Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stepping Back to Rebuild

Friday night we went out to BVTC for another small, relaxed Friday night trial. Traffic was awful on the way over -- I'd budgeted 45 minutes for standstill traffic on 76, but it turned out that I'd needed an hour and a half -- so we got there 45 minutes late and had to jump in at the last second, just as the Level 1 and 3 rings were breaking down.

Considering that Pongu basically had to do his Level 3 run straight out of the car, it wasn't that bad. His other runs were mostly okay to good -- some minor bobbles but nothing too huge, other than a broken Stay on a Level 2 run that gave us an NQ. If I'd had any doubts, that trial confirmed it: we really need to work on our Stays!

And then we went home, having picked up one more QQQ (bringing our official tally -- now that I've gotten my records to match up with World Cynosport's -- to five). Pongu and I will take a month off competition to try and work out some of our more persistent problems, and hopefully we'll see some improvement when we get back to the ring.

Pongu and I currently enrolled in two online courses over at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, which I hope will help us develop our skills, fluencies, and confidence in the ring. I've taken FDSA classes before, but always while so busy with other projects that I wasn't able to devote as much attention to the courses as I should have. Hopefully this time will be different, and we'll be able to take full advantage of the material.

I'm reasonably confident that I could puzzle out solutions to our remaining Rally problems on my own. But if we ever want to venture into the obedience ring -- and, yes, that dream is starting to return -- then we need to get a lot better than where we are now, and that's something I don't know how to do without help.

So we'll work on our platform drills and we'll practice our pocket hand and maybe, someday, we'll take a trip to the obedience ring... depending on how far we get in the Rally ring first.

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