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This weekend our agility trial season began.  It was AWESOME!!  We had such fun and overall had some really excellent runs.

I was incredibly pleased with Zora’s weave performance all weekend.  The practice we were able to do on weaves over the winter looks like it’s beginning to transfer to the trial setting which I’m thrilled about.  Her running contacts were also stellar all weekend.  On a couple of runs she was a bit funky about going up the dog walk, which I found odd, as other runs she had no issues.  So I’m needing to really closely review the videos to try to figure out why was it me, her or the equipment itself?

One of our Elite Regular rounds where I was very pleased:

This trial ran the Beta Format, where you run the same course twice.  I really am enjoying trials in this style.  Primarily because they run a lot faster, we were done each day around 3:30pm.  Trials where our runs are complete by 4pm are ideal for me, my functioning ability exponentially degrades rapidly after 4pm each day.

My favorite runs of the weekend?  I’m pretty tickled that we were one of the very few Elite dogs to qualify on both very challenging Chances courses.  My husband had decided to watch the bruins game, so unfortunately no videos of those.   But they were pretty awesome if I do say so myself.  LOL.

A super fun open barrelers course and run video!

Our last runs of the weekend this trial were back to back jumpers runs.  My mum had arrived to give us a lift home and in time to watch our jumpers runs.  In NADAC all jumps have double bars, so when we are a 4″ dog, 1 bar is on the jump cups and the 2nd bar is placed resting on the ground.  This has occasionally caused us some challenges as often the ring crew isn’t particular about where on the ground the 2nd bar is placed.  In the first round a combination of a late cue from me and poor placement on the ground bar caused us to knock a rail.  After the run my mum questioned why I didn’t ask the ring crew to be more careful about placing the ground bar correctly.

I have a couple of reasons for that.  1 and mostly because I feel us knocking such bars really boils down to laziness of training on my part.  When we train on jumps, I rarely pull out a 2nd bar for the ground.  To really work on this, I would ideally always or most of the time put the 2nd ground bar out when we train and I would practice with it in less than ideal positions.  I would teach Zora how to handle and adjust to clear the jump regardless of where the ground bar happened to end up.  And I would work to improve my timing on cues ever more (which I am currently doing).  And 2.  ring crew are volunteers.  And bar setting is often a job that needs 2-3+ people per ring and convincing people to volunteer is often hard enough as it is.  The last thing I want to do is potentially risk deterring someone from volunteering in any capacity at a trial because they are worried they might do it wrong.

In the second jumpers round, I was more careful with my cues and handling, and we kept the rails up in fast enough time.  Qualifying.  The ground rail was still in a poor position, but my handling was enough to help Zora keep the bars up.

All in all we had a great time this weekend.  Very much looking forward to our next trial in a couple of weeks!

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