Thursday, 28 August 2014

Push the limits!

We went to the FAB show in Oxford at the weekend and did a couple of classes with all of the doglets. The shelties were doing the IFCS qualifiers in jumping and agility and Miss Sparkle did nfc agility and a Newbie steeplechase. I think between me and Matthew we only had one clear round (Bracken in the IFCS agility) but I did learn lots of take away and improve on! 

1-Don't expect poor baby collie to do an Aframe in the ring when its her first time on aluminium contacts and she hasn't done one in ages! She was quite confident but as she didn't have her mat down she strided it all wrong. On the plus side she did a nice dog walk, first time over aluminium and it was bouncy! 

2-Don't run with keys in your hoodie pocket!! Put me off totally in Brodie IFCS jumping run and I handled like an idiot!

3-Support every turn, don't just drop your arm and run off without giving the dog a clue! (This whoopsy can be seen in the Brodie video below!) Thanks to Helen who filmed us :-)

4-If you are at a show all day remember to take Nurofen half way through the day!!

On Tuesday I had the chance to go and train with Lila Zachwatowicz from Poland who is a lovely handler and does the most amazing turns with her dog. Roz who owns three shelties including Brookes niece kindly organised and hosted the day and it was specifically for shelties although luckily Sparkle was invited! We walked the course in the morning and wondered how we would get our dogs round it as it was tricky! It made me realise though that Sparkle and I are ready to tackle some of these trickier challenges. She worked really well and I was very pleased with her attitude even when we couldn't get it right-more my problem than hers! It was also pushing me out of my comfort zone with her as we hadn't done some of the course elements before so I was unsure of my timing and the cues she would pick up on. Even things like rear crosses on a wing wrap are a bit hit and miss so she had a lot to take in and so did I!!

Here is a video of us doing our thing on one of the courses! Late cues from me resulted in a couple of poles and she forgot what a go round was to start with but we managed a lot of it that I didn't think we would! 

After training we went for a lovely sheltie walk in the forest-Brodie and Brax are in the picture below. Thanks to Lian who took it. I took some but they were all looking the wrong way!! :-)

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