ones that aren't mine!