Monday, 31 December 2018

M&M's Show, Nic training and Christmas!

The shelties had fun at M&M's show each getting a competitive run and the two gingers also got an NFC run. Brooke came 2nd in her jumping run but managed to fall over in a tunnel and put her rib out! Poor girly has had three weeks off but is now ready to go for 2019! Mr Toad won his jumping and Bru won the C1-7 steeplechase with the fastest time over all heights...look at the little ginger go!! 

Look at what one of my lovely clients gave me! It was very yummy 😋

As Spark was in season and injured and Brooke was injured, Brodie got to step in on a Nicola Garrett training day! He hasn't done contacts for ages and I didn't know what he would do but he loved it! NOt bad considering he is almost 12!

Bru went to his Christmas party and played games, he wasn't very impressed at wearing his jumper! 

Little Brax has been poorly over Christmas and had a pancreatic flare up which has mean little sleep for us but she is on the mend now luckily. She is back doing little walks again and keeping her food down.

The gang all dressed up in their Christmas outfits! ❤

And little ginger snuggles!

For the first time ever I made my own Christmas cake! It is huge and tastes quite alcoholic!! Thanks to my Mum for being my Christmas cake guru!

I got this lovely painting of Toad from a friend to go with Brax who I had done earlier in the year for Matthew. Hannah is so talented and captures them so well! 

Sparkle and her fav brown thing!

The older shelties looking a bit put out in their Christmas jumpers!!

Christmas day chaos!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Bru's first competitive run!

The three younger shelties competed at Pachesham independent show last weekend and wow they did so well! Brooke and Toad did their two runs competitively and we NFC'd two of Bru's runs but decided that the 1-3 steeplechase was so flowing that he could have a go for competition. He was such a clever boy and won it! So this is his very first sofa picture! 💛

Brodie came 2nd in the jumping and Brooke won her jumping! She also came 6th in the agility with a naughty 5f on the dog walk. My winter project is to get good dog walk training done with her and Bru! My Christmas pressi from Matt is a dog walk plank for the garden and I have got him a set of weaves 😂 At least we can do some more training at home that way. Bru's weaves are coming on nicely but he still goes too fast so we are going to do some 2x2's to make hi think more and run less! 

Now its December \I can post a pic of my Christmas cake! It is my first try at this (thanks Mum for the tips...if its half as good as yours I'll be happy!!)

The fleeces are out for some morning walks as well, it has been mild the last week but we woke up to frost today

And our advent calendar was delivered by Matt's Mum, the shelties always like to have a good sniff!

Little Bru is growing into such a handsome man! He won't stand still so this is as close to stacked as we get!

Some random cute pics off my phone!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Sheltie Show

Matt and I love running the sheltie show, its always great fun and we love seeing all the dogs and handlers having a good catch up! This year was no exception, we had bigger entries than the last couple of years and our great judge Phil set some super courses. We are generally so busy running around making sure everything is going smoothly that we don't compete our dogs in much other than pairs. We decided not to enter Bru as despite being 18 months if we hold off until next year he can start in Grade 2 which will be nice 😊 This year we loaned out Bean and Toad to other people except for pairs which I did with them. Brodie ran so well for the judges partner even though he had never met her properly!! He is such a dude! (They went clear but had to run NFC due to the KC rules)

Bean ran for her Auntie Jenni and came 4th in steeplechase!! Super amazing, especially considering she has never run for anyone else in the ring! Jenni also won steeplechase with Bean and Toads boy Squidge and came 2nd in jumping with their best merlie mate Rommy! Such clever shelties ❤

Unfortunately in lesson this week Spark pulled up lame. Luckily our wonderful physio fitted her in straight away and she has torn a tricep muscle. She has to have three weeks off work and lead walks...she is not impressed at all bless her! 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Brave pants and bobble hats!!!

This weekend we were at the UKA Grand Finals where Brooke Bean had qualified in the Split Pairs with her son Squidge and Sparkle had qualified in the CSJ Grand Prix. To say I was nervous was an understatement after Sparks recent issues with cameras and I knew that the photographer would be in the ring quite close to the equipment. Luckily the pairs competition was on the Saturday so she got used to the venue and noises. Bean and Squidge did so well in the pairs, unfortunately Squidge was E'd due to a horrible turn off the dw with a trappy jump at the end. It was so difficult for a dog with good running contacts! Brooke did her jumping run clear but had a wobble at the start with the excitement of seeing her boy run!

Sparks first run was on the Sunday afternoon and luckily I was first midi so I asked the photographer to hide his camera which he did. I apologise now to anyone who was queuing near me as I was so in the zone warming her up that I didn't take in anything around me! It was nice to have a practice jump and totally focus on being in the moment. Her run went really well, if she is worried she tends to back off and listen which actually helped me in a couple of places. Her dog walk was high but the rest was super! Please excuse my bobble hat but I was so cold!!

In the final I almost had a heart attack when I saw that the photographer was sitting in the ring in a really obviously place. Luckily he still hid his camera and him sitting there didn't put her off. She wasn't quite as on it as in her first run and was more worried warming up but she put her brave pants on and did it ❤ We ran last and immediately had to get on the podium as we had WON! Wow this girly continues to surprise me! Thanks to everyone who messaged and supported us 😘

It has suddenly got very chilly since the weekend, this is the gingers Monday morning don't make us move faces!

We have had some frosty mornings now so the winter coats have come out! 

Happiness is Brooke Bean and her cage ball!

Mr Toad made it into the Nutshell magazine in an article about Hoopers, he is so handsome!!

Monday, 15 October 2018

The highs and lows of Agility at the British Agility Championships

We entered the British Agility Championships to try some challenging courses but also as it is only twenty mins from us. We were not disappointed with the challenging courses! They were so much fun to run and tested so many skills. The first run was on the Friday afternoon and was a fast blasty speedstakes for all levels. Sparkle ran really well for Matt and was 7th despite stacking it in a tunnel and having a photographer in the ring! Brooke and me had a very messy clear but it was a good confidence booster for both of us.

The first agility round was a cool course! Really testing, especially the weave entry but fun and fast!

Spark and Matt had a fantastic run on this course and won it!!! Brooke and I didn't do so well as we got eliminated on jump 3 but I know that winter training is going to be more pull thru skills!

The first jumping course was really tricky with a hard weave exit with the long jump very close! Matt and Spark had 5r in the weaves as she overshot the entry but the rest was lovely. Brooke and me had a few refusals but we actually didn't get eliminated until the pull thru on 16! 

The agility on the sunday was my favourite course! Almost 200m long and a lot of running proved to be my downfall with a sore back but Matt and Spark did really well again and came 4th! Although we think she maybe should have been 3rd as one of the dogs ahead of her got 5f marked on the seesaw but was logged onto the computer as clear. Spark saw the photographer in this run and was a bit slower on the second half of this course but was brave enough to get the weave entry with her sitting there.

After this it all went a bit downhill! The second jumping was tricky and unfortunately Spark saw the photographers in the ring sitting by number 8 and bolted out. Matt got her back in and she managed to do a little bit at the end but was pretty stressed out. Brooke and I got eliminated on the pull thru at 5!! There is a theme here!! 

So two good placings meant that Spark was through to the Sunday evening final and the course was epic!! Over 200m and really tricky but looked amazing to run. We had a word with the photographers before the final and asked for them not to take photos but sadly the woman sitting by number two clicked her camera anyway in her lap and Spark froze and bolted 😢 I am wondering if it was a case of trigger stacking as she had coped so well for two days and the third day seemed too much. Plus she was tired anyway and the atmosphere was electric. To say we are gutted is an understatement. I have the UKA Finals coming up so I'm debating whether to even bother going. To see her paralysed by fear is dreadful. I will continue to try and gently work her through it and appreciate all the kind words of support from people

Friday, 12 October 2018

Autumn has arrived

I took Bru and Spark to a local show where we could reward in the ring and they had so much fun! For miss Spark it was about reward contacts and tricky weave entries and for Bru it was just about getting used to sequencing more jumps. I realised we need to work on rear crossing tunnels!!

I love these photos taken by the very talented Hannah Gates!

We ended up not going to a show last weekend as the weather was disgusting but it got better during the week and I was back wearing my shorts to work again so can't complain! We had a very important little visitor staying with us while his Mum was grooming for someone on the GB agility team. Our doglets were thrilled that Squidge came to stay! He was ever so good and fitted in straight away, here are a few pics of his holiday.

With his Mum and Dad!

Our two boys did a demo for a local hospice last week and they loved all the attention! Bru was excellent and enjoyed showing off all of his tricks, Brodie is such a pro at it and I realised that he has been doing demos for 9 years now!!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Dog Swap?

I forgot I had this picture of my Mum with Brax and Toad, all of our doglets adore her coming to visit! Little Brax is feeling better now and putting some weight on :-)

And a family photo with our giant sunflower! The fence behind is 6ft!

At the weekend we went to Lechlade UKA show and Matt tried the Performance Challenge qualifier with Brooke again. She was absolutely off her rocker and landing at a heap at the bottom of the aframe which put him off! I can understand why he finds her hard to run as he worries about her hurting herself and she is ten times more excitable for him and screams her way round a course. So we have decided to dog swap for a few events/classes coming up. Spark runs well for him and Brooke is slightly less excitable for me so we will see what happens. One thing I have wanted to work on is Brookes distance skills as she isn't as reliable as Spark so I feel a winter training plan coming on!! This is Spark playing in the field this week

Miss Sparkle bear was very consistent this weekend and won all three of her classes at Lechlade UKA so she is not far off champ level now! The aim is for her to do Masters next year :-)

Bru got to play in the ring again and was super confident and happy! His weaves are coming on, I managed to get him weaving to a dead toy this week which is progress. He has started aframes as well and I really need to get going with his dw! 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Dog by dog agility update!

 She doesn't do agility but I can't leave her out! Brax is doing ok after being quite poorly while we were on holiday. She has had bloods taken to monitor her kidney falure and her levels weren't bad at all. Her liver values were up a bit but the vet thinks that could be to do with her pancreatitis flare up. She is back doing walks again now she has a bit of energy and is now up to (cringe!) 2.8kg!

Toad is loving his agility! He no longer does agility runs, just jumping and steeplechase but he still seems to be able to cope with 400 height which is brilliant. He won his steeplechase on Sunday at Lydiard by four seconds...not bad for a dog who is 11.5 years old! I also realised that he is only 3 points from going into Champ steeplechase so that is the goal by the end of the year!

Here is my little dude in action...


Brooke bean has been doing so well recently getting into the champ finals at Dundee and Northern Week. She is far more consistent than she used to be and is slowly learning lots of the skills training that she missed out on when she was younger and then off agility for two years. She has the same weave entry homework as Bru! Her pull thrus are coming on lovely and she is good generally about not taking the point that sometimes she won't take an obvious one for Matt!

She did an awesome couple of runs at Fab KC, she won the agility and came 2nd in the jumping. So pleased with her weave entry!!

Spark is finally getting a little bit of consistency and I'm getting confidence in my handling and timing with her in the ring. She did four runs at the weekend and went clear in three of them!! Maybe my fiery angel is growing up?!

I loved this run from Fab KC as I tested my pull thru after aframe and running dog walk to wrong end of tunnel and she nailed them both!!

The next day at Lydiard (after saying to one of my RC friends I haven't needed to use her stopped dog walk on a course for ages, I used it!) Spark managed to qualify for the CSJ Grand Prix by winning the heat! Yay agility goals this season ticked off :-)

He is now 16 months and old enough to play in the ring at UKA! He doesn't seem to care about working somewhere different at all and is taking it all in his stride. Lydiard was a great show as there was a practice ring and we could take his manners minder in and reward some dog walk down planks!

Such a handsome, sweet little boy! He has had his first UKA measure as well and is definitely toy height!