This past weekend we had another trial here in Columbus. Unfortunately I did not feel comfortable enough with Bentley's recovery to enter him (it hadn't even been a month since his surgery), so he stayed at home while Lexi competed. This was her first trial competing in all advanced classes (she had only been in advanced gamblers before).
First up was Advanced Gamblers. I was feeling pretty confident because this is Lexi's best event. The gamble was tougher than usual (essentially, a very tight pinwheel...but the gamble tape made it really tough). The key, for Lexi at least, was for me to run her towards it, and front cross to send her out through the pinwheel on her own. I knew that if she was on the wrong side, I would have to use too much lateral movement and she would come back across jump 1. Well, halfway through the run I strained a muscle in my quad (not horribly, just enough to totally throw me off) and I couldn't get there to get the front cross in, and as predicted, Lexi didn't make the turn around the pinwheel.
Second was Advanced Standard. Lexi did fairly well, but we definitely noticed a few things (trends as the weekend progressed) that needed work. First of all, she refused the a-frame, which is a fault in advanced. She also dropped a bar (not sure why), and didn't hold her teeter or dogwalk contact. Naughty girl! You can also see her thinking really hard on the table trying to remember what to do...you can tell that we haven't practice the table in MONTHS! Despite that, Jonathan got a nice lateral send at the beginning, and a RC in to the weaves.
The following run was Advanced Jumpers. I didn't run because my leg was feeling really sore, so Jonathan ran Lexi...and Qd! But, the Q isn't what amazed me...I was amazed because of Lexi's progress. She listened, didn't go of course, and gave Jonathan some nice turns. She also ran 6 YPS--amazing! It's runs like these that remind me why we work so hard...baby girl has so much potential!
The final run of the first day was Steeplechase. Encouragingly, the course did not look too technically challenging, and my leg was feeling better so we gave it a shot. Sure, it wasn't clean, but again, I saw some great things out of Lexi. I got a nice lateral send at jump 3 (she didn't even look at the jump after that one...progress!) She did refuse the a-frame again, and missed her weave entry. She got an off-course, but it was my mistake. I pushed her out too far and didn't decelerate enough. But at the end, we got some awesome distance as Lexi totally out paced me and accelerated through the end as I told her to go on.
The following day we started with Jumpers. Lexi had another great run. At the end I hesitated a bit (couldn't decide whether or not I needed to rear cross) and Lexi hesitated, and missed the second to last jump. Totally handler error. So again, I was very proud of her efforts! She also flying during this run. I pulled her off of the jump after the tunnel, too (I was worried I'd push too far, and over compensated). But again, saw some really nice stuff!
Lexi's following two runs don't even deserve video evidence, but not because of her. In Standard Jonathan held her attention too long and set her off course on the third obstacle. Then, she pulled off of her contact on the a-frame and Jonathan (possibly inadvertently?) backed up and she got back into her 2o2o. He was excused for training in the ring.
The second mishap was in Snooker. Jonathan had a good plan, and was executing it well. Lexi dropped a red, so Jonathan headed to another red to make up for it. However, he was whistled. Apparently this course's rules were to attempt ONLY 3 reds (Lexi dropped one, and Jonathan went and attempted a fourth). However, the judge didn't mention it in the briefing, and the club did not have enough maps for everyone, and we ended up not getting one (we looked at it afterwards and it said "Attempt 3 of 4 reds"...why the judge didn't mention it in the briefing is beyond me). Again, not Lexi's fault, and pretty frustrating.
We did end the weekend on a good note. Lexi ran with her "friend" Drew, the corgi, and our friend Becky Dean. Although not the prettiest run (I gave Lexi NO information on a rear cross), I was pleased because I got semi-collection at the beginning when I asked for her to do a foundation RTH after the first jump.