Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rumble in Brighton-USDAA FRAC trial

Edited to Add: 
I switched out the embedded video players for links because they were coming on automatically every time I opened my blog.  Not sure if they were doing that for everybody but it was annoying me so I switched to links.  Hope this helps if it was annoying anybody else.

Usually I come away from a trial with a nice list of things to practice but since we're still in Starters/Advanced in USDAA there wasn't much in the way of course challenges for us.  I think it's become a Catch 22 for me and USDAA-I'm bored with being in Starters so I don't enter much USDAA so I never get out of Starters.  We had some nice runs but a lot of 5 faulters.  A missed bar in Jumpers,  a missed dogwalk in Standard, a missed A-frame in the other Standard and Snooker.  I have a couple of videos, unfortunately my Jumpers run didn't get taped properly, that was a fun run but oh well.

Good news was he got 2/3 dogwalks.  Bad news was he got 3/3 A-frames on Saturday then 0/3 on Sunday for a dismal total of 3/6.  I'll have to set up a camera at practice to see what's going on because he's not missing them in practice as far as I  can tell.

Starters Standard Sunday

Easy Starters course, only challenge was the box with the tunnel/table and it was no problem.

Starters Standard Video

So happy with his teeter, at least one thing we've been working on is paying off.  Weave entry, chute, dogwalk, table all very nice.  Just the stupid A-frame contact.  He got too much air coming over the apex and couldn't get the second stride in.

Grand Prix

This was a fun course with a couple different handling options.  The serp. at 6-7-8 with the wide gap between 2 of the jumps is something you see a lot in DOCNA.  I debated a lot about whether or not to handle it as a serp. or put in a front cross between 6 and 7 and eventually settled on the serp. because I knew I'd have to babysit the teeter and didn't think I'd get far enough ahead.  This worked great, got a nice tight line through the serp. and the rear cross on the flat between 7 and 8 set him up nicely for the weave entry which he missed.  I think it's because I yelled 'weaves' just as he was heading into the entry and I distracted him and pulled him off.  I thought he missed his dogwalk contact (he didn't) and this distracted me for a moment and I didn't cue the chute in time so he ran past it.  This threw my timing off for the next sequence and I cued #12 poorly with some weird RFP move which ultimately sent Strum up the A-frame.  Unfortunately the judge was calling fault limits so I had to leave the ring.  I was so irritated, I hate fault limits.  If there's not enough time for me to finish my run then don't hold the class and charge me $22.  There were a lot of irritated people.  One guy said, 'Where's that survey again?'  I forgot to mention fault limits on my survey as well.  It's the main reason I stopped going to Nationals.  I also realize it's another reason I stopped entering the tournaments.  It's been so long since I've done them, I forgot about fault limits.  I only entered Grand Prix so I could have at least 3 runs for the day.  Which I realize is another reason I've stopped doing USDAA.  If I can't get in at least 3-4 runs it's not worth the drive and the only way to do that is to enter the tournaments but I don't want to spend $22 and risk not getting to finish my run.  So I skip the trial altogether and go for a hike instead.

Anyway, here's video of my partial run.

Grand Prix Video

Advanced Jumpers was the most fun course for me all weekend.

I had the #4 bar down.  I think I was cueing 5 while he was in the air or something.  Lots of different handling options.  My first thought was to keep Strum on my left all the way through to the #11 tunnel.  Then I saw everyone else except one person walk it with a front cross between 8 and 9.  Turned out the Masters Jumpers class was almost identical, I think the only difference was the #6 jump was a broad jump for them.  So I watched a bunch of runs and again most people put in the front.  But I did see someone do it my way and it looked nice so I settled on it.  I rear crossed the #11 tunnel then kept him on my right and rear crossed the #14 jump.  Again a lot of people put in a front before 12 or 13 but for me I felt like since it was a very hot day, mid-80's and blaring sun, I saw no reason to be rushing about with a bunch of front crosses when a rear would do.  And they were such straight lines, I didn't want to get in his way.  I did have a wide turn at 15 but this was due to my timing.  I've been working on this type of rear cross, was just working it at practice last Monday, and I still need some work with it but I still think it was a good strategy.  Then a front between 16 and 17 and a race to the finish.  I was able to get well ahead of him but remembered to keep my eye on him so we had a nice fast finish.  6.5 yps for the run with the wide turn, not too bad.

Overall I think I was inordinately cranky because of the heat both days.  We've been having temps. in the mid 50's-mid 60's and all of a sudden they shot up to the mid-80's for the weekend.  Strum was a trooper about it, didn't seem bothered at all and there was a Hose so all was good in his world.  But I was not at all acclimated to that kind of heat and my brain felt muddled and cranky and the days felt longer than they were.  The footing was bad as well because the grass was dried up on some places and I'm so thankful both Strum and I got out unscathed.  Several people left the ring with limping, crying dogs on Sunday.


No Q's or titles

2/3 dogwalks (67%)

3/6 A-frames (50%)

3/3 Teeters (100%)  Big improvement in teeter performance

2/4 Weave entries (50%) One weave pop-out weaving into a wall

2/2 Tables (100%)  Awesome tables!

Only one bar down, in Jumpers of course.

Chute was looking good.

I felt like Strummer was running with a lot of control, such a good boy this trial.  Felt a lot of good connection with him.  I remembered to keep my eye on him.  I lost my focus and let myself get rattled once when I thought he blew his dogwalk and I wasn't happy with my Snooker handling of some jumps with weird angles and changed my plan for no particular reason but other than that I kept my own focus and composure.

Not sure if I'll go to the USDAA trial in Black Forest.  It's a long drive (1 hour, 45 minutes) and it could be very hot again, not sure if I want to go through that for Starters courses and I'm not blowing any more money on tournaments.  But if I don't there isn't another trial until mid-August and I'll get so rusty if I don't trial for 3 months.  Guess I've got a few weeks before it closes to think about it.


  1. I had missed the briefing for Grand Prix and when I ran it with Rip, I pulled him off a jump and just kept going - got the whistle as expected. Then heard another whistle. At least I was able to do another 5 or 6 obstacles before I found out that I was supposed to leave. I was pretty pissed that at a local trial, I would have to leave a $22 run partway through.
    The runs of yours I saw were good, though with one thing here and there. The two dogwalks I saw were really nice - I didnt see the miss.
    Why not come down for 1 day of the Black Forest trial as a compromise - since they are higher elevation and in the trees, its usually 5 - 10 degrees cooler anyway.

  2. I missed the briefing too. I didn't even know there was a briefing.

    If I go to Black Forest it's for sure for only one day. There are only 2 runs on Saturday that look appealing so it would be Sunday where we could have 3 runs, 4 if we stayed for the International Jumpers class which is only $13 and actually sounds fun. If they don't whistle us out of that one too. Hmmm, maybe that would be worth it just to try that class.

  3. Congratulations on your tables! ;-) having had issues with the table with Boost, now I really appreciate a weekend with two good tables.

  4. Here's a video that shows the first part of the piriformis stretch. Go to 3:16 in the video to get a visual. Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bend the right leg and bring it towards your chest. Then grab your ankle and rotate it towards you. The next part isn't on the video. Rotate your right leg and hip to the left to the left and you should feel the stretch in your butt. Also make sure you're icing several times a day as well as stretching. I do some other stretches too but so far I like this one best. I'm on a regime to keep it active but not to the point of inflaming it too much.

  5. Anonymous9:16 AM

    thanks for the video! my massage therapist showed me that one on monday. it is definitely a good one. i don't do ice, except in the the case of an immediate trauma. heat works better for me, softening things up and keeping circulation going. for me, it's more a case of tightness than of inflammation.
    today is cold and rainy here, so i am in a bit more pain than yesterday, but hooray!!!! for the rain.
    i've run two ihc jumpers classes this year, and they were both a blast

  6. The one nice thing about USDAA is if you get 3 starters standard Q, and then you only need one Q in all the other classes to move up to the next level. Unless you dog doenst get on the table, like mine, and you have to get 3 q's in all the classes to move up. LOL

  7. Oh man, fault limits sounds like the stupidest invention ever. What a slap in the face that must be, and after paying the full entry fee. I would be some pissed.

    Glad Strum gave you some really good stuff though.

  8. True but the games legs are easy, it's those darn Standard Q's, we don't have a single one. We have so many 5 fault standard runs, it's not even funny.