I took Max to a trial today. He was entered in Starters Standard and Starters Jumpers. The standard course was a lovely flowing course. Perhaps a bit too flowing for us lol! It was pretty much a train wreck! We were going great guns until obstacle eight which was the table. Max either flew off or ran over the table - I'm not entirely sure he tried to stop. We haven't done a lot of tables but he has been really good. In hindsight I didn't decel at all so he didn't have enough information. Novice handler with novice dog mistake. Next was the weaves - Max's weaves are solid so I wasn't concerned - well he popped out three times. I chose to handle them offside but that doesn't bother him so I'm not sure what went wrong - then there were three jumps which were lovely and a teeter. I tried to rear cross just as he started up the teeter and he jumped off - I probably had time to front cross and it likely would have been a better move. The teeter had a huge bang - Max either flew or jumped (I think he jumped) off. No big deal but not something I want to encourage. After that it was smooth sailing until the end. The positive was that Max continues to get faster - his running contacts were awesome - he ran right to the bottom of the A-Frame and dogwalk, and even with the table and teeter debacles and the three tries on the weaves we were under time. It was the first time we had done a course without my trainer to walk it with us and Max finished happy.
I was freaked about the jumpers course. It seemed to me to have a couple of really tricky bits where the dogs would have to discriminate obstacles. Also Max was the VERY FIRST DOG to run. That has never happened to us before. Not such a big deal because I don't watch the dogs before us but I had to manage my course walk through. When I walked the course there was only one spot where I thought there could be an issue and that was between jumps three and four - I was confident if we could get that far we'd be home free. I watched the more experienced handlers walk the course to see how they were handling the first four jumps and copied them lol. Max rocked! The dog that I worried about in the spring because he seemed to have lost his zip ran the course clean at nearly 5 metres/second (the standard course time was 2.8 metres per second). At this venue starters is a very small group but I'm told only two of the 26" dogs were faster.
The starters jumpers Q was the one I really wanted because it allows me to run Rylie in jumpers at the next trial we are at and Rylie was born ready! Of course I could run them both in the same class but with the small dogs having such small classes I'd probably have to run the course back to back. I'm middle aged and not in good enough shape to do that!