There was definitely much to do about something in regard to this course. It wasn't bad; it just wasn't good. The course was somewhat zig-zaggy and had a lot of hard pulls on the dog to avoid off courses. Of course I still had to worry about the a-frame contact.
My handling plan was as follows:
- Begin from the left
- Remain on the left and "flip" her after the tire
- Rear cross #5
- Run out the length of the chute
- Lead out toward #10 from the table
- Rear cross the teeter
- Hold back and handle the weaves from the off side
- Front cross after the weaves
- Front cross and pull her over #16
Interestingly enough, later as we were walking around, we went down the stairs to the arena floor and she stopped before leaving the stairs. I looked back at her and for the briefest of moments was going, "What?!" And then it dawned on me. That brilliant girl...she really took our a-frame lesson Friday night to heart along with our drill before each Standard course. We were using the stairs to "practice" our contact behavior. She was told "touch" each time we went down the stairs and had to hold the position until I released her. She picked up on that just wandering around and applied that lesson back to me. Smart, smart girl.
Without a lead-out possible, my plan was to run on the left and front cross after 3. I planned a "threadle arm" maneuver after 5 to pull her into me for the correct end of the tunnel. My goal was then to move outward of #7 and call her over the double as she came out of the tunnel. I walked the weave exit several times and wasn't comfortable with either. The first option was a front cross but then you had to be sure to step back/out because #11 was really not in line with the end of the weaves to move toward #12. Of course there was always the potential to off course to #20, too. The second option was to remain on the right and swing back to the #11 from the right side, then "flip" after 12 to 13 and rear cross. The concern there was pushing her to the #7 jump and that was the last thing I wanted to do. Or, if she ended up turning back to look for direction she might swing ahead to #16 and that was no good either. I went with the front cross.
From there I planned a front cross after #15 and ran like hell to 20.
SCT was 45 for 160 yards. Our time was 37.92. 7 MACH points and double-Q number 16. Wow. Wow. We were 13th out of 15 Qs for the 24" dogs.
What a weekend. What a ride. And what a dog.
Our weekend: 2 QQs, 45 MACH points. 5/6 Qs.
Current MACH journey totals: 16 QQs & 411 points.
In addition to her usual treats at the trial today, Vegas got a McDonald's cheeseburger on the way home. She got turkey necks for dinner. And she got tons of love from her family. Her boys were proud of her and so am I.