Sunday, 30 March 2008

cold cold cold!!

BRRRR. Why is it so cold at all the shows! GRRRR.

Well the last has been.. eh.. pretty normal actually. Nothing major has happened. I was glad to have bank holiday Monday to have a lay in. Think I needed it after the show. Was suprised to find we had training on Monday night. Twix was an angel, doing those lovely quick dog walks.. grr... please please please can someone ask her to do the same in competition!

Bottled out of the gym on Wednesday as I felt yuck. Was a good girl though and did go on Friday. Was pleased I had gone afterwards. Have been a bit lapse with it really. Must get back to it. Does make me feel better.

Saturday was off to Shuttleworth. What good doggies I had! Was very windy though and then the rain came. Made me feel like I had an ice cream head without the pleasure of eating the ice cream lol. All in all conditions were a bit rubbish but I had a nice day.

Toni and Lee were there so I enjoyed having good company.

Was Lee's Birthday last week, he was 52. Doesn't look bad for that does he lol.

Any way back to the dogs. Twix had a pole in her g5 agility and a slow dog walk ahhhh. I was really p'd off when I came out. Had a chat with Toni and then felt a bit better. Twix went clear in her helter skelter and came 25th. Not bad considering it was 1-7 and there was less than 2 seconds splitting 35 places apparently. Twix was excellent in her g5 jumping and came 2nd. Was very pleased with that and has given me some confidence back.

Jag had pole down in his helter skelter. Was clear in his g7 ag but I trained his contacts. He did slide off his see-saw but as it was wet, I might forgive him that one! Might! Jag won the g7 jumping. Was quite a tricky little course but fun. Toni was 2nd with Kite and Lee 3rd with one of his think it was Bold but not sure. I think Jag just got the nod because of the huge straight line there was at the end. He just ate up the ground. Times were something like Jag 26.985 and Kite 27.035 or close to that so really nothing in it. We were musing that it was a course of two halves. Kite and Bold would have won the first half with Jag winning the second half lol.

Course below as best I can remember it.

Belive it or not I managed to get 4 reverse turns in between jump 1-10! Which was not easy with the ground being somewhat boggy. Lee managed the same. Actually think he managed one more!

Today I went out with on of my friends to do some weave training. Her dog needs a bit of one to one stuff and you just can't do that at club. I also too the opportunity to do some speed weave work with Twix which she also needs. I opened up the V's to get her striding better. I also used the training to practice some entries and her weaving while I disappeared in all sorts of directions.

After training we went off for a nice two hour walk.

Took a couple of pictures on my phone. So not great but hey ho.

We did get a little wet but hey ho!

Back to work tomorrow.

Hope all the other bloggers had a good weekend.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Celebration

Well what a strange weekend of agility!!! I did have to seriously consider my sanity on both days of the show. On Saturday at 0630 when it was snowing while I was driving down the motorway and then on Sunday when I looked outside to see snow laying on the ground and on the equipment!

Are we stupid!! Well no but maybe all a touch unstable lol. I do think the campers were mighty brave though.

I have to say in a lot of ways, I was glad to get back in my car each day and be on the way home!

As for the dogs... Well. Main objectives for this weekend had to be Olympia qualifiers for both dogs. So I guess on that score my success rate was 50%!

Jag had four runs on Saturday, two on Sunday and Twix had three on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. Twix really seemed a bit off form. She knocked poles in every class I think. Not something that she usually does. There did seem to be lots of dogs knocking poles and after discussions with various people we can only think that the dogs were loosening and chruning up the sand an awful lot and the smaller less powerful dogs were getting bogged down in it. The big thugs (or donkies as Toni likes to call them) were powerful enough to fight their way out. That is of course a generalisation but could be a reason.

Any way I was disappointed with Twix's contacts all weekend. I think it is work in progress. Thanks to Nancy and others for some good advice. I will be working hard. Actually to be fair it is only the dog walk contact, the others seem pretty sound no (touch wood). Twix managed zero clears this weekend. Lets hope this changes soon. It is frustrating but early days for the season and i'm sure things will change.

As for Jag well I seemed to be a bit more back on form with him. He even did some short waits!! Ok yes they were very short but at least he waited. Our biggest want for the weekend was top 10 in the KC Olympia qualifier. Jag came fourth with a very nice round. Was very pleased with him. And just to make his Mummy even happier he was 3rd in grade 7 jumping earning an easter egg.... good boy!!! Our other rounds were all ok. Just silly things. His grade 7 jumping on Sunday seemed to be going sooo well until I kinda got stuck behind a jump and couldn't send him out to the long jump. Never mind.

So that was about it. Some good stuff, some frustrating stuff, some goals met and some continue to need meeting.

Watch this space!

Shuttleworth next Saturday as long as it is on. Think i'm looking forward to it. As long as it doesn't snow. As for now I am very tired and need sleep. Thank goodness I have a day off tomorrow!!


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Oops, have just had to read back through my last post to see where I was at updating my blog! Now that can't be good.

Feel like I have recovered from Crufts now. Have spent lots of time reflecting on things. I am sooo pleased we won the team. My team mates and the team groomy (Sue)are just the best of my friends. So to win something with them is great.

I love the pic below. I think we all look so happy. Is a shame we didn't managed to get Sue in with us on the pic at some point as she was such a help on the Thursday. We chucked four dogs and her and off we went lol. She was just there with everything I/we needed.

Thanks to agility eye site for photo.

Champ class well what can I say I look back at pictures and video and kick myself. But after some lovely comments by others, I might actually be begining to think I can win another ticket!!! Here's hoping.

Moving on then!!! Saturday was Mid downs. All in all in was really happy with how things went. Jag had 5 faults in the 567 agility. I pulled him off the side of the see-saw but he felt good and I had a wait!!!!!!! And lovely contacts. In the 7 agility we got e'd! Completely my fault but again a wait and nice contacts. And we came 4th in 67 agility. Not bad at all. Think there were some areas I could have tightened but it was ok for a start to the season.

Twix had two poles in the 567 agility. Weird and not like her but hey ho. In her 45 agility we got e'd. We had a 180 turn from a flat tunnel onto a jump. I just didn't work the end of the tunnel enough and she ran round the jump. 345 jumping we came 9th which I was pretty pleased with as Twix came to a complete stop in front of a jump and did a full spin before finally jumping it! I would have given me 5 faults!!!! I wasn't as happy with Twix's contacts as I thought I would be. But Dave Munnings said he thought they were quicker than last year. So that's good as he hasn't seen her for ages. But they still weren't up to where they are at training.

Not a bad day though. Oh and I got to run the lovely Kite. She is just so lovely and smooth to run but she did catch me out when I reversed too quickly off the weaves and I pushed her the wrong side of a jump! Even the best trained dogs have to be worked properly!!

Sunday was WAG. I enjoyed most of it but not the weather!!! Huge thanks to Leah for her help with timing. Hope Jay manages to fix his dogs contacts and things now you have ruinned them (only joking!). Hope little Herbie is ok soon :-(

Monday was training and a good night. I have decided that I will swap my dogs classes each week as the classes are slightly different so think that is the easiest way of doing it.

Went training tonight with a small group of friends. Didn't do loads of runs but what we did was valueable.

Now just looking forward to Easter. Twix and Jag both have Chum qualifiers. So heres hoping!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

CRUFTS!! what else!!

Well Crufts is over and done with for another year. The realisation that everything I qualified for last year is now done and all the work starts again. Crufts and Olympia are so addictive that every year I spend the whole summer trying to get there. The event comes, I enjoy it, it goes. So I do it all again! Mad.... probably but what the hell. Crufts was mixed for me. I was so pleased we won the teams. I think we should have had a great chance last year but we messed up. Hey ho. This year no messing up. Well apart from me and Jag having a pole in the final. But not sure there was a lot I could have done about that. I kept my head in the final and didn't lose the plot like I did last year. I have to say how great my team mates were. I really really couldn't do teams with people I didn't like so much. Whilst we all wanted to do well, I know they were the most supportive bunch of people I know and, had it all gone wrong, they wouldn't hae held a grudge.... I think lol. Any way videos below.

First the semi and then the final.

I have a mixture of feelings about the champ class. I was soo excited to be there. Toni and I spent ages first thing in the morning studying the course plan, discussing our options and running through what we were going to do and that was all before we even walked the course. It did help... lots. Thanks mate. I got a very silly 5 faults in the jumping. I just didn't watch where Jag was going. So had to knee him away from the wrong end of the tunnel and push him to the correct end. Oops. I was pleased to get round the course without and E. My handling kinda went to pot after the 5 faults. Think panic set in. The agilit, well what can I say. I got Jag e'd. Sorry Jaglet! I can plainly see from the picture below that I sent Jag over the wrong jump (see video for course). If only I had got round without and E, I would have been in the final. If's n and's. Any way I have to say I was pleased with the way he worked. The tunnel to tunnel bit caused a lot of problems with the big dogs. Jag did it superbly. So at least I feel we are back on form together.

I stayed to watch the final. Toni had qualified and I really wanted to see the lovely Kite win again. It wasn't to be this year. Toni got the RCC. I was sad for Toni as she always tries so hard and has to be one of the most dedicated trainers I know and is so helpful to me. Lets hope Kite and Toni do it next year.

That said I was also pleased for David. Making Dobby a champion so young! It was a great final to watch.

But your shoulders were pointing that way Mum!!!

Ah well. I have felt rather tired this week. Think Crufts takes it out of you and that was with two days of between each visit. Getting up at 0330 and getting home at 2130 is all a bit much.

Mid downs on Saturday. Strangely I can't wait!! Judging at WAG on Sunday. Haven't done any training this week. So who knows what Saturday will bring lol

Friday, 7 March 2008

Whoooo we won!!!!!

Well yesterday was my first day at Crufts for 2008. I was there for the team competiton. Our team consisted of me, Lee Windybottom, Toni D and David Munnings. I was running Jag, Lee running Shy, David running Billy and Toni running Lee's Bold. Toni's Kite has lots to do at Crufts and as she is 9 (not that you would know it lol)now and Crufts is about the most tiring show a dog can do I think (must be lights and atmosphere)she had decided to rest Kite and run one of our reserve dogs. Toni hasnt run Bold much at all.

Well we started with the morning semi and... we all went clear! I ran first, followed by Lee then Toni and finally David. We won the semi and put in a good time as well, which was nice as none of us rushed anything. I think team is very much about consistentcy and not neccesarily out and out speed, although some speed helps lol.

Other teams going into the final were Bacon, Wilmslow and WHAT.

I don't think I have been so nervous for such a long time. I guess there is quite a lot of pressure in teams!

The afternoon final was to be at 3.25. I walked the course and had assumed that we would run in reverse order of how we finished in the semi. No apparently not! As I was sauntering back to collect Jag, I was told I was running second. This meant I rushed back to the ring with Jag. Might have been a good thing as I didn't have too much time to worry lol.

Jaglet did a good run. He had a pole. Really not sure why but I was really disappointed. We held it together though and managed not to make another mistake. There was an a-frame at the end of the course that required a 180 turn off the end and this is a classic situation for me pulling Jag off the contact. My team mates had all kindly reminded me to work the contact lol. So I managed to nail that!

In the first round only one team went clear and every other team had 5 faults. So my disappointment at getting faults soon changed as now the teams were all much more equal.

In the second round the team that went clear had their dog eliminated so now everything was even! Lee put in a lovely clear. I think another team also had an E in this round. The handler from WHAT putting in an amazing clear. So now it was down to us and WHAT!

Third round Toni did another brilliant clear with Bold (what a good handler and well trained dog!). The dog from WHAT was give 5 on the a-frame. So as we run before WHAT at the end of the third round we were on 5 and WHAT were on 10. So we knew all we needed was for David to go clear and we had won... no pressure Dave!!

Fourth round and David put in a great clear with good old Billy. The WHAT team also put in a good clear but we had the advantage on faults.

Any way after all that sweating... what we didn't realise was that the first dog to run for WHAT had been given 10 faults!!! We didn't know this until we went back to look at the results later on. So all that sweating.. we could have been chilling and enjoying it lol.

I don't have any pics or video.. yet!! One of my friends is ring party up at Cruft and managed to video all our rounds. So at some point I should have video. We also had lots of people taking pictures after we won. So I am sure some pictures and video will emerge.

Well done to Gem and Boo for a clear in their team. Boo looked really good Gem.

I have today off work and boy am I glad I booked it! I feel rather tired. But still rather happy!

Toni, Lee and David are all back up there today for the singles. Good luck to them. Have heard on Crufts FM that David won the morning semi for large dogs. Not sure what else anyone has done.

Good luck to Nancy tomorrow.

I am back up on Sunday. Can't wait!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

March!! Gulp

Ok where is the year going. March already. Is someone having a larf.. it was only Christma 5 minutes ago. Or is that just a sign of old age.

Any way what has been going on in the piglet world since last Saturday. Well not a lot really. Last Sunday I had the luxury of taking an old family friend out to look for a hoover. See how the other half live!

Monday was back to work. Went to training in the evening. Both dogs were good which is nice. Tuesday was more training. Had my training buddy Toni back with me this week. I def. have to have someone else to train with or I seem to get nothing done. We did some pretty evil courses as I recall and all our dogs coped well. My friend Sue joined us with one of her Bloody Stupid Dogs, also known as BSD's. She also coped really well. Her dog isn't quite as quick as the likes of Jag, Kite and Minx bt the handling was good experience for her as she has a new puppy due out later this year.

Wednesday was work then gym. Thursday was work then teaching. Friday was work then gym. Such a varied life lol.

Saturday I had a lovely day, I went shopping for Mothers day stuff in the morning and then went and met Toni to walk the dogs. We walked at Sandwich Bay. One of my favourite places. You can just walk for miles and see no one! Toni had her Mum's dog as well so we had 6 between us. They had a great time in and out of the water and then racing off up the beach. And all very well behaved. We walked for two hours, so they were kinda a little tired when they got in.

Now for those of you that know kite and how pretty she normlly looks... well this is how she can look..

Not a pretty sight lol. Poor Kite. She did have fun swimming though.

I went back to Toni's after our walk we we sat in front of her coal/log fire and ate pizza and garlic bread and generally had a good chat. Was a really nice day. And something we don't often seem to get time to do. I guess that makes it even nicer when we do get time.

Today I went to the gym and cleaned my car!! No still haven't taken any pics but it was dirty and I was not amused. I thought I bought a self cleaning car! I did was my Mum's car as well which she appreciated.

I have just come back from walking the dogs and feel very tired!

Of course this week is jolly Crufts week. Gulp this time next week I will be at Crufts and will know weather or no I have made it to the champ final or weather I will be watching.. Bit scary really. I have the team to do on Thursday as well.

So I guess it just remains for me to say.. GOOD LUCK to all the bloggers that are at Ctufts. But a special bloggers good luck to Nancy and Not So Naught Niamh. Good luck Nancy. First Bryning in agility at Crufts ;-).