Posted by: Adrienne | March 9, 2010

March Madness Trial Coming Up

This Sunday Emma nd I will be off to the Leatherdale horse arena on the U of M Saint Paul Campus for the March ASCA trial.

Classes have been going well.  I am always finding myself reminded of the fact that learning agility is not a static pursuit.  For about two months in class we were having difficulty doing fairly straightforward sequences.  In the past two weeks things have started to gel again.  Whew!

As I learn more about what I should be doing as a handler I find myself trying new things.  This usually takes Emma by surprise and I get a “What the heck was that?” reaction.  After I repeat it a couple times she gets into the swing of it and our runs get smoother.  I wish I could get some of these moments on video.  They are pretty funny, she gets all confused and goes off sniffing.  But of course I’m the one running so I’m rarely in the photos.

Hopefully this will translate well to a trial situation.  Funny enough, I think Emma goofs around a bit in training.  She knows it not “real” work and is much looser with her performance.  (Read whheeee a tunnel!)  On a good day at a trial she is very keen and very attentive.  On a bad day in a trial she is tense and will shut down.  On a really, really good day she is both keen and goofy.  Her tail tells the tale.  Of course it could be my attitude that makes the difference.  I’m just sayin’.

So, we are entered in Novice Gamblers, to work up our distance skills; Open Level Regular, this is the class with all the obstacles; and Elite Level Jumpers.   Given that we are back up to running Novice courses in class this ought to be interesting.

January’s trial was a disaster for us.  I can’t say exactly what happened.  But I think part of it was working more to someone else’s expectation than working out what I needed for myself.  Not that I should ignore everyone, just that I really have to see for myself where we need to go as a team.

Last year I spent several trials making sure that Emma ran fast and happy.  I had to concentrate less on whether she did something right and more on keeping her motivated.  We got through our Novice levels and started in Open, where I discovered my distinct lack of handling skills.  So I have been working on that.  Now I find myself back in the interesting boat of having to make sure I do less correcting, of my errors this time but Emma doesn’t take it that way, and more running.

I would like to keep Sundays runs upbeat.  So if I make any horrendous errors I should probably ignore them, keep Emma moving and keep that tail a waggin!  Of course, qualifying is nice too!

happy dog

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Responses

  1. Good Luck Emma! You have a bunch of cheerleaders in Ohio.
    Maggie, Lou Lou, BB, Dorothy, and Lonnie

  2. Best of luck!

  3. Thanks guys! I’ll do a post to let you know how it went. ‘:-P


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