Sunday, June 3, 2012

BRAG Trial: Lexi

What can I say, this little girl has been improving and impressing me from week to week!  Despite our low Q rate, I felt great about her performance this weekend.  I love it when the things that you work on are the things that improve.

Overall wins:

  • Not a single break on the contacts.  She waited for my release 100% of the time!  This is a dramatic improvement from just a week or two ago!  I even made her hold them several times, and she didn't flinch!  (Note: you'll see that once she doesn't get her teeter contact, but she forgot how quickly the teeter at this trial drops, and she got to the end too fast to hang on!)
  • Awesome weaves.  She didn't pop out once, and only missed one entry (and it was handler error!)
  • "Go"  This is something that we haven't worked on in awhile, and something that I would consider one of Lexi's weaknesses.  This weekend she proved to me that she knows that at the end of the course if I say go, she should go on and run!
  • Timing, of course.  Making sure we're cuing early enough, moving in the right direction, not showing too much motion, decelerating at the right time, etc...
  • Staying connected on course (maintaining eye contact, etc...)
  • Collection (as usual!)
Masters Gamblers:
All handler error--I didn't set her up well (couldn't find a good way to get her out there in obstacle focus) and she didn't even see the teeter.  Oh well--I thought the opening went pretty well (look at her hold her contacts!)

Advanced Standard:
Despite the NQ (dropped bar to the weaves) I felt like this was an awesome run.  I tried to be really aware of my body positioning as well as motion cues, and it paid off.  I even got some pretty good turns!

Grand Prix:
As usual, GP got the better of us.  I thought that this course wasn't too bad when I looked at it, but a lot of people struggled.  Coming out of the tunnel to the a-frame I never thought she'd look at the far end of the tunnel.  I expected her to possibly look at the close end, so I purposefully pushed out a little.  I also disconnected (lost eye contact).  Oops.  Then we disconnected again (briefly!) and she cut behind me.  I recovered and love love loved her weave entry.  I lost eye contact a third time and she cut behind me when I  blind crossed the weaves (I think I said, out loud, "you little sh**!" laughing, of course) and then the end was just a mess.  I did take a deep breath and slowed down and got beautiful collection on the second to last jump.

Masters Pairs Q:
Love the weave entry here.  Looks like an easy one for most dogs, but these are usually pretty tough for Lexi because the timing of the decel and the importance of managing forward motion.

Steeplechase Q:
I'm still not sure why Lexi dropped this bar (other than the "she jumps really flat" excuse).  My plan is to play around a bit with the best distance to set her from the first bar.  In this video it looks like she takes a stutter step, then maybe 3/4 of an extended stride. This course had a lot of potential off courses for Lex, but she was a champ.  And I want to remember this weave entry for the rest of my life.  She was FLYING and still collected and hung onto the turn into the second pole.  So proud of her (in other words, I should have probably decelerated more!)

Advanced Standard Q, and Advanced Agility Dog (AAD) Title!:
I think that this was a really hard course.  And it wasn't pretty for us, but we hung onto it and managed a Q. You'll see that she goes too fast over the teeter and just can't hang on.  I couldn't believe she came to my side and then pushed out the weaves the way she did.  A bit of a mix up in the middle--I must have pressured for the cross too early and she shot off like she was going to the tunnel.  In all fairness, having to call her back set us up much nicer for the discrimination.  I didn't get the collection I wanted heading back to the a-frame, but that's okay.  She had a lovely go at the end!

Steeplechase Finals:
I'm not sure if you can hear the woman next to me (her sheltie placed 7th in Steeplechase Finals at Nationals last year) but she is criticizing Jonathan's handling.  Better her than me!  Jonathan was a bit unclear, and even he admitted that he felt Lexi did exactly what his cues told her to do.

1 comment:

  1. For some weird reason, I think Ive told you this before, I cant comment on your blog or see pcitures when Im on internet explore. Explore is what I always use, I like it better than google chrome. So then I forget to go back and log in on google chrome and comment on your post but I am reading and watching them.
    I thought your GP run had some awesome handling moves. I know there were some problems but still very cool handling moves. LOL
    Congrats on your runs. They were just awesome. Fantastic contacts and weaves!!