It's been a really awesome couple of weeks in the training/trialing department. Last Saturday we went to an agility trial. I had really tried hard to dig into the motivation issues Max had on Labour Day weekend (other than the heat). I asked a coach/mentor how I could get Max aroused enough to focus on me instead of the environment before starting a run. She turned the question around and asked me if I was 100% focused on Max or if I was thinking about how I was going to handle/ when I needed to go into the ring etc. She even went so far as to bet that I was not 100% focused on Max. I thought about it for awhile and realized that while I truly believed I was giving Max 100% attention I really was thinking about all of those other things as well. My only goal last weekend was to stay connected with him prior to the run starting (during too but once we get started things seem to settle out). Lo and behold he had three fabulous runs. We missed the Q in Gamblers due to me mishandling the gamble but got Q's in both master snooker and master standard. Max was drivey and focused for all three runs.
Rylie and I had some differences of opinion. In the standard run he told me in no uncertain terms that if I expected him to put his Cavalier King Charles nose in the dirt at the end of the contacts I was batsh** crazy. Regardless of that the run was really nice - an off course jump and popping the weaves meant no Q but other than the ongoing fight about contact criteria things are coming together. In the gambler run he actually got the gamble but because he chose to run his own course in the opening rather than the one I'd planned he didn't have enough points (if he insists on doing this I'm going to have to teach him to add). In snooker he apparently realized the error of his ways and agreed to the course I planned - we did get a Q for that one!
Last Sunday was the CFSO picnic. Great fun with lots of Cavaliers of all sizes running around. I won a door prize again this year - Yeah!
Saturday we had another trial. Max was totally awesome. It was cool and he loves to play agility in that weather. His jumpers run was lovely other than the fact I missed jump #15. Max did exactly what I asked. I had run the course a few minutes earlier with Rylie and managed to get all the obstacles so why I missed it I don't know. I made the judge very sad. Rylie ran the jumpers pretty well. He is just barely in master jumpers and all the handling is something he's just getting used to. I think he only had 5 faults so I call that successful.
Next was our gamble run. Both dogs have been over a year without a gamble Q. Working away from me isn't something we practice a lot and while neither of them mind me being a distance. This course was ideal for us as the distance part came after they were already going. Both dogs got a Q.
Standard was really nice too. Max ran beautifully and got a Q. Rylie ran well (we are still arguing about contacts). A late handling move on my part cost us the Q. We had worked on weave poles during the week and his weaves were lovely though.
Today we went to a jumping seminar after our weekly lesson. I got some good feedback from the dogs and now I have some additional things to work on. Next trial isn't until the end of October.