I have to say I am pleased with the dogs’ progress even though I didn’t get Rum to Novice Olympia – perhaps next year providing he stays in Grade 5!
I was looking over Rum’s results and it stood out that we have really made progress, at the beginning of the year he was having 4ths in Novice at Addicts and at the end of the year we had two 1sts winning us up to senior & finished the year with a 1st in Open! We didn’t start KC shows until May really at which point he was Grade 4 but is now Grade 5 with two jumping wins. His contacts are better but still can be quite creepy – it’s a difficult one as toys make him worse and he isn’t particularly motivated by food. So I have been doing lots of quick releasing at home but in the ring I want him into position quickly and stopping there a bit as this seems to make him more confident as he knows exactly what to do – what is helping is not using a stop command to make him stop just to reinforce the position, he isn’t then waiting to hear the command & it doesn’t rely on my poor timing! His jumping has really improved as we used to struggle without control points (ie contacts!) but now he is turning really well and we seem to have really improved.
Cas has slowed down, with this being her first year in grade 6 I didn’t really expect much from her. I decided mid season to retire her from agility classes as we weren’t enjoying them and it felt a real relief not to stress about contacts. She doesn’t really go training much, a quick session in the garden every now and then is enough. I am pleased with her, she’s still fit (is almost 9 now) and has had some good placings - 3rd in Comb 6-7 being the highest. I am just happy to be able to run her and she’s still fit and healthy.
Ember has been fab, we’ve had our best year yet. Charlotte Harding did some work with her in April and actually got her last 2 wins into Grade 6 (all jumping!) - thanks Char :-) . She then went on to win 4 more classes at Waldridge. She’s doing well and am really feeling like we are more of a partnership now, we still have contact and wait issues and I think we always will as she pushes you every step of the way and questions everything. Now I am fitter I am finding it a lot easier to handler her, I need to maintain my fitness though and with the gym having been closed over Xmas I can feel the muscle melting lol!
The ginger ones (Ember & Rum) have had their passports and can travel from late May next year. I have always wanted to compete on the continent and am looking at shows to enter.
Happy New Year everyone!