Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Pachesham Goldrush Show

Continuing our winter training we were back at Pachesham again this weekend. he weather ended up being a bit miserable, not great when the show was outdoors! We took Zazu and Shadow this time. It is the first agility Shadow has done in a month so it could be fun!

Zazu doing tricks instead of getting ready
Zazu was up first in the jumping round. There were some tight pull throughs where I was on top of him. I got in his way a bit and he slowed down but carried on. He was running well though, albeit with wide turns, mainly due to my being slow. We ended up in 7th place. Next up was agility 1. He decided to stop on the top of the A-frame, but came down and stopped nicely. It was a little bit messy as he was unsure what I was asking, but he still managed everything, including 12 weaves. we were pleased enough with him, and he finished in 4th place. His next round was the steeplechase. By this point Zazu had pretty much given up. He wasn't really paying attention or running. He was clear, but we decided not to run him in the final agility run.

Shadow also started with the jumping round. She was running well and enjoying it. She listened well and I got into better positions with her than I did with Zazu. We ended up 2nd which was a great start. Next up was agility 1. There was no dog walk, which is one less contact for Shadow to ping! Her A-frame contact was good. She was a little slow on some turn, managed 12 weaves well and had a good see-saw. We finished that round in 4th. Next was the steeplechase run. This was a fast course and Shadow was lagging a bit. I think she's a little unfit as she was looking tired. She still ran and finished in 4th again. Finally was agility 2. I decided to try something different to see if it would work, but Shadow didn't run away quite well enough. Second time she did and I managed to get into a good place for a nice tight turn round into the see-saw. She was very good though.

It was a fun day, Shadow was lagging a bit and Zazu just generally seemed fatigued. We're going to give Zazu a week or two off from agility completely so that he can enjoy it again.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

RVA Indoor Show - January

This weekend we were at the RVA pay-on-the-day show. We only took Zazu at grade 3 and Doople at grade 5. Shadow is still sore from injuring herself last week so we left her at home. It was a cold but clear day. The venue had improved yet again, so it felt much warmer indoors.

Doople was up first with +Susi Cooper in the grade 4-7 jumping. Doople was running quite nicely. Susi got in her way a couple of times though, not giving her space before the weaves and stepping in too much on the slalom. It wasn't awful though. Next up after a long wait was the grade 1-7 steeplechase. This was just a bit of fun as Doople isn't very fast in a straight line. They completed it well and both enjoyed it. Finally was the grade 4-7 agility. This was quite a tricky course but they both managed it well. Susi was practising Ketschker turns and it wasn't bad, Doople didn't fully understand though so more practice required. Doople did miss her dog-walk contact though!

Zazu ran in the grade 1-3 jumping first. As normal for his first run he was really excited. We had a good start up to the tunnel and a Ketschker turn into the weaves. He charged in barking at me but missed the final weave. A shame but happy that he was moving. I pulled him off a couple of jumps by turning too soon but he was listening and running well. Next was grade 1-3 agility. He had lost some of his forward drive but still stopped on his contacts. He started creeping down which is not great, but he still stopped. His second A-frame was much better. Finally we had grade 1-7 steeplechase. We managed it well and he was moving a bit at least.

It was a good day with lots to practice. Zazu is starting to enjoy it more and more each time. Hopefully by the summer he will be running much better.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Pachesham Grade 1-5 Show

We were back at Pachesham again this weekend for the Winter League grade 1-5 show. We ran Doople and Zazu. The day started off nice and frosty but got better later on. It ended up being a very efficient show as we managed to get through everything in a few hours. I think the cold hurries people up!

Always ready on a frosty morning
We started with Zazu in the jumping. He was really going for it all the way. We had a few wide turns as he caught me out with his speed. We were really pleased with how he worked away form me. I messed up a turn so he missed a jump, but we were still pleased. The agility was next. He was very distracted here as Susi went to film from the other side of the ring. He still managed his A-frame contacts so all was not lost.

We had another agility round after. He came out the tunnel entrance, possibly because I turned too soon. I took the opportunity to try a fancy new turn to see if we could get it tighter. It's jump 7 in the video, just before the second tunnel. I have been very skeptical about these turns in the past as most times I've seen them used have either been in the wrong place or poorly executed. We had training with Den Keeler the day before and he was explain the proper places to use these turns, and to be honest they do work when used correctly. Zazu at vaguely understood me and he was tight.

His final run was in the steeplechase. I ran this very far away from him and I didn't have to move very far from the centre of the ring. He worked away well. We had a few wide turns as I was focussing more on getting him to drive forward. We ended up the round in 8th place.

Doople only had two runs here as she tends to get tired and give up towards the end of the day. Her first was the jumping. I ran her in this and she seemed to be very distracted and not really paying attention. She still ran but not at her best. +Susi Cooper ran her in the agility round and she did run better. Turning well and pushing forward a bit. They ended up with 3rd place.

It was a fun day and we learnt a lot with Zazu. He is really coming along and is quite happy to work at a distance. We still need to build his drive but that will come with time and confidence

Monday, 6 January 2014

Pachesham Beginners - January

We started the year off as we left the last, with an agility show! We were at Pachesham this weekend for their Beginners show. We only took Zazu to this to give him some experience on his own. He can be a bit timid when he's away from his pack.

Greg ready, Zazu waiting

The weather had started to play havoc by flooding the indoor school. This meant running the show only using the outdoor school! This could have ended in tears with the weather. Fortunately, the weather held all day and only started raining as we got the van to go home. It couldn't have been timed better.

On to the show. Zazu had four classes, the most he has done at a show before. Being a beginners show, the courses were fairly straight forward. In the agility rounds, we wanted to put our contact training to the test. We were aiming for a 2-on-2-off position, basically his back two feet on the equipment and front two feet on the floor. It took a couple of attempts but he did get there. He was wide on some, OK most, of his turns as he was getting distracted by everything that was going on. This is why we are going to these shows so that he can get over it.

The jumping rounds were better. I started by trying to layer a jump into a pull through. This worked well and Zazu was running forwards nicely. He got distracted coming out of the tunnel towards people again but continued on. When he was driving he was jumping quite flat, which is hat we are aiming for. In the steeplechase round he was running well again. A little distracted around the crowds of people but he didn't deviate. On the straight bits he opened up again. This was a good round an we ended up 3rd, his first placing! It was very close with the times, the first 6 dogs were within 0.8 seconds of each other.

We were both really pleased with Zazu. He wasn't worried about being on his own and was listening most of the time. We still need to work on more drive, especially when turning, and also with distractions. Both of which will come with time and experience.