Sunday, September 28, 2008

Agility trial September 27, 2008

Yesterday we went to another AAC trial! I'd entered Mika in one run -- Advanced Jumpers. I was really excited for this one because it meant that if we Q'd we'd move up to Masters! and, Mika did Q!! She also won us a 1st place and Best Run in Mini! Of course we also had a load of fun, since Jumpers is one of Mika's favourite classes! So come November, we'll be running in Masters for the very first time; should be fun!!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Trial tomorrow!

Tomorrow we're entered in an Advanced Jumpers run! Can't wait. If we Q we'll be moving up to Masters!

We have a sort of "routine" that we do the week before the trial (or fun match). Mika does better at trials if she's given a break, so we don't do any major training during the week before the trial.

This is our "week-before-the-trial" schedule (assuming the trial is on a Saturday):

Saturday (7 days before trial) or Sunday: practice a sequence at the Agility field that relates to the course we'll be running at the trial

Monday: no Agility, tricks instead

Tuesday: if we'll be running in any Standard classes at the trial, practice the teeter; if we'll be running only in Jumpers, practice a 16" jump

Wednesday: go to the field and practice 3 - 5 obstacles (either individual or in 2-obstacle segments) that we'll be seeing at the trial

Thursday: if we'll be running in Standard, practice 12 poles; if we'll be running only in Jumpers, practice a 16" jump

Friday: no Agility, tricks instead

Saturday (or Sunday): get Mika to do a trick for her breakfast that'll help our performance at the trial (Down Stay or flatwork), then drive to the trial!!

So that's our schedule. :)


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Agility trial September 19, 2008

Yesterday Mika and I competed in one class at a Starters mini-trial! The class was Starters Gamblers, and it was our first ever time doing Gamblers! Mika completely surprised me by getting the gamble right away! She was so hyper and bouncy on the course because she must've thought that we were having another private (it was in the same arena we had the private in a few weeks ago) and she thought that we were going to stop after every obstacle for rewards -- but we still ended up with a Q and 2nd place! Woot!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Agility trial September 13, 2008

We competed at an AAC Agility trial yesterday! I'd entered Mika in three runs -- two Advanced Standard runs and one Advanced Jumpers runs. We hadn't run in Advanced before. I was looking forward to challenging (but fun) courses and a chance to hang out with Mika all day. I was only expecting maybe one Q, if any, and my first priority was to have fun with my girl.

Did Mika ever surprise me!!

So, we arrived to the place where the trial was being held at 7:15am. We were pleased with the weather -- it was about 17 degrees Celsius in the morning and grew only to 22 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Plus, it was cloudy in the morning. Perfect Agility weather!

At 7:30, the check-in time, I checked in and got my course maps. The Standard courses where what I had expected, but the beginning of the Jumpers course surprised me. Right at the beginning of the course there was a two jump threadle, with the dog having to turn 180 degrees to another jump after the second jump in the threadle, and then wrap the jump to take another jump and continue on with the course! Masters stuff. It took me a while to figure out how to handle it properly.

When we stepped onto the first course (Advanced Standard), I had no idea what to expect from Mika since it was our first Advanced course at a trial and she was acting funny at our last event (the fun match). but as soon as Mika flew over the first couple of jumps and performed an absolutely PERFECT "textbook" teeter, I knew that she was DEFINITELY feeling herself today! Her weaves were brilliantly fast too! We reached an iffy moment on the table when she started lifting up her elbows (the table was wet from the rain earlier that morning) but the judge didn't fault it. We crossed the finish line ending up with a Q and 2nd place! :D

The next course was another Advanced Standard. Again, Mika was just FLYING through the course! She sure did have lots of energy! Her dog walk was faster than in her first run (because the wetness from the rain had dried up) and she listened to my cues and did a perfect flip to the tunnel after the DW! The weave entry was pretty tough but she got it and weaved really fast too! The obstacle after the weaves was the teeter. She raced up it right to the end, stopped, then decided to jump off just as the teeter was 1/3 of the way to the ground. She was okay though, both physically and mentally, and was bouncing around with an enormous grin on her face after the last jump! Q and 2nd place! (Her fly-off wasn't faulted because the end hit the ground after Mika jumped off.)The dog after us had a fly-off as well and they then found out that there was something wrong with how the teeter was weighted, and it wasn't going down fast enough. So my theory is that Mika, having been on the same teeter a few times before, was used to it going down the same speed every time and so she jumped off after waiting for that certain amount of time. Crazy dog!

Our third and final run was Advanced Jumpers. This was the course that had the weird threadle/serpentine part at the beginning. As the competitors walked the course they were all milling around that same area, trying out different strategies! I almost bumped into quite a few people and had to say "sorry" more than once! When it was our turn I jogged onto the course with Mika expecting an NQ and just looking forward to running one of our favourite classes, Jumpers...but again, Mika completely exceeded my expectations! The dog who previously went all over the place when directed to do a threadle (partly my fault) did it perfectly at the trial! She listened to my directionals just amazingly and fast too, running her heart out! :D Another Q and 2nd place! WOW!

So, now we just need one (ONE!!) more Advanced Standard Q to get our AADC (Advanced Agility Dog of Canada) title and move up to Masters, and one more Advanced Jumpers Q to move up to Masters! We had LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of fun at the trial too!! Mika was just completely awesome. She takes my breath away. She always presents me with beautiful surprises and she has a blast doing it. We have improved so much. She's my wonderful, perfect girl and I just love her so much. <3