Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dream Fields trial (in which I traumatize Lucy but she forgives me)

First class of the day was Advanced Team. This was Lucy's second ever try at a Team event, the first being Starters Team back in September. Given all the issues she's had over the fall and winter (teeter fear, dogwalk fear, lack of focus, etc) I didn't dare put her in team again until now. She took the first half of the course, which went well except for me wayyyy overmanaging the weave entry. Oh, and she totally did NOT stick her teeter 2o2o but instead went diving into the tunnel right after it. Then, it was time to get her under control in her box, then give the a-ok to our partner. Note, this was the first time she's run first in team so it was all new to both of us. Well, poor Lucy: I was too hasty and rough in trying to get a hold of her and she yelped. Lucy is a drama queen who screamed bloody murder the first many times I approached her with nail trimmers (maybe she had a bad nail trimming experience in her previous home?), and yelps in terror if the vet so much as looks at her (well ok, slight exageration, but you get the picture), so I really should have been aware of that fact and taken my time to calmly and gently collect her in our box. So, we got eliminated, a rule I totally understand and agree with. Lesson learned! A Big Huge Sorry to my very understanding and forgiving partner (and to Lucy!).

Then it was Advanced Snooker. I used this run to try to get Lucy more comfy as lately she has seemed a bit on the frantic side. Fast I like, but frantic I don't. So we walked out calmly to one of the reds on the far side and played around, taking our time. Made it through the opening and the whistle went just as I was trying to remember where the heck the #2 was.

Next up was Advanced Jumpers. I was really glad about this run as the franticness did not seem to be there. She did have yet another la-la moment facing the in/out gate and incurred a refusal, but overall it was a good run.

Finally it was Starters Standard. She saw me accidentally drop a few treat crumbs in the ingate just as we walked into the ring and as I was setting her up she tried to go back to get those gold nuggets. Once we got going she did fairly well, and this time she totally stuck 2o2o on the dogwalk and teeter, yeah! Another slight la-la moment facing the ingate, but no refusal incurred. Good table. All was looking good until the third last obstacle: the frame, and she gracefully sailed right over the pretty little yellow bit. Totally understandable as anyone who has been following this blog knows that I have been a very bad human and have kept running her in trials knowing full well that she NEEDS time out to retrain her frame since we've abandoned 2o2o. So that darn frame bit me in the butt clear as day today.

So, Lucy's non-Q streak continues to be alive and well. I hereby decide to run her ONLY in Jumpers until her frame has been retrained. I was hoping to get that last Starters Standard for her title before retraining, but clearly it's not meant to be. We have our work cut out for the summer!


andrea said...

awwww I think you are making the right call... would have been nice to tuck away the Starters title but if she's getting confused (and you are worried) I think focussing on jumpers and doing the retaining is best

you could add gamblers too probably ;) if you were really brave!

LucyandWalter said...

Thanks. Sometimes it's good to hear someone else confirm a decision that one is reluctant to make.

Lucy's distance skills suck so no gamblers for a while either. Thank goodness I have Walter to play with at trials while Lucy takes this time out!

andrea said...

Sally has lost her freaking mind at trials - she's on keeping me compnay and getting bored I hope - the problem with her is she is SO FAST and furious that in training she comes across as BRILLIANT but on a great big course with all that equipment she can't figure out where to go or what to do (all handler errors I know. I need to get some fun matches under her belt and maybe a little cpe .. she is truly a wild child.

I keep swearing I'll stop with Brody too and retrain his weaves (he can only manage onside weaves with movement from me) but he is so good and steady he keeps getting just enough qs and good runs to keep me hooked enough I can't imagine stopping right now (tho he hates hot weather so maybe I can do it in August)