Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Remainder of Trial Recap

The rest of the trial was a trial - for me. I failed miserably at many things, the most important one is maintaining fun for my girl. I let her down and for that I hope I have not done permanent damage. I set a goal and got too focused on the goal and even when things were happening and I was getting down, although I tried to be "up" for Vegas - or at least go out and just focus on doing well but having fun and cheering her on, she must have known the tension I didn't know I felt. Our Standard runs continued to be a disaster. Both Saturday and Sunday I walked out of the ring with Vegas. Sunday I did so in a torrent of tears and had a complete and total breakdown by her crate. I was at a complete loss and felt like giving it all up. I felt like a failure and, at the time, could not recognize what was going wrong.

Today is a different story - to an extent. I am blessed with some wonderful people in my life who are either understanding or empathetic and full of wisdom (Thank you, Tiffany!). I don't have any answers yet, but I know I have some work to do with my girl for her to love doing what we do and to trust me to make it about fun above and beyond work.

So, without any further commentary, here are the courses I have not included thus far and what video I have.
On this course Vegas did well until after #7. She then launched herself toward the table. I'm not sure if that was in hopes that we were done (CPE rules) or just habit or from our previous training focus on downs and sits on the table and being treated regularly. Nonetheless, that was an off course. Then we made it through the teeter and struggled with the weaves which was when I chose to give up the course. I am just mentally really struggling with getting through an AKC standard course right now as Vegas is continually having the same issue (although she's never done the off-course stuff like she did this weekend - nor the judge greeting) with weaves and I don't understand which makes it all the more agonizing. However, Craig says it may just be a lack of confidence and that is something I can work on.
Here is the Jumpers course from Sunday. All in all, there were 18 obstacles we did well and 2 we did not. I know I pushed her out too far at the #4 jump so I have to take responsibility for that. Not sure but as I've learned, it doesn't take much and I just have to learn how far makes a difference to Miss Vegas so I don't push or pull too far or too close. At that point we were faulted for going past the obstacle plus an off-course for going over the jump the wrong direction. We got back on track and did well until our usual nemesis though, the weaves. Still unsure there other than her lack of confidence being the culprit. Oh well, next time?
Again, I'm not sure why my son didn't have the video on for the first couple of obstacles but this one starts where she went around #4 and we had to come back to do it correctly.

Unfortunately Sunday's open standard video didn't start at the beginning so you're unable to see what Vegas did prior to when I left the course - she started the first two jumps beautifully then bee-lined for the judge. It took longer than would have been nice to get her back and from there my mental state just deteriorated.

On a more positive note, tonight we went for a bike ride to the dog park and spent some time together. Vegas had a lot of fun doing that and really enjoys getting out and running. I think we'll focus on that as much as the weather and time permits - hopefully a couple times a week - and that will help give us some time to hang out and have fun without any competition. I plan on taking her to the barn to practice when I can and using the weaves in the yard. In addition, I have some videos I want to watch (Control Unleashed) that I hope will give me some pointers, tips, and added knowledge. Our next trial isn't until the last weekend of the month so we have some time to just have fun together and for me to work on her focus through games and other, non-agility activities.

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