I've been making a lot of plans about Wall-e's trialing career. I'm pretty excited to start trialing him, but I'm also a very cautious person in that I really have to think things through before making a decision. That's why Mika was 3 years old when we started trialing -- I wasn't even THINKING about trialing before a few people convinced me that we actually were ready!
I'd like to run Wall-e at Regionals in May 2011 because I'll probably be running Mika (assuming Nationals will be held closer to us in 2011), and I might as well run Wall-e too since we're driving all that way.
So if I want Wall-e to be ready for Regionals (though I don't expect him to qualify for Nationals because he'll barely be 3 years old), I'll have to:
1. put his 2o2o on the full DW and AF
2. train Masters courses and sequences during 2010
3. start trialing
Yep, get ready for some more over-planning, as usual... :)
1. put his 2on2off on the full DW and AF - Right now he has a very nice 2o2o on the plank in the backyard, which is at a 1 foot incline. Before the field opens I'll have to raise it up to 2 feet, so that I can backchain his 2o2o on the contacts.
2. train Masters courses and sequences during 2010 - I don't think he'll really have a problem with the Masters courses. He's pretty good at tough sequences, as long as I handle him half-decently!
3. start trialing - My current plan is for Wall-e's very first trial to be outdoors in September 2010. He'll be 2 years old, about 27 months to be precise. Hopefully it won't be too hot then, and we'll have had the whole summer to train. Then, if all goes well, he'll likely be able to do a couple indoor trials in October.
I want Wall-e to run at full speed consistently, so I don't want to do anything to take his drive away. I want him to know that he should just let loose and RUN, like he does when he chases cars in the backyard! At trials I'll be doing the same thing as I do with Mika -- never correct for mistakes. If he makes a mistake on course, I'll ignore it and continue, but make sure to spend extra time training that skill during training.
I'm looking forward to trialing "the W" -- he's going to be a lot of fun, that's for sure!