We were in Bialystok at an official FCI trial this weekend. There were some highs and some lows, but we were running very smoothly and the only times anything happened was when I messed up.
BAD: calling her too early when she's in the tunnel, not turning her quick enough after she comes barelling out of a tunnel, me being nervious about weave entrances and thus Uma not getting them (on Sunday I relaxed and she got ALL her weave entrances). And more bad timing on my part....
GOOD: The dog :-) Uma holding her contacts (I'm tempted to start quick releases with her, but I don't think I'm there yet), fast weaves, awesome jump work, just 1 knocked bar all weekend long (my fault). Practically all of our runs were very nice and fluent, usually with one stupid handler mistake per run. Two were awesome - a qualifying Standard run on Sunday in A1 (this means she has 1 leg and needs 2 more to move up) and an awesome clean Open Standard run on Sunday (with a third place).
Saturday was a "bad handler day" for Uma and I really messed her up quite a few times. I pulled her out of the chute by calling too early (there was a tricky sequence following, I didn't want her to take the dummy jump, but it was obviously too early) and I put her over the wrong jump after exiting the tunnel.
I did the very same thing on Sunday which cost me an off course and a very nice trophy. Here's the course where this happened:
Here I off-coursed her after the number 18 tunnel onto the number 3 jump instead of doing the broad jump. I didn't turn her tight enough after the tunnel and it didn't help that I was on the right side of the broad jump. She jumped the jump when my back was turned to the tunnel. I did the same thing in Saturday's Open Jumpers class, which means this is something I need to work one. Both of these runs would have been awesome if it wasn't for that off course after the tunnel.
This is a course we ran clean and in 41.90 seconds. The best time was 38 seconds by a very fast Lithuanian border collie. However, I was holding Uma's contacts for at least half a second on each. I'm sure there's no way she would have been as fast as that dog, but I could technically shave at least 1.5 second off her time by quick relasing. But.... I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. Anyway, here's the course:
In general I'm very pleased with her and of course disappointed in my handling skills or lack thereof. But next weekend we're going to a seminar with Lesley Olden (of Crufts fame) and I'm looking forward to that.