Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wicked Weekend

This weekend was a long anticipated one - we had an 'agility show style' early start on Saturday morning, and got to the Land Rover venue near Luton a little early just to start to see them bring all the shiny brand new cars out, Alex was in seventh heaven and soon found out which one he was going to be off-road driving for the day. Of course its got to be a Land Rover picture for this blog entry just for Alex - but of course with the doggies starring in hehe!!

For the day, myself and the two young munchkins, as we had previously investigated on the net and we went to a HUGE park just 2 miles away - which was lovely to walk around for a good hour almost deserted!! It was a great place to go for the dogs to explore cause there were loads of specially put hollowed out tree trunks, and stepping logs and everything!! I think they were meant for kids but who cares, my furry kids had a great time!! After stalking around Luton for food we spent the early afternoon in the same park - but a different area, then made our way back to meet Alex, covered in mud but I think he enjoyed it.

The B&B arranged for the evening didn't fail to meet expectations either, it was a lovely village pub with a separate accommodation block (The Crown at Radnage) with welcoming owners, great home cooked food, lovely pub garden and of course the dogs shared a little bit - if they are good and sit nicely under the table, they get rewarded!! I continue with yummy breakfast, comfy bed, and in the bathroom there was a shower with one of the 'drench' type heads, I've heard of them but never actually tried them out - I think when we change our shower it will be to one of those, just luxurious and I can't say anything bad about the whole place!!

I think that because of the enjoyment of the first weekend day, Alex forgave me that the WHOLE weekend hadn't been devoted to cars and off-roading, and that Sunday was an agility day. Our first run was the best of the day, unfortunately I hadn't walked it as we had got there a few minutes late - it was a naggy jumping course and we so nearly made it around... I just got right in Kiah's way on a push round - I must trust her slightly more to do it instead of standing in front and giving her no room to clear the pole!! Both our agility courses weren't so good, one we had a pole in, and the other we had waited the afternoon for, and I don't think that did Kiah any good as it was far too exciting and any form of turn was far too much!! Of course before we went home the two munchkins got to share their own ice cream, and have their pigs ears. Great company, great doggies, great weekend :)))

Friday, 24 June 2011

Axstane

With yet another dubious weekend weather forecast on its way, we decided that the daily commute of about 45 minutes (and a chilled evening at home in between) would be better than dragging a ton of weight to listen to rain drumming on the roof and getting more and more annoyed!! For once we had made the right choice, as the evening brought thunderstorms and heavy rain to the showground - even though at home ironically it was settled and dry.

Saturday was a bit of a frustrating day really, we didn't have any runs throughout the whole morning, when it was reasonably warm and sunny, and then they all came up at the same time, along with the black clouds!! Unfortunately we got a silly E in the jumping as I didn't give Kiah enough room, and the agility all went wrong so we kind of gave up on that one... in between making a run for our van we thankfully just got back as the torrential 15 minute rain and thunderstorm started and then went as soon as it came, explain that one!!

Sunday was far better for both of us, our first run was connections where you have to make up your own course and earn points, i'm not convinced we went the quickest way but it suited us, and we had a little mix up with my directionals on the same jump twice - but we DID go clear and got 10th place in the process!! The agility was an excellent course too, a bit FCI-like but on a smaller scale, and I think Kiah enjoyed it too as there were lots of power bits which she loves, but with a bit of control, and she ran perfectly. It was a 5-7 combined class and we came 5th out of 170, and later found out she was the first g6 place too, so even more pleased!!

A very good day, and made even better when a good friend showed me a short video clip - there is a few second slow-down function on his camera and he happened to be in the right place to get Kiah perfectly in slow motion - and powering through the weaves of all things. It is such a bizarre skill for the dogs to master - and so creates a stunning video and is just mesmerising to watch, I LOVE it, and so have hopefully attached it here.

So this weekend is also the 'anniversary' of when Kiah first started her agility career four years ago, bit scary how quickly that has come around as I remember her first ever run, which was in an ABC class, and great fun - where apart from going under one jump cause of her stride, and messing up the weaves as we hadn't quite mastered those, it was great.

We aren't off to the same show this year, but we are kind of going away for a bit of the weekend - its a day for Alex tomorrow as he is going off-roading (a present, he deserves it) then we are off to a nice B&B for the evening. Not the only reason I booked, BUT it is near to where the agility show is on Sunday - so it will be a nice relaxing evening away for us. Of course the doggies are coming, Yahoo is being looked after at home and spoiled rotten by his auntie and uncle back here at home, and we are taking the two youngsters to be spoiled with us, really looking forward to it!!



video

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Thames - Appropriate Name!!

After a really deep sleep - Saturday started well - for the weather anyway and for getting photos, even though Kiah and I had a busy morning! We had our two agility courses and jumping all up first thing, and very early running orders so off we went to the ring. It was such a shame when we had the first pole down in the G6 agility - no obvious reason why it came down but one of those things that just happens. It was a lovely course too and I couldn't be mad cause Kiah ran the rest more than perfectly, so big game at the end. Our other two courses didn't go much better, an unfortunate pole in the jumping, and the agility qualifier was another nice course, its a shame my lack of spatial awareness meant I was in completely the wrong place for the tunnel... we were finished by 9.20am... not a morning person!!

There was still time on such a lovely day, to do some priority dog shopping! After some general mandatory treats and pigs ears... Our most favourite trade stand has GOT to be Camddwr Canine, its just a fab place with loads of great gear, and I always end up spending too much but the dogs are worth it! Kiah came home with a fabby new 'back on track' coat, and Davy got a ruffwear jumper, and Yahoo had his 2 bones to chew over the weekend - I think he appreciates those more than any kind of coat/jumper.

Sunday morning we were certainly glad we had brought the caravan - it started to rain about 10 minutes after we woke up, and didn't stop the whole day!! Our first run was up early again, it must have been rubbish as I don't even remember what happened, or the course, only that I refused to take my jacket off!! The second run was better, though in worse weather, fair play to the judge who slightly changed his course to allow for the conditions, and it started well I was pleased with how Kiah was listening, even to my steady commands just to take the manic edge off her at the start. It was funnily enough a course where we could use a lot of boot camp skills which was great, there was just a big mis-communication over a wall, where Kiah shot around and back jumped before I had time to react - so pleased with Kiah's skills generally though.

We helped out on a lot of ring party in the morning up to about lunch time, but after the two runs that we had done by about the same time, we were completely soaked through, cold, a miserable day and just about ready to go home, Alex had kindly packed up and hitched the caravan so I didn't have much to do when I got back from my runs. Another previous purchase from CC came in useful - their Hurtta waterproof jackets - we took the two youngsters for a last long walk and play around the field, so enjoyable to see them smile at you on a walk like that - a nice end to a soggy Sunday!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Dartford & Keston shows

Started ok this weekend, nothing first in the ring for Kiah and I, so a chilled out walk for the dogs, and waiting for a few classes before ours. Bless him Alex had been really busy at work so slept in the van in the morning!! We had a couple of really frustrating runs first off, Kiah forgetting what her 'steady' command means, its irritating cause if my timing isn't spot on, then she doesn't respond! I think its down to me not quite teaching her correctly, so more practice required on that. Anyway we had a nice run in the connections (thank you Emily for explaining!) just had a pole down on a turn which threw me completely but pleased with that one. Then another nice run in the jumping class, shame we got E'd on jump 4 but that was cause Kiah just couldn't NOT bounce the jump where we needed a pull in! Other than that though it was a nice course and Kiah did some nice send on work which was nice to find, as it was a bit less nag and more fun!! The sun was even out on the Saturday it was lovely so sun cream all around - see picture of Kiah in her cool coat, such a fab invention and really good for her especially, she really feels the heat with her dark fur coat.

Sunday was good too, with a lovely course to start with, quite different to the 'standard' courses, with pull rounds, pushing out from a flat tunnel, dog walk in the middle of the course and then a send on to then go to wrong end of tunnel. Kiah started really well in this course, and then when we got to the pull off a tunnel, I called a bit too frantically which I know I didn't need to as she is so responsive!! Anyway after a bit of mis-communication she went in the correct end of the tunnel, and we went clear!! I was really pleased as we ended up 5th, and only a second behind the winner so its nice to know that even though its not a huge show, her times are still up there when I get it right!! In the mid afternoon we helped Lisa and Caroline pack up the caravan as they were kind enough to have done breakfast/dinner for us over the weekend, but we abandoned our last run and started home as the rain was just horrid by this point, the ground was slippery so becoming dangerous, so we finished on a high of our 5th place, in the dry!

A pleasant show overall, nice showground and fairly well run apart from the timing having serious issues over the two days and the tannoy announcements on the first day being so bitsy - I think both of those weren't helped by the wind. We will be back next year still, as its a nice show, and only about 45 minutes from home so even better!

Off to the Thames show this weekend, an evening journey for us with the caravan - just waiting for the dreaded M25 to (fingers crossed) quieten down so we can take it easy, and going tonight so we don't rush in the morning. Its always a very busy show anyway, I think even more than normal due to the evening entertainment and the amount of qualifiers that they hold. Even the 6/7 classes have been split into two parts, that's almost unheard of at most shows, nonetheless we're looking forward to the challenge, and hopefully some nice courses!!