Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Holiday Part 1 - Scotland!

We have had such a busy, fun 10 days that I don't know where to start!! We travelled up to see my Dad a week last friday and then went on to Dundee show on the saturday and sunday. Dundee is half way between my Mum and Dads so it was a good opportunity for my Mum and sis to come and see some agility. Thanks to them for driving to spend the day with us - it was lovely weather and we had a good catch up! (No videos for sat as too busy talking!) Agility wise we had a bad day as Brodie struggled with the weaves in both classes coming out half way which is very unlike him. I found he was quite tight across his back so missed the last class and gave him a good massage that night which seemed to help. Brax decided she was allergic to contacts again but at least we had the best picnic ever that my Mum had packed!! They had Tresca with them and it was her first time in a show envrionment and she was such a good girl, taking in all the sights.
Brax really loved having her 'nanna' to snuggle up with!

On the sunday we had Champ and both of us made it through to the finals! Brodie ended up 5th and Brax ended up 4th so very proud of the shelties :) Neither of them were miles behind the reserve time so they did well. Well done to Lian, Sipzie and Sizzle won had numerous wins at Dundee, super shelties!

Brax Dundee Champ Final (nice contacts to make up for saturday!)

Brodie Dundee Champ Final - his weaves were still a bit slow but he ran well.

Brooke also had a lot of fun at Dundee playing in the lovely country park with Matthew, in this video she is 23 weeks old.

After all that running around we went back to my Dads for a couple of days and had some lovely meals and relaxing walks on the beach. On the Monday we took the dogs into Edinburgh on the train and walked round the city, also watched bits of the festival on the Royal Mile.
Matthew and shelties in the gardens

Me and the woofs on the Royal Mile next to a 'tardis'!!
Brooke had a nice sleep on the pavement while we ate lunch - awwww bless!When we got back to my Dads they all crashed out in his kitchen - Brooke stole Peppers bed, Brax took the aga spot and Brodie was a gentleman and had the floor :)We went for a trip round Dirleton castle on the Tuesday and the gardens were amazing for the time of year. After that we had a lovely pub lunch and then walked the dogs along the coast back to my Dads (Brooke got carried for some of it!) Later on we went to North Berwick and although it was windy, the sun was out. Photo should have been nice but Brooke got bored!!

Think thats Part 1 done - more news later!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Quiet weekend and Max update

We did no agility shows this weekend again, its been nice this year doing less shows and being picky about the ones we do, partly as we are just enjoying spending time at home and walking the dogs! We have done some training instead at home, contacts for Brax (more on this at a later date!), turns for Brodie using cones and Brooke learning faster downs and playing on the common with distractions. Luckily we have had good weather for our weekend off!

I had a lovely surprise parcel come through the post last week from Max's old owner Bee who sent me a letter and some photos of Max pony when he was a bit younger. I realised that I had neglected to post about Max recently as the dogs were giving me plenty to write about!

Here is a Max update, especially for those pony fans and of course Bee! Max is a Highland pony and like most grey horses, was born dark and has gradually gone dappled and then white. When I first got Max he was dark dappled and had black legs, now he is pure white and likes mud a lot! Max is also very special as he was born on my 18th Birthday so each year we go for a birthday hack and he gets a special treat - his fav thing is def food! He is a very affectionate pony and has converted a lot of people into being Highland fans as they are not common down here. (Both Max and I moved here from Scotland btw) He is a wonderful pony to ride and excellent at turning his hoof to anything. Together we have done jumping, dressage, side saddle, working hunter, showing and sponsored rides - he is a dude!! Max has also learnt a couple of tricks and his fav is to bow for a carrot! I'll try and get a video of him - he takes it very seriously! I haven't competed him for the last year, mainly due to lack of time and transport but we have weekly lessons and hack out a lot. He does enjoy going through the jumping woods as well :)

The photo below was taken by a photographer at a show a couple of years ago - bad quality I know but I haven't got a scanner! It also shows how Max's dapples have disappeared in the last couple of years. This was a ridden mountain and moorland class that he won :) Clever Max pony!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Brooke 20 weeks - Proprioception work

We have had a weekend off doing agility as my Mum was down visiting. We had a fab time and Brooke thought that 'nanna' was VERY exciting!! She has lost three out of four of her canine teeth now and is starting to look like a mini adult rather than a puppy. Brooke has learnt a new trick this week which is walking backwards over or onto something.

If only we had know about this fun foundation training when Brax and Brodie were pups. For a start Brax would be less clumsy! :) Exercises like these help the puppy learn proprioception or 'the ability to know where their limbs are in relation to other objects' She is very good and fast at going forwards but we want her to THINK about what she is doing and be able think through a task slowly and use her legs independently. As you can see from these two videos she enjoys this work!

The pole and wobble cushion are not too high (still below her hocks) as we don't want to strain her joints or muscles and we are encouraging her to use her back end as she is quite a long puppy! When she was on the wobble cushion, Matthew managed to get her 'being a bear' briefly which helps with her core stability as well as her balance. She is such a superstar puppy!! :)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Brooke 19 weeks

Our gorgeous girly is now 19 weeks old and is looking like a mini adult now rather than a fluffy puppy! Its hard to take photos of her as she isn't still very often but I managed to get one! She was standing still so Brodie could lick her legs - the two of them are real play mates now and she adores him :)

Now she has lost her puppy coat on most of her body and her adult coat has come through a lovely rich colour. There isn't much hair there yet so she looks lanky but its growing steadily. Her tail is the most amazing black and cream colour and attracts a lot of attention! Brooke is bigger than Brax now and has lost most of her puppy teeth at the front. I don't want to jinx it but so far her ears have stayed perfectly tipped without any help...

Here is Brooke and Brodie playing - the squeaking in the background is Brax desperately trying to get some attention bless her! (She doesn't 'do' rough games!)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Agility Club Show

We only went to the Agility Club show on saturday as we had entered champ and teams each. Brax was an absolute superstar and went clear in both champ rounds and again in the final to finish 4th. The sun was out so the solar powered sheltie was happy :D Little Brooke really enjoyed going to another agility party and meeting lots of shelties! She is now 19 weeks old and just a bit under 12" so has now overtaken Brax in height (just!). I'll try and post some Brooke pictures later in the week.

Brodie didn't fair quite so well as he didn't quite get his weave entry in the jumping and even looking at the video I can't why he went wrong but I'm assuming I was in slightly the wrong place. There were only 7 people that didn't get E'd in the medium jumping so I'm pleased that we got round the rest of it! In the Agility round there was a jump that they had to take the back of right next to the dog walk and I knew I'd have issues! I had managed to pull him off and round at Hinckley but I just wasn't there this time and we got E'd. Amanda had set lovely courses that we really enjoyed running and Brodie and I had fun! I'm not going to post all the videos as they are on my YouTube page but here is Brax in the champ final.

We also did the team events and having done the champ agility I ran over and did teams straight off. Our ESSC medium team ran well and only one dog has done team events before so the other three coped well. Brodie had a very uncharacteristic run past a jump but I think he'd done the Aframe faster than I expected (normally if I rear cross it he is a bit slower) and I just wasn't there. Suppose I'm going to have to take up sprint training!! They ran well as a team and fingers crossed we can all get to the shows next year. Well done team mates! (Brax ran in the small ESSC team and the video for this is on Lians blog)

I was gutted that I couldn't stay into the evening and watch all my friends in the Starters Challenge Finals and be there to support them as I know how nerve wracking it is! I was over the moon when I received a text saying that Paul and Chester the beagle had WON THE MEDIUM FINAL!!! I'm still so excited!! Paul and Maria really deserve it as they put a lot of work into training Chester and he is enjoying his agility so much. He is also enjoying showing people how amazing Beagles can be at agility :D I have pinched a video to put on here and I defy anyone watching not to smile as Chester howls on the A frame - its his party piece!!