Thursday, October 04, 2007

USDAA This Weekend

I'm off to a 3 day USDAA trial in Fountain (1 hour, 50 minutes away) this weekend. I love agility but I hate travelling/hotels and I'm already dreading my 4 am wake up call. Normally I don't sign up for the Team event for this trial but I thought it would be good practice for Nationals. I've been wanting a teammate called Lucy now for ages so I could pair her up with Lola and have a team called 'Lolapaloosy' so I was thrilled when the only dog named Lucy that I know of that does USDAA answered my post requesting a teammate. Thrilled that is until I realized Lola had a teammate already and it was Cody needing the pairing. Oh well, our team name might not be as good-LC BC-but Lucy is an awesome dog and to be honest I was both flattered and surprised that she wanted to pair with us. Lucy has got a zillion NATCH's and USDAA champ. titles and I think she took 2nd at NADAC Champs this year in the vet division. She's amazingly fast for a dog in her double digits (she's 11 or so) and very solid. Thankfully she's only entering for fun. Lola's teamed with a black Standard Poodle called Moola so we are team 'Moo Lo La!' Lola & Moola are pretty much the same speed and consistency so it's a good matching I think.

The main thing I want to work on at this trial is keeping focused with my handling. I'm tired of having beautiful runs with just one stupid handling glitch. I want to do well for my teammates and also gain some confidence at my last trial before Nationals. I'm going to be concentrating on my timing and making sure I keep moving and no stopping and moving backwards for those wraps. I'm going to call the dogs' names when I need them to come into me rather than 'here here HERE'. We'll see how the weave pole training pays off. I don't think we're far enough along in the program to see huge improvement but both dogs did get a really tough entry at practice on the 'World' Team Medium Dog Agility finals course. That weave entry from the chute was tough, esp. since I don't have Medium dogs. Lola's contacts have been improving and Cody's have been perfect, we'll see how that holds up in competition. I need to remember to let Cody get into position and release him while I'm at a stop, otherwise he'll start blowing every contact. Releasing him early and while I'm still moving is probably the main reason I have no contacts in the ring.

It's supposed to be 82 degrees (blech) on Friday, 77 (not much better) on Saturday and 51 with 40 percent chance of showers on Sunday so I've packed up my whole closet. I could probably have a garage sale out of my car on Sunday but I hate being cold & wet or too hot so I've got all sorts of layers and Gore Tex and even waterproof socks. Now if only there was some way to lighten the blow of that 4 am wake up call and ensuing grumpiness tomorrow.


  1. Oh, I'd LOVE a weekend that was 82 and 77 degrees--we're supposed to get 85 and 90 degrees this weekend.

    On beautiful runs with one stupid glitch: Per my "mental management" book, focus on the beautiful run part, not the glitch! ;-) "Rehearsing" failures make them more likely, he says ... I hate spouting self-help gobbledygook, but I kinda think he's right.

    You're going to do GREAT! And I hope you have fun, too.

    And dogs named "Lucy" rock!

  2. Good luck. Me, too, getting up at 4 tomorrow to drive almost 2 hours to a USDAA trial. On Friday, takes an hour to pack every time, at least, no matter how much I try to streamline things, and that's tiring, too.

    Love "Moo Lo La"!

    Contacts--IMHO having good contacts in the ring is less about you doing the exact same thing every time and more about you doing DIFFERENT things every time. So, when I'm practicing contacts, I try to mix up: Stop behind the dog, stop ahead of the dog, stop off to the side of the dog, stop after a front cross; DON'T stop and run ahead, don't stop and veer away; etc. And along with that--release while I'm standing still, then move after dog moves; release while I'm still moving but at different positions in my trajectory; stop, start moving, then release at different time intervals after the release... So, in competition (says the theory), dog won't know when you're going to give the release, either by your position or your movement or lack thereof and you'll have better contacts. Seems to work with Boost, anyway. :-)

    Good luck, have fun.


  3. Anonymous3:59 PM

    I'm doing a USDAA trial this weekend, driving home to visit my parents in Pennsylvania. We'll have cooler temperatures there. I'm ready for them.

    Good luck this weekend!!

    Kathy S.