As part of our prep for Westminster, I took Marge to a UKI Agility trial today in Bloomsbury, NJ.
UK Agility International was founded as the United States' version of UK Agility. As such, it contains international-style handling challenges at the upper levels.
I have been doing quite a bit of out-of-my-comfort-zone handling at agility class (which basically means straying away from rear crosses and doing everything else), but I very seldom put those skills to use in AKC trials. I totally admit to playing it safe for the sake of Q's and, more specifically, QQ's. I want a MACH, and if I get a MACH with meat-and-potatoes type handling and never do anything fancy, I am totally okay with that.
So, in trying UKI, it removes the "run to Q" element. I am not working on any titles in that venue at this point, and with numbers pointed in all kinds of crazy directions (backsides and wraps everywhere!), it sets the stage well to add in some fancy handling. And by fancy, really all I mean is doing anything but a rear cross.
If you look back at my list of things to work on that I posted last time, UKI had most of those challenges.. including a weave entrance to which Marge (and my body language, probably) said "HAHA, NOPE". She took the 3/5 jump and 4 tunnel before coming back to weave.
As such, we did not Q in this run, but a couple of important things happened:
- I front crossed without making it in to something more than it needs to be (which is often the case)
- I used a Ketschker "ass pass" turn for the first time ever in a trial - TWICE!
- I learned that I need to work my dog's weave entrances better