Reliant-Day 1

Well, since I’m sitting on my computer while hubby plays on the XBox, think I’ll post an update from the first day of Reliant. We had some nice courses, and any problem spots were essentially caused by the surface (carpet over concrete). I’ve always told people that the biggest problem with the carpet is that it exposes bad/late handling. Your dog is not able to correct when he finds out too late that really, you’re going THAT way–the result is slipping, sliding, face planting, etc. Now certainly, some dogs will struggle no matter what–large, driven dogs especially. But one of the keys to running at Reliant, is early, and TIMELY cues. I don’t go out there to have the fastest run, I go out there to have the smoothest run where I’m hopefully able to show my dog BEFORE he takes off for a jump, where we’re going next.

That said, Mardi and Trip both handle the carpet very well considering they’re not “slow” dogs. The first run of the weekend is always trickier, but the girls ran great today. Mardi cut behind me and ran through the weave poles in standard, but did great contacts, and an excellent pinwheel that was causing a LOT of face/shoulder planting with the larger dogs. She then let me lead out past 3 JUMPS in JWW (she must have known I was thinking about pulling her if she broke), and had a nice, smooth course, with a 1st place! Trip had JWW first, and did very well, though slid a bit, and got a 1st place also. She then managed a first in Standard as well, for a Double Q. It’s killing me to take her out of competition right now to breed her, but if I don’t do it now, I know I never will–it’s not going to get any easier. But MAN, we are CLICKING! We also ran ISC Standard today, and she did well. She got called for her dogwalk contact (I want to see the replay), but she ran a tricky course VERY well. She ended up 6th overall (the fastest dog with 5 faults)–I think her time would have made her 1st or 2nd, without the fault. Hopefully she’ll do better Sat/Sun, when ISC counts.

I also ran Lyly, and her mother, Wikked today. Believe it or not, Lyly Double Qd!!! We were a little pokey in standard, with me working her contacts, and her making some wide turns, but she got them all AND kept her bars up. In JWW, she ran well (a little wide in places), but got a 2nd place (to Mardi), and that oh so important QQ. That’s 3 for Nationals for her! Wikked also qualified in JWW, though she was very wide in places. She would lock on to an obstacle and try to accelerate towards it–unfortunately, the first obstacle she saw was rarely the correct one. But we got through it. In standard, she got through all the contacts and weaves, the tunnel discrimations, and then, I took the chute for granted, and she ran around it. Broke my heart–I really thought I had the QQ on her too. I honestly never thought about running around that chute, and I didn’t give it a second thought with my dogs, but Wikked needs a little more support then that. It was definitely a handling error–she ran great today.

Videos will follow at the end of the weekend. So proud of all the girls, but man, my knees and legs are hurting!


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