As previously posted, this weekend we went to St. Louis for a trial. To sum it up, it was a great finish to 2011 and an awesome start to 2012!
The first thing I want to say is how much better the entire trial felt mentally. I think the two contributor to that were the mantra I wrote on my hand (see previous post), and something we made sure to do this trial. Before every one of Lexi's runs, the person running her went outside and threw the toy with her (even when it was freezing and windy!) for at least 5-10 minutes each time. Not only did it put Lexi in the right place, but it calmed my nerves SO much. It was just a very good feeling. I was happy no matter what happened!
Advanced Jumpers Q: I had to call her off the tunnel (bad mom!) and see some places where I could have been clearer, but Lexi did really well. Her FCs were really nice, and she converged really well. I stopped and waited for her a couple times (most notably out of the tunnel) and I'm really trying to break that habit! But this was her third Q and therefore her Advanced Jumpers (AJ) title!
Advanced Gamblers: The gamble was the teeter and I knew that it probably would be an issue. As I've documented, Lexi has a weird teeter issue and it has flared up again since what happened at LCDA back in November. I decided to try and test the teeter beforehand (since I knew I couldn't Q anyways if she wouldn't get on) and sure enough...she was having none of it. The scary teeter monster strikes again! Her avoiding the DW the first time is similar--maybe she thinks it's the teeter at first?
Advanced Snooker Q: A little "fast and loose" in this run, but it was a Q, and Lexi did eventually get on the teeter. I had high hopes that after she got on the teeter in this run that she would realize it wasn't so bad...but unfortunately the issue continued.
Advanced Standard: Teeter monster strikes again! So you'll see that she is still weirded out by the teeter here. On the plus side, she did eventually get on. Also, Jonathan didn't cue deceleration for the table, and that's an obstacle that we honestly don't train enough (Lexi looks unsure what to do!) And we have learned that Lexi prefers any obstacle over a contact, so we can't get lazy and expect her to make a turn to a contact (here you see she takes the tunnel instead of the a-frame). She nailed her weaves, though, and I was quite happy as we've worked that a lot!
Steeplechase Q: My baby's first tournament qualifying leg! Lexi was great. The only issues in this run were mine (didn't cue turns fast enough)...but Lex was perfect. Great weave entry, great FC in a place where I was concerned that she'd go wide (at 11 seconds) and get an off course. But I made it a point to keep moving and she followed! She even came in first--woohoo!
Advanced Gamblers Q: Wanted to try the teeter again...but nothing doing! Luckily I planned it out so that we would have enough points even if she didn't do the teeter. I was very impressed with her distance with the RC to the DW. What a good girl! And she even held her 2o2o ALL weekend!
Advanced Snooker Q: In order to Q we knew Lexi would have to do the teeter, and luckily, she did! I don't know if she preferred the teeter in this ring, or what, but it seemed like she would at least eventually get on for Jonathan! They even did all 7s together. Anyways, I liked Lexi's recall at the beginning--she didn't even think about taking anything on her way to Jonathan!
Advanced Standard: Again, the teeter monster strikes. Other than that, a nice run! RTH before the weaves could have been better, but Lexi didn't cut behind and eventually got on the right side. Also, awesome DW contact!
Masters Standard Q: This run almost made me cry. What a good girl Lexi was! A few months ago I would have never imagined she could Q in Masters Jumpers. She even saved my butt a few times when I forgot where I was! The end was a bit choppy when I realized I couldn't get the FC in I was hoping for (you see me waiting to make the RC), but still, excellent! Lexi had the best time (23.6) out of all the Championship dogs--including some very well known BCs! She would have been even faster if I had done a better job at the end. What an excellent girl! (Also, notice a tiny bit of collection around 25 seconds--hooray!)
Steeplechase Finals 2nd: We decided to stick around for finals to see if we could make a little money :) And we did! In fact, Lexi almost came in first INCLUDING her 5 pt. fault at the broad jump. I was worried, but luckily she just sort of ticked it with one foot. This was the first time I used a blind cross in competition, and Lexi, like a good girl, didn't break. She also nailed her weaves. She did miss my FC at the beginning, but I wasn't quick enough to signal it because I was worried she might push to the a-frame. Perfect RC to the tunnel, though!
All in all, an awesome showing for the baby. Now we have to think of the best way to address her teeter issue! Looking for any suggestions!
(Bentley's post to come...this was a long write up!)