Sunday, 25 March 2012

NADS UKA and Miss Brax is 7!!

Wow what a gorgeous weekend, the weather was perfect and in fact it would be great if it was like this all year round! As Matthew and I agreed it is good agility weather as not tooo hot, not raining and not too much wind :) Quite impressed that it was so good at Newbury. I have a hang up about competing there after Brodie got blown off the dog walk a couple of years ago at a KC show (pre rubber contacts). Thanks to Lian so much for these pics of Brodie, I LOVE them, especially the look of concentration he has in the weaves!

Anyway, it was a lovely show last year and I really wanted to go again, mainly as UKA shows are so perfect for taking baby dogs round the rings and the exercise area is huge and not manic (bordering on dangerous!) like it can be at some shows. Well princess Brooke had a great day out! She absolutely loved being a social butterfly and did some lovely dead toy work and tugging in the exercise area. At lunchtime we took her down to a practice jump and Matthew worked on sending her to a dead toy, wing wraps and rear crosses on wing wraps. She lost attention once when she saw a sheltie but apart from that was focussed so to be honest it was worth going to Newbury for that!! She is such a clever wee girly, love her!! This is Brooke practising a rear cross on a wing wrap.

This is Brooke puppy racing Matthew to a dead toy

We only entered two classes with Brodie and Brax just to get them into the swing of competing again. Brax did Masters agility and jumping and ended up 4th overall which was great! The jump heights at UKA are so much better for our two as they are both so dinky for their height catergory. Brax got 5f on her weaves in the agility but Matt did admit that he should have helped her a bit more! She loved running again and was her normal solar powered little self :) Videos of her runs on our YouTube page or I'll bore you all to death! It was her 7th Birthday so instead I have found a cute puppy picture of her - she was tiny! She is such an amazing little dog, she has taken Matthew from Grade 1 to 7, won a RCC and competed for England. All that though is icing on the cake as she has been the best little companion through some tough times - we love her to bits!

Anyway back to NADS! Brodie had his two runs later in the day and was such a good boy :) Warming him up correctly makes such a big difference to his runs. First was Novice Agility and he ran clear and although he was a little high on his dogwalk (video on youtube) due to lack of homework, he was so much happier in the new spaced weaves so really pleased and he had a blast! He ended up 3rd which I was so pleased with as the dog that won is a grade 7 collie and the course was straight lines! He did his Novice Steeplechase course later on in the day and came 2nd to the same dog which I'm amazed at as he generally needs his running contacts and weaves to make up some time. So thrilled with how he is working and he def finds the jump heights easier afte his back issues during winter. Here is the video of his steeplechase run - I just love running him! :)

Have to say big well done to Amy and Fudge and Marilyn and Tia for winning the Masters and also Kate, Heidi, Caroline and Helen who also did so well with their dogs - great day out all round!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Brooke and Sonic - One Year Old!!!

Happy Birthday to princess Brooke and her handsome brother Sonic!! I can't believe that they are already a year old, it only seems like yesterday that we met Brooke at 3 weeks old and they looked like little hamsters! They have grown into such happy bouncy puppies and we are so grateful to Lian for our girly. Also thanks to Lian and Colin for all her lovely pressi's and their Birthday cakes - she has been well and truly spoilt!

Other news is that I went to my first show of the year at AJAXS UKA. Brodie and I had a day out with my friend Jenni and her sheltie Rommy. I was really unsure about how Brodie would run as I have the all clear from the physio but we haven't done any training really all winter and the last time he saw an Aframe was in Sept at a competition!

Bless the boys, Brodie was a little bit wild to say the least!! I only did two runs with him, one agility and one steeplechase and he came 2nd in both, clever boy. We actually got 5f for his dog walk in agility - think I may have said tunnel before he left the dog walk (oops!) but he was FAST which I was pleased about. In fact he was 9 seconds faster than the winner and 4 seconds ahead of 3rd so at least he was enthusiastic! I just LOVE running my boy - he tries so hard :-)

Jenni and Rommy did really well for their second ever show and the first time Rommy has ever run on grass. They came 3rd in the steeplchase and did lovely contacts in nursery agility. Watch out Grade 1 mediums - here comes Rommy!! We had a great day out and really enjoyed seeing people for the first time in ages. Brodie and Rommy are both social butterflies so they had fun too! It was lovely to see Brooke's daddy Sing compete on his 10th birthday in casual agility and win it - I have told Brooke to watch it and take notes!!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Sunny weather!

We have been tearing ourselves away from the Crufts coverage to get outside in this lovely weather! We had a long walk yesterday and unfortunately newly bathed Brooke puppy decided that she would not only jump in a muddy puddle at high speed but also roll in something nasty :( I think she may have inherited this trait from her mum! Here is a picture of our not very ladylike puppy after her bath and before the puddle incident!!

Well done to all our friends competing at Crufts! There were some amazing runs and it was excellent to see so many shelties doing so well. Bernadette and Zaz, Nancy and Zeki and Amy with Fudge all had fantastic runs - sheltie power!! I could sit and watch great handling all day :-) It did feel weird not going to Crufts this year but at least we could watch it live again.

What is obvious is that takes a lot of hard work, practice and dedication to get to that level. I know that our older two are grade 7 but have hardly had any training all winter (Brodie cos of his back) I think it does them good to have a bit of time out but without equipment and being a 60 mile round trip to our club doesn't help. Hopefully this will be remedied in the next couple of months - watch this space..!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Training and Sheltie Show

What a hectic weekend!! On saturday Brooke and Matthew did a puppy training session with Lucy Osborne which was great fun. Brooke was the only non collie but she did well and def enjoyed herself. They did wing wraps, work to a dead toy, recalls up a line of jumps, sending on up a line of jumps and a front cross.

One thing that did crop up was that Brooke finds jumping hard when she is chasing Matthew! She flipped herself over a jump both at the training day and in a lesson on Monday. To be fair she hasn't done a lot of jumping and we obviously need to do a bit of gridwork with her.

Here are a few videos of Brooky - first one is wing wraps.

This is Brooke going up a line of jumps to a dead toy with Matthew standing quite far out to the side

Same exercise but with Matthew standing behind a jump - didn't think Brooke would manage this but she proved me wrong!! Her speed over the jumps is coming even if the style is a bit hit and miss :-)

Brooke trying a front cross followed by a wing wrap - clever puppy works it out!

After such an exciting time on saturday we had to get prepared for a VERY early start (4.15am!) on sunday to go to the Sheltie Agility Show which we were organising as the ESSC committee. It went really well despite the terrible weather and it was great to see so many shelties doing well. Thanks must go to our lovely judges and helpers who made the show run so smoothly and to the competitors for supporting the show. Special mention must go to Jenni and Rommy who came 2nd in the steeplechase at their first ever show!! Also to Jane and Robbie who had a cracking agility win by a margin of 10 seconds!! Looking forward to the show season starting now :-)

Brodie has got the all clear to train again so I'll work him micro height this week, small height next week and see how he goes. I'm hoping to do a couple of UKA's with him in a couple of weeks so I'll take it easy (not sure he will tho!!) and only do a couple of classes with him. I can't wait!!!