Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Arctic Cold, Hot Tamales and a Little DOCNA

I suppose the week and a half of single digit high temps. with -12 wind chill is news to no one so I wont' dwell too much on that.  In general the cold doesn't bother me that much but a week and a half?  And you know it's cold when your wattle bottle explodes in your hand as it did on Saturday morning while I had breakfast in the car before the DOCNA trial.

My first thought was, 'Wow, that was so cool.'  My second thought was, 'Darn it, my underwear is wet and I have to spend the day in a cold horse arena.'  As was my pants and my running tights underneath my pants.  Strangely enough this is not the first time I've had wet pants at an agility trial (went hiking in the rain at Devil's Tower during some down time at NADAC Champs) so I knew what to do.  Hit up the hand dryers in the bathroom and thankfully the hand dryers at Boulder County Fairgrounds are super sonic rocket powered, the kind that dry your hands in 3 seconds.  Also thankfully this was a small trial so I didn't have to explain to too many people why I was holding my undies under the hand dryer.  Crisis was averted and I spent the day being grateful for dry drawers.

Despite the single digit temps. outside the arena was heated and not too bad inside.  Not toasty warm but I was fine in my many warm layers, was even o.k. scribing with no gloves.  Strummer was very glad to have a place to stretch his legs out since the most we'd been able to manage in the past week of -12 wind chill were some short 40 minutes leash runs in his much hated coat and booties.  I was happy to get out of the house as well, I think we were all going a little stir crazy.

I only signed up for 3 runs per day - Gamblers, Standard and the NAC (Grand Prix type class) - so my days were short, done by noon both days which was perfect.  Enough to be fun but not so much that I was dragged out tired at the end of the weekend.

Lots of nice stuff from Strummer but every run but one seemed to have some small glitch - a knocked bar on one standard run, a missed dogwalk on another.  Some run-bys and refusals and another of the dreaded 'run across my feet after the A-frame' moments that were all caused by me being behind.  Not sure why I was behind, maybe Strum was going faster than normal due to the cold.  I got video of 2 runs, our one clean Standard run and the NAC which had an off course tunnel again due to me being behind and a knocked bar.

DOCNA Standard and NAC Runs Dec 7 2013 from colliebrains on Vimeo.

That 180 degree turn to the tunnel off the dogwalk was especially happy making for me.  That particular turn is often a challenge for us.

This should be the last of the crappy Flip video, my new GoPro camera came yesterday.  I shot some quick test footage of the dogs in the yard and it was awesome quality, can't wait to play around with it.  It was funny, I handed my Flip to someone to tape me at the trial and she said, 'A Flip camera?!'  I know, I'm so Old School but I'm finally moving on.

Chipping away at his Champ title,  just 2 Standard Q's left.  Mathematically it was possible to have gotten it this past weekend and I tried to use that as motivation to get myself a little wound up because I do better with a bit of pressure but I can't say I felt any different.  Can't get too excited about titles especially when I know we'll get it eventually.  I like running in DOCNA because Strummer loves to stretch out and run and there is some challenge in trying to keep up because I haven't trained any distance cues but the courses aren't very technically challenging.  Saturday's Standard and NAC courses were at least a little bit interesting but Sunday's Standards were back to the old pinwheels and tunnel flips.  Didn't enter any Jumpers runs and will continue not to enter them until I see some interesting courses start to pop up.

Best part of this trial though is the indoor Farmer's Market in an adjacent building.  Came home with red butter lettuce for me, goat bones for the dogs and the most awesomest tamales ever.  Got some extra for the freezer.  I'll need something to keep me warm if this winter is going to as long and cold as it's starting out.

Final Stats

Specialist Standard Saturday Q-1st place

1Q, 6 classes (2 Gamblers, 3 Standard, 1 NAC)


6/10 (60%)


7/7  (100%)


6/6- 100%

Weave pole entries

7/7? (100%), no pop-outs,  I don't think he missed a weave entry, maybe one in one of his Gamblers runs but I don't think so,  yee ha if I'm remembering it correctly because it'll be the first time ever with 100% and no pop-outs on the weave poles

Bars down = 2

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