I can't believe how many 'unforced errors' I have made over the last few shows and it has really got my goat, so much more because it has been happening so often!! Obviously I need to be able to work through it with Kiah, and I wonder if it has been happening more because I am running Risk more now too, its not an excuse as I need to sort it out, but I wonder if that is part of the reason.
Anyway starting from furthest show back... we had a lovely flowing g6 agility course, which involved tunnel under dog walk which we managed to avoid, thankfully Kiah turned the correct way when I said 'left' when I meant 'right' - the first of many errors! After a few jumps, instead of a simple turn right we managed to - instead of a straight on then pull in - do a go round!! Obviously that was a big fat E and the rest of the course Kiah did well, including a hard weave entry so I was pleased with her as we had been messing up a few entries recently. So to the positives - we did have one clear round at that show, our last run which was a helter-skelter, Kiah did well to pick up her feet on that one as its only jumps and there was some tight spacing, there were a couple of wide turns but she ended up 7th, clever bean.
At our next show that I went to alone to spend some time with my princess, just a single day show and we again had a miscommunication - thanks to me, this time over two of our runs instead of just one! We did get a generous clear round in a qualifier and ended up 11th (top four qualify) even though I think it should have been two refusals, one because I said 'right' too early and we had a spin, and similar near the end I forgot to create any movement, and so we had a bit of a delay in the turn. The second run later in the day, after a bit of lunch, well it was the kind of course that could really suit us... yet again the left/right curse struck again, left would have involved a tight turn and the perfect quick entry onto the dog walk, right would have meant an awkward slower dog walk entry that I had to wait for to make sure Kiah didn't fall off. Guess which we ended up with!! Then we got a fault on a rushed dog walk exit. So again to the positives - our third run involved some very tight turns and go rounds (another qualifier) and though we didn't go clear I was pleased with Kiah's turns and commitment and some really good layering!
So at our final show this weekend just gone, there was one run each day that I could just kick myself on, the worst of the lot!! The first of the two on Saturday was going so well (Kim Taylor was the judge), we managed the tightest go round ever, and I just needed to cross behind to get the wrong end of tunnel... FAIL. The bit I thought would be tough, getting a dog walk entry ahead of two tunnel entrances - worked perfectly, just too late. Sunday's run was even more soul destroying as the run was going even better than I thought it would have (Fran Walton judging), good commitment to the tunnel and jumps, then just as I was going to turn left and steady for a turn... a spin and a refusal!! Its not often there are two graded agility courses over a weekend that flow so nicely and suit us perfectly, and yet such silly things that I can improve on, causing our issues. Hopefully this weekend will be better.
Despite the annoyances, I am however exceptionally grateful that Kiah and I are still able to do and enjoy our agility together, there are plenty of precious dogs and their owners that have to retire their dogs earlier than Kiah's 8 years young, or worse but we don't think about that... So all the time we are more than enjoying ourselves, even if it goes a bit wrong more often than not - and only very occasionally we get a pretty rosette - we are thankful for the fun, and the friends that comes with agility too.