I wasn't sure what to call this post, so since as of this hour we are less than two weeks away from the big show, "Two" seemed like a good fit.
Today, Marge went to her last agility trial before our visit to Manhattan - a UKI agility trial in Colmar, PA. My original plans for this weekend involved a large AKC trial at a very familiar location, but I was unfortunately closed out. The only trial left in our relative area was this one, and boy, am I glad I went! Wonderful, spacious facility and flowy, motivating courses to run.
I entered three classes with Marge.
1. Agility (Standard): Marge went right in and knocked this course dead.. with the bars at 16 inches. Only after we ran the course quickly and cleanly did I realize that the ring crew had forgot to raise the bars to 20" for Marge. The judge let me run again, and thankfully, we ran clean again.
This whole thing was HUGE. The pressure of going in to the ring twice within about ten minutes, running cleanly both times on a course that had contact obstacles, which are admittedly our weakness, was a nice test for both of us. I probably would have crumbled had it been an AKC trial.
Marge performed her teeter decently twice, and her A-Frame and Dog Walk contacts perfectly. Her weaves were slower in her second run, which of course is cause for enormous amounts of overanalyzing. Honestly, I would have been fine packing up and going home after this class, seeing how well she performed.
2. Speedstakes (Steeplechase, for you USDAA folks): Super fast, straightforward course. Went in and knocked this one out, too. Got a front cross in, which is always a plus at trials.
3. Jumping: This course wasn't as challenging as the last Jumping course Marge ran at UKI, but it was certainly still a high level course. I took some risks in this one, including running up the line outside of the second tunnel to set up an easier weave entrance. Did two front crosses, too.
Her weaves were again slow, which concerns me. I felt her all over and I do not feel any soreness. It's hard to tell, as she sometimes just has those runs where her speed gets pokey and it has nothing to do with injury. I have had her massaged within the past week and nothing came up. Four runs at one trial is the most she has ever done. She may have just been tired.
Look at all of her loot from the day! It is a rarity to Marge and I to walk away with 6 ribbons from one day of showing.
Though she had just run four times and was very clearly done for the day, she had an awesome on-leash play session with a young border collie for a solid five minutes just before we left for the day. It was one of those times when Marge decides (and vocalizes through whining) that she absolutely needs to be friends with a dog halfway across the room who she has never met before. Not sure what has gotten into this dog - three qualifying scores on the same day, and then playing with a puppy? Regardless, I was glad to see that she still had some energy to spare when the agility was over with.
Up next? Some light (and I mean very light) practice tomorrow, particularly on the teeter and table. I will not be jumping or weaving her tomorrow - I just need to get her on those two pieces of equipment one more time. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the week. We've been walking about an hour every day (a combination of off-leash and on-leash time), but I may scale that back a little bit for this week, too. We'll probably train Sunday and Monday of next weekend, and that'll be it.
There are more exciting things going on, some related to Westminster and some not, but those will have to wait for another day. For now, I'm following Marge's lead and heading to bed!