Saturday, 19 May 2012

Breed show and Brooke weaves

Brodie and I went to a breed show today and my wee toad was such a clever boy coming 4th in his class! My aim is to do a few more shows this year and then show him at Crufts next year. He has his stud book number (from his agility RCC) so already has lifetime Crufts qualification. He really enjoyed his day out and its nice to dabble in something different occasionally, especially as I have the worst cold this week so running around doing agility would be out of the question! Thanks to my friend Eve who drove today and kept me right as its years since I have shown. Her gorgeous springer Flint got 3rd in his class so our boys did us proud!

Now we have our own set of weaves, we can get to work training Brooke more seriously - little princess is 14 months today!! She did three V-weaves last monday, six on tuesday, thursday and friday. Each session is very short, only about 5 - 10 mins and we are teaching her with her manners minder (best invention ever!!) Matthew took a video of her weaves today and on her 6th session she is really getting it. She is a clever little bean :-) We are sending her from slight angles and doing recalls, sends and being alongside her. Our hallway is quite narrow so no chance of teaching her to be too dependent on our movement!

I also have to say a massive well done to Brooke's breeder Lian with Brodie's brother Sizzle who has come 4th in the World Agility Open Games competition!! The England team has done really well so massive congratulations to all of them. We really enjoyed the experience last year as the team is so supportive and its amazing walking the courses and watching the best dogs in the world compete.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Dreams can come true!!

Well after years of hankering after our own equipment, we finally have some!! It depended on being able to rent a field and we found somewhere only 5 mins drive from the house, best of all there is a toilet and coffee shop on site!! To be honest, so much agility now relies on being able to practice often enough so our dogs will benefit enormously from short regular sessions. Also Brooke is now old enough to be doing weaves and contact training and she loves her new equipment!!

Over the weekend we went to Sheltie Camp where Matthew and I were doing the agility training side for the two days. We had hired a transit van to take our shiny new equipment from the factory straight to Surrey. The van doubled up as a hotel for the weekend - not a warm experience!! Brooke got to travel on the front seat of the van and enjoyed looking out!

This is the new kit - very adjustable jumps which are light and easy to move and all rubber contacts :)

At sheltie camp there was the chance to do Rally, tracking, obedience, heelwork to music and agility! This is Brodie doing scent work for fun in the ball pool. He also did some tracking training to find sets of keys and was really good at it - well it did involve food!

Lian took some amazing photos of our doggles - this is Brax with one of the obedience sendaway markers!

My handsome boy!

Princess Brooke puppy and her Bridget Jones knickers!!

All together!

The shelties had such a great time and we really enjoyed training. There was everything from young dogs just starting to grade 7's and so many lovely, talented shelties! I look forward to seeing them again.

This is a video of Miss Brooke doing a short sequence at camp - first session on equipment for about 6  weeks cos of her split pad so she was a bit mad!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bank holiday and tough decisions...

On saturday we went to St Albans market for a wander round with the shelties. It never fails to amaze me how many people will stop to say hello to them. They love the attention and we also used our town visit as a good opportunity to do some focus work with Brooke and Brodie around the pigeons which are everywhere!! 

We took the non dog car which mean Brodie has to be on the back seat in his car harness - he really enjoys looking out the window and although this photo is blurry he has his 'smiley ears'  and slightly smug face that he is not in a crate!! Bless my little toad!! 

Brooke puppy is still on lead walks with her foot covered due to her cut paw pad :(  She is coping with it really well and being so good about wearing her boot to walk in. Its a boot my clever sister made (she is a saddler) for her dog and she has kindly let me borrow it as it is MUCH easier than a sock and poo bag combo!!

On sunday I did dressage again. Max and I had entered a higher level this time so I was competing against my instructor and other talented people - eek!! I was very proud of Max pony though as he got 60%, mostly 6's (each movement is scored out of 10) and was only 7% off the winner. No placing but thrilled with  they way he went and the fact I remembered my test!! :)

On monday we went to the EABCC show at Littleport. We actually didn't have a first class in the ring and thought we'd have a leisurely start but found out sunday night that they desperately needed someone for the tannoy and ring managers. Matt and I have ring managed several times so thought that was a better option than tannoy! We had a great enthusiastic band of helpers who were all lovely and cheerful despite the foul weather we had after lunch. It makes such a difference having people even giving up half an hour of their day to keep the rings running smoothly. Not wishing to get on my soap box but there are so many agility competitors that don't ever pitch in and help and are rude to the ring party on top of that :(  A simple thank you for the poor leads person (who has trudged back and forward with hundreds of leads in the rain) goes a long way and after all, good manners cost nothing. 

Being ring managers and having bad rain meant that Matthew only did one run with Brax and I managed two with Brodie. I told him to go the wrong way in the steeplechase (bad mummy!) and got E'd and he was clear in the C5-7 jumping (4th but placed to 3rd) I didn't do the agility as it was last in the day and it was so muddy by then. Brax would have been 4th in the steeplechase but they placed to 3rd and tried her hardest but actually measured a couple of jumps :(  

We pretty much decided on the way home not to jump her KC small height again. She is so tiny and obviously is much happier at the UKA height so we will stick to that for the rest of the year. Brodie ran lovely over the KC height but again finds UKA midi more comfortable. Its a shame as we won't be seeing much of some of our friends who only do KC shows this year. Assuming Brooke's training goes well we hope to be back at the big KC shows next year. Brax will love doing anysize next year and Brodie might do the odd champ again. The future is filled with a lot of promise! We saw Brooke's older full sister Tig yesterday with her owner Sally and Tig did some lovely runs and got some great placings. They are so alike in a lot of ways and Tig is a real workaholic too! Shame I didn't get photos but the weather was so gloomy.