Monday, November 12, 2012

Tip earns his Open agility titles!

Wow -- that was fast. 

I could have sworn we just started in Novice.  In fact, I have to contact Oriole and tell them to change Tip's entry from Novice to Excellent!

Tip had an amazing weekend at the Cocker trial in Fredericksburg.  (F-burg, to its friends): 4 runs, 4 Qs, 4 first places, two titles (OA and OAJ), and a Q his first time in the Excellent ring.  No faults are allowed in Excellent (other than some time faults in Excellent A).
Tip:  CH. Waytogo's Walk This Way CD BN OA OAJ NJP PCA-VP
 Tip is a little machine, and he takes things very seriously.  And you can see how hard he is trying to be good.  I was very proud of how well he ran, as he had never been in a place like the horse arena before.  And I worked very hard to remember to run him, and not Bo!!!!  I must say it was quite relaxing to just run around the course, with my only job being to remember the course -- no adrenaline-fueled terror! 

Friday night's crash-course in remembering weaves helped.  Tip had a couple little bobbles or uncertainties in weaves on Saturday, but on Sunday he did both sets of weaves very nicely.  He nailed the entrances and got some rhythm going through them (though not as fast as he can be).  He still can't do offside weaves, and we still don't really do rear crosses but apparently these are shortcomings that don't come between us and Qs.  He also has a fabulous start-line stay, but he is happier if we run together.

The last run of the weekend was Excellent Jumpers -- Tip's first time in the excellent ring.  He had just run his Open standard course and finished his OA title half an hour before (and spent the intervening time outside on Paul's lap in the sun, watching the hayfield in the sun).   It was a nice, flowing course.  I cheered Tip through the first 9 jumps, he got the weaves, then the remaining ten jumps I ended up running the crazy long outside line -- because it kept Tip going and I could.  It wasn't a very speedy run (44 seconds in a 50 second course), but it was CLEAN, and a Q, and BELOW SCT, and a first place!

I am hoping that as Tip gets more experienced with doing agility, he will be able to relax and I can even play with him a bit to get him revved up a little.  Right now I am respecting his need to understand and feel that everything is in control -- fluffing at this stage merely makes him feel that things are out of control.

On to Bo!  First day without any meds.  Another week in the crate and we can start doing more activity. No stairs etc for a month, but can start walking.  My plan is to take the next few months to get him back into condition, and see how he goes.  We will be starting tracking at Oriole.   If things go well, I will try him in a couple jumpers preferred runs in the spring, to see how he does.  That has no contact obstacles for him to leap off and hurt himself.  And he would be doing 4" in preferred; I  have a hard time seeing him hurting himself there, as there is nothing that he wouldn't be doing in normal life, to tell the truth.

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