Monday, 29 April 2013

Early Easter

This year Easter and the very welcomed four day bank holiday was quite early, the the major first show of the season that we do - nice and local again, and a real danger that the show could be called off, a complete repeat of last year and the threat of rain and cold weather ruining agility - one show at a time!!  Thankfully the week before the show managed to stay mainly dry which really helped, even though the show had to cancel most of the camping, and move a couple of rings around to accommodate the suffering soft ground, but it was great that the show could still go ahead.

We were doing a bit of ring party, mainly on the Saturday and a little on the Sunday, bad show to pick helping out at as it was bitterly cold and windy especially the first day!!  The dogs were in the best place in the van with their jumpers on.  But it has to be done, I have nothing against helping a little as long as everyone does their bit - which never happens - I can understand that some people can't help due to personal reasons but a large percentage of people can and won't.

Just a quick mention for my little dude Risk, he is still doing ok in his training, seems to have mastered the aframe properly now, and hs happy to run down it 9.9 times out of 10, he gets what I mean and is also doing well with his going over jumps rather than under, similar success rate so am pleased with him there.  We are still mastering the weaves, or trying to (!) a little tiny bit of practise every day and he is getting better... most of the time.  His confidence is very low at agility and especially new or difficult things like the weaves, so we keep it positive - but sometimes especially if he is tired or hasn't eaten (typical boy!) there's no point in trying more than even one or two jumps as it is very unproductive!!  But very little and often seems to be a good way for him to learn.

So Kiah and Davy were both running this weekend, Davy had some fantastic agility rounds and has really turned a corner, he has toned up (Davy!) and is doing agility because he enjoys working with Alex rather than just 'because he has to' and is putting the effort in.  There were some real if only runs and a couple of silly moments from Alex - like running past the last jump!!  It was a great helter skelter course where Davy was running fantastically well, and Alex had to speed up and lost track of where his dog went - around rather than over the last jump!!  But also there were a couple of times where Davy got his weaves first time, instead of going in pole two, and was good on most of his contacts - as long as Alex keeps practising them, and a real increase in speed, so there is real promise there.

Kiah was my little star this weekend, our very first run of the day was grade 6 agility, a bit of an unusual class - I mean something that we don't always see week in week out, quite often there are similarities in courses and they can get a bit samey but just sometimes you get very 'different' skillsets required, and they seem to be the courses we do better on.  Anyway we ran reasonably early in the class, and it was messy in places, especially the weaves as Kiah wasn't listening and shot out the tunnel looking for me rather than listening to my weave command - but the good bits were fast, and we went into 2nd place - I can't quite believe it but we stayed there.  We even managed to get it on video, which is rare - its lovely to see what good things happened and still places where we can improve. We got a lovely trophy and the other benefit of the 'easter' show is the easter egg too (for me, bought pigs ears for them!) - clever girlie!!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Visit to Crufts

We weren't going to go up to Crufts this year but Alex as a surprise booked tickets, this year for the Saturday and 'gundog' day - partly as it was the weekend so easier for us than a short notice day off work, and also we wanted to take a look at the golden retrievers in the working classes and continue our investigations into a possible future addition... and watch a few classes, and do a little bit of shopping.  Normally we go up on the 'working and pastoral' day (the day that Kiah would be in classes for) so it was nice to see and meet a different set of dogs.  We also got to see a good friend of ours - and Risk's bestest friend, get a well deserved placing in a junior Vizsla class qualifying for Crufts next year!!

Knowing what crufts is like, we got up there relatively early to have a quick scan around the halls and then go back for a further look later on if it gets crazy busy - I always find it best to have a shopping list prepared before we get there!!  There are a few deals that we found including lots of stinky dried tripe sticks for a bargain price, a couple of new treat toys for Kiah, and new classic kongs for the boys, a new back on track coat for Risk, new fleece coats by 'Snugglepets' (see pic, of course in their respective colours!), and naughty... three new beds for them all, made and personalised for us by 'Lucky Pet' which I adore!!  More importantly both those companies are based in, and manufacture completely in the UK, which I think is so important to support.  It was a long day but enjoyable, and the dogs had a lovely time being spoiled with some good friends that kindly looked after them :)))

Mid Downs

Oh! I don't know where the time has gone - I just haven't had time to do an update in an age so there may be a few at once now I'm on a roll!!  So back to March - I'm still never quite sure why i do Mid Downs, we are usually rubbish and completely out of time, and poor coordination, and completely mad as some of the show is inside, lots of people lots of noise.  But still every year we go, as its good fun, the first time to catch up with people that we haven't really seen much over the winter, its a local show to us, and has absolutely fantastic walking - probably one of the best in all the shows we do.

Only Kiah was entered in this show, as Risk wasn't quite ready, and sadly this show only goes from grade 3 up and Davy is grade 1 at the moment.  The boys still had a good time, Risk had a fab time playing with his friends (and anyone who got mobbed by the waggy tail!) and Davy was as chilled as ever, but they all enjoyed the morning and afternoon walks and pig ears when we got home.

So true to form we were a bit rubbish - I can't remember most of it but Alex kindly videoed all of our runs with my shiny new video camera that he bought me as our anniversary present. It is so useful to have it on video as you can see where we were good/bad and bits to improve on etc.  The other thing I wanted on a video camera was a slow motion short clip function - which this one has.

So the first run wasn't too bad watching it back - Kiah was a bit naughty and semi broke her wait where I should have put her back, and we had a failed pull in resulting in a big fat E, I have to have my timing spot on with steady and pull in commands, but there were some good bits.  One thing we need to improve on is Kiah's commitment to tunnels, because she is SO responsive to me just a small movement will pull her off a tunnel, or sometimes I have to over commit to directing her to a tunnel where I need to be somewhere else - but not all the time, again perfect timing required, funny girlie.

The second run was an outside jumping run - going really well until Kiah came out the last weave pole - my fault says the video (!) as much as she should have stayed in, I turned away so she came with me.  The third run was back to agility indoors, and was going really well, until something I was really annoyed about - Kiah went in the tunnel and came out the same end... three times we tried.  So frustrating as I later found out a large number of other dogs did the same and we never found out why, but there was obviously something up with it.  Anyway thats how it goes, but I was pleased with Kiah in that run, and we were finished with the show by early afternoon, so lots of time for walkies!!