Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Day (Day 2 Recap)

 Masters Snooker:

Bentley:  I can actually laugh at my husband because I think this might be his worst Snooker outing ever (with both dogs).  It was just a really tough course, he's not used to not Qing!  Not many dogs (I don't think any that I saw) went for all 7s, which definitely says something about the course.

I was a little irritated because the running order had Bentley and Lexi running back to back first and second (on the running order Jonathan is listed as running both).  I know that Snooker order is randomized, but a good trial secretary should check through it and move dogs if there's someone running more than one.  Luckily a couple people were nice enough to move (in Snooker you aren't allowed to move down since you could gain an advantage, only move up, so we were at the mercy of others).  But even then Jonathan basically ran the dogs one after the other.  (You can see in the video I'm trying to keep Lexi occupied and somewhat quiet while Jonathan runs Bentley and vice versa).  One thing I noticed is that Bentley is great at convergence (like when coming over the perpendicular yellow jump).  Bentley dropped a bar in the closing and didn't have enough points.

Lexi: Really loved that she respected Jonathan's position at the outside of the tunnel and was prepared for a turn.  That was nice!  The tunnel was just to start the timer, and was a "dead" obstacle in the opening.  I thought it was brilliant of Jonathan to send Lexi through as he made his way across the course.  It kept her occupied, and gave her a better angle to the jump.  You can tell that Jonathan is not used to running her as he really didn't cue any of the turns until after Lexi was in the air.  That's why he got such wide turns.

Because she didn't stick to his plan and went into the tunnel, her off course in the closing left her without enough points for the Q. 

Steeplechase Round 2: 

Bentley:  After seeing how he almost didn't make the finals in the first round, Jonathan decided he would try to push Bentley for speed.  You can see in the video that he doesn't do much of a lead out, and is doing a lot of cheerleading.  I can tell--Bentley is definitely running faster!  In the end he was only 1 second slower than Lexi (she had a brief mistake), compared to 4 seconds slower in the first round.  Of course, he also misses his a-frame contact, but that's something we can proof in practice.  He also does no rear crosses, and uses pushes when he can.  Like I said, I can really tell a difference.  I think we'll see more of this from them going forward.  Because of his fault at the a-frame, he ended up not placing.  But still, a really nice run!

Lexi:  The really wish you could have seen the beginning of the run.  I got a really nice push to jump 4.  I also debated long and hard about what to do heading towards the broad.  She has a tendency to tick the broad (doesn't see it enough), so I wanted to make sure I showed enough motion, but there wasn't as much space beyond the broad as I thought (I originally wanted to rear cross on the flat), but the front cross worked out really nicely.  She squared up and it worked.  If I had shown more deceleration the run towards the tunnel would have been cleaner, but I'm still happy with it.

I knew I would have to bust my butt to beat her out of the tunnel to help her with the weave entry and I just didn't get enough push out.  I still know she's capable of it in practice, but in a trial she doesn't want to slow down to collect for the entry.  More work for sure!

Masters Pairs:

Lexi:  We didn't enter Bentley in Pairs (he has his Relay Master, and honestly I think it's kind of a silly event), and Lexi only needs one Q for her Relay Master and then we never have to enter it again.  I looked at the course map and felt really good.  Silly me, I didn't even think about the fact that I would need to give her a clear cue about where I was as she exited the tunnel.  I showed no motion to indicate I was rear crossing until she couldn't see me, so of course she came out and looked the wrong way.  At that point, it was too late to salvage as she grabbed the a-frame.  Luckily our partner was really nice, but I was irritated that I didn't handle better.  Though I should compliment Lexi on her wonderful start line stay even as a dog was running in her line of sight, and I was moving away from her.  She also nailed the weave entry like a good girl!

Grand Prix:

Bentley:  Poor little buddy took quite the tumble off of the teeter.  He's pretty bad about waiting for the teeter to slam, and then immediately jumping.  We proof it quite a bit in practice, but do allow him to hop off in trials as long as he rides it until it hits.  This is the first time I've seen it backfire.  It hits, he jumps, and it hits him again as it bounces back up.  (Side note, we took him to be adjusted yesterday and the chiro said he was fine, not even sore.  Whew!)  Oh, and these are lovely 2o2os we're getting, aren't they?  (NOT!)  But again, he did a nice job and Qd earning him his Tournament Master (10 Tournament Qs with at least 1 in each event).

Lexi:  I felt bummed out after this run, but honestly the only mistake was at the weaves, so I'm okay with that.  I think I was just disappointed because I knew the weave entry would be hard, but I decided against front crossing (knowing she would then get in) because I felt like that was cheating, and I should be able to cue a turn.  Not sure why she popped them...because she's a naughty, excited girl, that's why! :)   Clearly she saw me peel off and the dogwalk, but finishing the weaves independently is something she's typically good at.

 Masters Standard:

Bentley:  Last class of the day and I could tell that my pups were tired.  With Bentley, that's not unusual.  We opened the crate door and he didn't get up.  That's saying something!  Despite that, he ended the day with a bang and a Q in Standard.  That was his 5th Masters Standard Q, and his SAM (Standard Agility Master) title.  Crazy enough, my boy only needs 2 Qs for his ADCH!  I can't believe it!  (Of course they are Masters Gamblers Qs, so it could be awhile, but still...I'm SO proud!)

You can see in this video that he hops off the side of the teeter (after the incident in Grand Prix).  We'll have to make sure he's comfortable hanging on in our upcoming practices.

I also feel like Bentley's speed was pretty good in this run.  I remember almost 2 years ago Stuart Mah told us that even if Bentley will never be light speed that we should set speed goals with him.  One of those was a 45 second Standard course.  I'm not sure if we've ever achieved it, but this one was around 47 seconds.  I think that if Jonathan had tightened up some of his backy uppies (and trusted Bentley to make the turns) he would have been there!

Lexi:  My girlie was tired.  Yes.  Let me say that again.  She was tired.  Unheard of!  If you compare her dogwalk to the ones from earlier in the weekend you can tell she isn't all-out running.  Despite that, and some sloppy handling on my part, we managed a Q to wrap up our weekend.  She is now only 1 Standard Q from her MAD.  That seems crazy, too.  Wasn't she just a puppy?!

I decided to lead out on this course and show ZERO forward motion to see what kind of turn I would get.  It was decent, but I still feel like knowing that there was no motion it could have been better.  Of course I could have trusted her and taken off sooner, too.

My happy dog self released on the a-frame requiring me to do this weird, semi-rear cross to the table.  It worked, though I'm not sure how!  Sloppy rear cross on my part going into the chute, but we managed to keep it clean enough.  I don't know if you can see it in the video, but I'm laughing all the way to the teeter and telling Lexi "Sorry girl!"  And then possible the best part of the weekend...the turn heading towards the weaves.  I got a nice, tight turn.  HOORAY!  Then she nailed her weave entry.

And even better news?  We took Lexi to get adjusted yesterday and the chiro said she felt good.  Needed minor adjustments and was a little sore in the shoulders (probably from the a-frame crash on Saturday), but seemed fine and healthy.  Terrific!


  1. Nice standard run at the end of the weekend for Lexi. Glad to hear she was still healthy after such a long weekend. Sure glad we don't have the table in Masters much any more. It's still in the rules that is can be used but judges can chose not to use it Masters so most don't.

  2. Wow, that was a hard snooker course. Well done.
    Congrats on you weekend. It seemed wonderful. With the "no motion" it doesnt give your dog any information and they starts guessing. We all do it, thinking we are cuing a tighter turn or getting our dogs attention better. But it doesnt. Its better to cue the turn and go. That gives them information. You'll get tighter turns.
    You guys looked great this weekend. So glad Bently is ok too!!

    1. Diana, good point. I should have said that I showed very little forward motion. Zero forward motion would have been an extension recall to heel exercise and she should have stopped until I gave her a jumping cue (saying "over", stepping forward, or putting my arm out). In the video, I take a small step forward and put my arm out. No motion and a jumping cue should still be a forward send and cue a turn.