Monday, December 05, 2011

Fun with DOCNA

Finally some interesting DOCNA courses this past weekend, at least in Standard.  We even had the back side of jump in one Standard course!  Very fun.  I screwed it up by not rotating far enough out of the front cross and sending Strum to the tunnel rather than the #13 dogwalk but still was fun to have the challenge.

 Overall a fun trial and some good stuff from the Strum man.  Nice dogwalks, he only got called on one and while none of them were that horrible outright leap there were some that I wish were nicer but overall good.  All his A-frames were pretty fabulous, didn't get called on any teeters but some weren't so fabulous.  DOCNA is very generous with acceptable teeter performance.  Still struggling with weave poles but he got quite a few this weekend.  Only 2 bars down all weekend and of course they had to be on an otherwise perfect run.  At least they were on the same run. 

Saturday didn't look so great on paper with only 1/5 Q's but really I couldn't complain about any of the runs except Jumpers at the end of a very long day.  It was after 6:00 and the 5th run of the day and both of us were tired.  I pulled him off of one jump then he ran past a jump on a long straight line at the end, something he did more as a baby but if I let up at the end he'll do that sometimes still.  They're talking about eliminating a standard run from February's DOCNA trial so the day won't be so long and if it turns out they can't then I won't enter Jumpers because it's too long of a day and silly for me to run when I'm so tired and out of focus.

We made up for it Sunday though with 4/5 Q's and some really nice runs, 1st places in Standard, Jumpers, and Trigility.

Strummer's 1st place Jumpers run from Sunday

Was happy to pull off that rear cross between #11 and #12.  Maybe practicing those rears is finally paying off.  Otherwise nothing too exciting here, DOCNA's typical pinwheel to serpentine to pinwheel Jumpers course.  At least the Standard courses had some interesting challenges.

Of course the only Standard run I don't have on tape is his perfect 1st place finish but oh well, here's the map anyway.

I put a blind cross between jumps 13 and 14 and it worked great since I was easily able to complete the cross and pick him up on my left before he took off for #13.  It's the only blind cross on a jump that I attempted for the whole trial because it was the only place that seemed a good choice.

The Standard runs I do have video for each have some minor errors, 2 dropped bars on the first video (Standard Rd. 4 map) and Strum misunderstood my flailing arms on the second video (Standard Rd. 1 map) and thought he was supposed to come up on my left after jump 14.  It's tempting to blame that on the blind cross from the other run but this run was before the run with the blind and aside from a few exercises at the seminar I haven't done them at all on a jump.  Was simply a miscommunication.  I don't flail my arms nearly as much as I used to but old habits die hard.  Even Jonny noticed it on the tape and thought it was confusing to the poor dog.

Standard Runs

Overall I'm pleased but definitely room for improvement.  So much snow and cold right now though, don't think the practice field will be clear anytime soon.  We were supposed to get 1-2" of snow on Friday night and I woke up to 4-5" in my yard and it was still snowing.  Almost rolled over in bed thinking I didn't want to drive but it's only 18-20 mins. to Boulder County Fairgrounds on a good day so I decided to chance it.  Roads were fine, just snow packed so I drove nice and slow and thankfully the few other drivers out on the road didn't do anything stupid so it was no problem, about 33-34 mins. and I was there.  I walked Strummer around the grounds before the trial started and the snow was all sparkly and magical.  I don't mind it if I don't have to drive in it.  It stayed in the 20's all day but the sun came out and the ground was so warm, was shorts weather a couple days ago, so the roads were clear for the drive home.  Thankfully my Jan. and Feb. trials are also at Boulder County Fairgrounds so it's not a long drive if it does snow.

I had a dinner party on Saturday night after that long long day, was so tired and was late to the party but I couldn't miss the 2nd Annual Soup Off.  Last year the competition was casual with no voting or prizes but this year we had official ballots and prizes.  There was some controversy over the scoring and some possible shenanigans from the Russian judge but after the smoke cleared Jonny took 1st place in the vegetarian category for his Sweet Potato Chipotle soup.  Was too spicy for me but I gave him high marks anyway.  Was a very fun night with our mountain biking friends but I didn't have time to shower and felt obliged to explain my grubbiness and (hopefully) faint aroma of horse arena.  Everybody else scrubbed up nicely and dressed all fashion forward but they forgave me, at least to my face anyway.  I only made it until 9:30 though then pure exhaustion set in and I had to make my apologies and go home.  I think the only reason I was able to get up at all on Sunday morning was that I jolted awake from a bad nightmare about the dogs and couldn't have gone back to sleep if I tried.

Somebody at the trial asked me if Strummer was neutered which I thought was a strange question at first.  When I told oh hells to the yes he is neutered she was disappointed and I realized she wanted to breed one of her dogs to him.  I told her it's just as well, he's crazy and she said she likes crazy.  But still.  I love Strummer to pieces, wouldn't part with him for the world and I love his personality but I'm telling you, the world is not big enough for any more Strummers.  Plenty of fast Border Collies that would make great agility dogs sitting in rescue anyway, no need to pump out any more onto the planet.

There was a winter Farmer's Market/holiday gift market going on in another building next door to the arena and on Sunday someone reminded me about the awesome tamales from last year.  Mmmm, vegetarian spinach tamales, sooo good on a freezing winter's day.  I brought some into the stands to watch the Starters class and soon everyone left to go get their own they smelled so good.  Have to remember that for both days next year.

Next trial is USDAA in January.  It'll be my first time ever entering the Tournament events in the Championship division - very exciting.  Otherwise we're back in Starters.  Not very exciting.  Now if only the snow would melt so I can get back to the dogwalk and weave poles.

Final Stats

Specialist Traditional Gamblers Saturday Q-2nd place

Specialist Standard Sunday Q-1st place

Specialist Strategic Time Gamble Q - 3rd place

Specialist Trigility Q - 1st place

Specialist Jumpers Q - 1st place

No titles that I'm aware of.


100%, not sure how many we did, somewhere between 8-10

7/7 - 100%, though some were close

Weave pole entries
Can't remember exactly.

Bars down
2 bars down, both in the same run one right after the other.


  1. Sounds like a generally pretty good weekend. I don't know how you had the energy for the soup-fest at all; I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone, say, walk or talk, after a day of agility.

    Feels nice when someone wants one of your dog's puppies, dunnit? That's cool, but I agree with you about getting a nice rescue.

  2. Nice runs. Glad to see a little bit of variety in some DOCNA courses. I only saw 1 flip to the tunnel in a Standard! Interesting that the course maps say 'Courses supplied from DOCNA' - guess Kathy didn't create those. Strumm's contacts looked pretty nice and your timing seems to be getting a lot better with very little scramble/flailing! USDAA Starters might be fun. Maybe. See ya in January!

  3. Kathy's father had passed away so Jim did the courses for her.

  4. BeeYOOtiful Jumpers run! He sure enjoys every second in the ring. Too bad he's so fast that he doesn't have a whole lot of seconds in there ;-)