Sunday, August 31, 2008

Guides Canins trial

Our first time at the gorgeous Guides Canins trial in Saint Lazare, Québec. The facility is just fantastic, three rings going at once, hundreds of huge trees all around the site providing plenty of shade, shower facilities and indoor washrooms available, and even their "outhouses" are fully equipped washrooms with plumbing and sinks.

Since the first walkthrough was to be at 7am Saturday morning we arrived Friday evening around 5:30pm to set up camp and here I was thinking we were plenty early to find a site, but actually it was already Tent City Extravaganza. However, there was lots of space around the Starters ring so that's where we set up, which turned out to be convenient since it was easy to watch our friends' runs in that ring.

Friday night in the tent Walter was a bit restless at first but eventually we all fell asleep. It amazes me that with all the dozens and dozens of dogs onsite, not a bark was heard all night long.

Thanks to friends and a kind stranger, all but two of Walter's six runs were caught on video.

Here are some run-by-run notes.


Standard (ring 3): I didn't take the time to set him up properly at the start resulting in a runout on the #2 tire and often when we make a mistake at the start, or more specifically when he knows we've made a mistake at the start, the whole run falls apart. Should have just kept going with him when he went to the frame, but oh well. However, despite the myriad of mistakes, he still seems fairly upbeat throughout. Oh and for the first time in a while he weaved all 12 poles beautifully on the first try! Woo hoo! Anyway I can't stop laughing at myself while watching this run so I thought I'd share it with the world so y'all can feel better about any tough agility runs you might have had lately.

Gamblers (ring 1): He was uncharacteristically flat while waiting his turn, but in the video he doesn't look too bad. The first part of the main gamble was the weaves and of course he got the wrong entry and popped so no cigar.

Snooker (ring 1) (didn't get caught on video): This run was around 4pm after a long break for us. The 12-weaves were #7 and I knew I couldn't count on them for the closing (nor the opening obviously), so I had planned a nice course that covered the #6 teeter three times for an easy Q without the weaves. Well, I set him up in front of a red, released him, and he went around the jump and directly onto the nearby dogwalk. Woo hoo! We have now become official members of the Zero Point Snooker Club!

Jumpers (ring 2): Not a terrible run, but an uncharacteristic knocked bar due to my cueing the turn too desperately kept us from a Q.


Jumpers (ring 3) (didn't get caught on video): Several mistakes and runouts but some decent parts too. Can't remember the details.

Snooker (ring 1): Again with the #7 being the weaves, we had to go for three #6s (two-jump combination) in the opening to get the Q. I can't get over how much Walter forgives my pathetic attemps at handling. Anyway we made it through for a Q, our first and only Q of the weekend! :-D

Some general notes:
- He didn't do 2o2o at all but not once did I go back and make him do it again (training in the ring is allowed in AAC). Maybe I should have, but I guess I figured since he can be a bit weirded out at new places I didn't want to risk demotivating him. Not that he necessarily gets demotivated by redoing contacts, but well you never know.
- In retrospect from watching the videos, he wasn't all that unfocused considering it was his first time here and that his runs were constantly changing from one ring to another. Actually he handled himself pretty darn well all things considered and was upbeat throughout.
- I led out on several runs and he did minimal scootching-forward on all of them, yay!
- Ok I really need to work on providing less foggy and crouched-over body/arm cues. Honestly how he manages to decipher from my wimpy arm positions and everything else what I'm asking him to do is beyond me.

In summary: despite our ultra-low Q rate, it was really a lot of fun and I am definitely looking forward to trialing at Guides Canins again next year.


Jasmine said...

Congratulations on your 12 weaves. I know how hard you two worked on it in the past weeks so hats off guys!

Chopping handling? Maybe you're hanging out too much with Jasmine and me. : )

andrea said...

NICE work with the Q :)

how exciting to be somewhere new


Elf said...

Congratulations on your 0-point snooker run! Now you're a REAL agility competitor. ;-) Anyway, gets it out of the way so nothing will ever look worse than that again on a Snooker course. And congrats on the Q, too.

LucyandWalter said...

Thanks everyone - it was a fun weekend.

elf: yes, I am glad to have joined the club! However, I won't mind if my membership lapses.

Johann The Dog said...

Nice job, so much focus, very impressive.

I know that with Gracie (the unfocused one in the family) I tend to bend over and flail my arms more. And yell, good girl, a lot! Maybe it goes with the cheerleader in me. But I think she needs it now and likes it. Maybe later when she 'gets the job' she won't need all that anymore - it takes too much breath! :)

Great job!