Monday, 27 September 2010

Weekend catch up

So that's it, the season has come to an end, Ronny, Keisha and Zippy all ran their hearts out at the weekend, Ronny had no clears but as always gave it his all, Keisha ran a lovely agility to finish 2nd and had a nice jumping round to finish 8th which wasn't bad considering I gave her the longest line to run, naughty mummy (I don't think she cares one bit). Zippy ran an excellent agility round in the money class to finish 6th and earned enough pennies to buy a new toy, he also ran a great jumping class to finish 5th. So overall a really nice weekend to finish on.

Lots of congratulations from the weekend, firstly to Emma and Maisy for FINALLY winning into Grade 3, what a fantastic way to finish the season. Anne and her boxers, ive been reliably informed you had some great runs including that 3rd place !!! Lucy and Milly for winning into Grade 2 and to Dick and Chip for finally getting that last jumping win making you Grade 6, yippee !!! Well done guys, all truly deserved.

Today I had booked the day off work, I wanted to clean the kennel out and move Keisha and Pudsey back into the house so we can all be a proper family again (I know, I must be MAD) In order for it to be a smooth transition I decided the best way would be if the dogs were truly tired. So after a 2.5 hour walk over Kenilworth Castle grounds the dogs are currently fast asleep, even Keisha who never stops. Infact today has been a very productive one, this morning Keisha and Zippy were training their A-Frame contact, I brought Zippy one of those space hopper toys which he absolutely loves but I let Keisha train with it today and she is mad for it, im going to have to buy her one over the Internet now.

Then this afternoon, Ronny, Keisha and Zippy all visited the chiropractor to get their backs checked, Ronny had previously been lame and I thought he may still be carrying the stiffness of the injury which Bronwen (chiropractor) confirmed, it appears to be his back right muscle so plenty or rest this week for him. Keisha was tight between her shoulders which would make sense why she has not been keen on doing the see-saw, her pelvis was slightly out of line too so she has been fully mended and also on a few days rest. Zippy was the best, nothing much wrong with him, he can still join the other two on a well deserved rest.

So that's it, winter training is due to start on saturday, it's not long until the first selection day of the BSD world champs which is closely followed by Keisha running in the ABC at Discover Dogs and then Olympia in December, I am really going to work hard on the contacts over the next few months especially the A-Frame.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Last Show of the year

So this is our last show of the year, I do enjoy the Dog Vegas Shows so it's definitely a nice one to finish on. Ive checked the weather and apparently it's going to be dry but cold, I don't mind that as long as it doesn't rain !!!

Ive already decided this weekend im just going to have fun, im going to run the contacts with Keisha and Zippy, if they get them then great, if not then oh well, my main aim for them this weekend is all about speed. With Ronny im going to work hard on my handling again, good arms with early commands etc etc etc, if we get another clear then I will be over the moon.

Good luck to anyone else who is competing, especially to Emma and Maisy still needing that last win to G3, keep me posted.

Ive managed to upload some of the runs from last weekend at Bromsgrove

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Weekend Results

This weekend I had already decided I was going to concentrate hard on my handling, especially with Ronny, did it work .........

Well yes I think it did, yesterday Ronny ran a really twisty, naggy course that I never thought he get round to put in a lovely clear finishing 4th, today he didn't have any clears but some brilliant runs, 5F for knocking the top slat off the wall in his jumping class followed by a great agility run but just took the wrong end of the tunnel to get eliminated then in his last jumping run he knocked a pole.

Keisha on the other hand has been a proper little madam, im glad the season is about to end as we are starting to loose our mojo. She did manage a lovely run in the same jumping class as Ronny to finish 6th so at least it wasn't a complete disaster. Let's hope we can keep it together for our final show next week.

Zippy is still a little character, no clears this weekend but he is looking really promising, some great work powering on and working ahead and some great weave entries too, he also knocked the top slat off on the wall otherwise he was clear, I think he just wants to copy his dad. The one thing I have learnt with him this year is I NEED that start line WAIT as that's what is letting us down.

Other news: Kody has now gone to live with Conor and Kate and their Labrador Brian and two Mali's Heidi and Megan, they plan to keep his agility career going so hopefully I will see him out next year.

Finally ...... Well done to Ellen and Hamish for winning into Grade 3 this weekend, what a great way to finish the season, it was always going to happen !!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Bromsgrove this weekend

This weekend we are off to Bromsgrove, a nice local show so at least it wont be an early start for once. This is our penultimate show so we are just going to have fun, the dogs have worked hard all season and I don't want to finish it by nagging at them.

Let's hope the weather is GOOD !!!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Weaves - Wooden or Plastic ???

Ok, im fed up with this obstacle, all season they have caused me grief, it's not because I don't enjoy training the dogs through them or running them as part of a course, but there is one big problem that is beginning to haunt me ........

Ronny my oldest boy keeps breaking them, at first it was a bit of a shock when it happened, then it became a bit of a joke, but now it's becoming silly and infact sometimes dangerous. I'm not talking about an odd one every other month, infact last weekend he broke 4 in the same day so as you can tell it's quite frequent.

The problem is it's starting to effect our runs, if Ronny misses his entry or skips a pole I very rarely put him back through incase the poles break 2nd time round, sometimes the judges put out a set of 6 weaves that needs to be completed twice, so if he breaks poles on the first time round he will always get eliminated second time round as there will be poles missing. We have become known as the weave breakers and at first it was funny but now its just embarrassing, I even know people who try and get in the queue before us so they don't get held up waiting for new weave poles to arrive.

However, why should it be like that, would we accept a dog walk or A-Frame that collapses when the dog is on it, or a see-saw that snaps in half ???

I'm not one to just moan but take no action, I have previously mentioned my concerns to those companies that make the plastic weaves in the hope they would look at it, but as of yet nothing has changed, my dog isn't the only one that breaks weaves, I have stood in the queue many of times and watched other breeds snap the weaves. Surely in this day and age when we ask our dogs to power forward and get round the course as fast as they possibly can we should have equipment that will stand up to the test. 

If anyone has seen Ronny do the weaves then you will have noticed that he doesn't move his head and the body just follows, I dread the day if a weave pole were to ever snap and stab him in the body or even worse in the eye.

I appreciate it doesn't happen to all dogs, both Keisha and Zippy hardly touch the weaves when they go through them, we can teach a dog to weave the best possible way but ultimately the dog will find his own style.

Does anyone else have this problem ?

In relation to Wooden or Plastic ........ Ronny has never broken a wooden pole yet, hopefully he never will !!! (touch wood), infact if the poles are wooden I always look forward to doing the weaves and if we do go wrong then im always happy to take him back and try again. so im for WOODEN.

So what is it, Wooden or Plastic ???

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wigan is full of WATER !!!

Well after a 2 hour drive on friday night we arrived in the pouring rain, we had to be pushed onto the field as the ground was a mud bath. Well it didn't get any better, it rained all night and most of saturday, the rings were a complete mess but we paddled on, Zippy started us off with a lovely clear in his agility to get 4th, Keisha followed in her agility class to get 2nd place even with her slipping over and landing head first into the mud.

Then last night the heavens opened, it rained hard all through the night and when I got up this morning the ground had turned into a bog, needless to say the show was cancelled and all that was left was to get off the field and go home. Wigan members were fantastic and came down in a mass to push the van out of the bog and tow our caravan off the site, we were lucky as we were one of the first to leave, there is probably people still getting towed off now.

Still the day wasn't wasted, we arrived home at noon in the gorgeous sunshine Coventry had seen ALL weekend, not a spot of rain in sight, I decided to go to the field and do some training for a couple of hours, the dogs then had a paddle in the swimming pool before I dismantled it for the winter, I cant believe how big the garden looks again !!!

Let's hope next weekend isn't as bad. Thanks to Alan Score for taking this fab picture of Keisha

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Where has this week gone ?

This week has flown by, I cant believe it's nearly friday, work is really busy and there never seems to be enough hours in the day, by the time im getting home it's dark, OMG winter is coming !!!

Anyway, the dogs have been swimming every day this week, I think they would stay in the pool forever if they had their way, it will be a shame when the time comes to pack it away for the winter.

This weekend we are in Wigan, Ronny and Keisha only have 2 runs a day which are all agility runs, bummer ! It would have been nice to have at least one jumping class. Zippy has 3 runs a day, one of which is a jumping class so thats a relief, hopefully the weather will be kind to us, there is nothing worse than getting wet.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Keisha has qualified for Olympia

This weekend turned out far better than I ever expected, on Friday Ronny kicked off the weekend with a lovely run in his jumping class to finish 1st, he then went on to do a lovely clear in his C6-7 agility but sadly a miscommunication between which jump was next made us loose vital seconds which was enough to kick us out the placings, Zippy had a good day and ran a lovely jumping class to finish 7th. The only thing at Letchworth this year was the ground was so dry and dusty the dogs were slipping all over the place, im glad I was just there for the day.

Then on to saturday, I was dreading this day, I have never been before and was questioning myself if I had made the right decision in not entering all my dogs in an agility show to run one dog in the ABC semi-final, added with the pressure of my nerves which would no doubt force an error. Well the warm up run went to plan apart from the very end when Keisha decided to jump her A-Frame contact, the judge hadn't marked her but my natural reaction was to call her back and remind her of the job, I think everyone was a bit amazed but if I give Keisha an inch she will definitely take a mile and it was something I really didn't want to happen in the final.
Then on to the final, we were drawn 21 out of 100 so it was always going to be run from the front and not play safe, it turned out to be the right decision as there were some incredibly fast dogs. Keisha's run was a decent one, a brilliant A-Frame contact but when we arrived at the dog walk it was definitely not a solid one, a bit of luck on our side shall we say. The worst part of her round was the see-saw, infact it was pants, the worst she has done for a long time, I don't know if I over worked it but she seemed to be on there for an eternity, anyway we finished clear and ended up in 9th place meaning we have qualified for the final in December. Out of the 10 that qualified, 7 are Kelpies, 2 are Beardie's and Keisha is the only Belgian, we are being invaded by Kelpie's, COME ON THE BELGIANS !!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Rest Week

What a nice change to have some glorious sun, thankfully im not back at work until next week so I can enjoy the weather in my own back garden for once. As the dogs have had a hard couple of weeks they are currently on 'do what you like week', in the sense of plod around the garden, sniff what plants are left or gang up on Ronny in tag team wrestling, I even filled up the swimming pool so they can have a splash around before it's put away for the winter (probably next week knowing the Great British weather).

Friday we are off to Letchworth agility show for the day, I usually stay for the whole weekend but this year Keisha is competing in the ABC semi-final on saturday at Stoneleigh. I think we are just going to enjoy our day out and expect nothing, especially as her contacts are not reliable at the minute. Then sunday we are at Prestbury Park, I have never done this show before so hopefully it's a nice one, Ronny and Maisy are in pairs as are Zippy and Summer, ive got a feeling Zippy and Summer will come out as the better two !!!

As ive only got 4 weeks left before we hang up our running legs for the winter ive decided to make a start on my winter training plan, all equipment needed has been purchased and arrived, each dog has been given a list of necessaries for training, Keisha it's contacts, Zippy its tightening him up and Ronny, well ......... possibly more grid work in the hope he will keep the poles up. I might even try Puddy again to see if I can get him going next year in the ring. Failing that he can stay as Team manager.