Have you ever heard the term "Bad school, good show?" It's a phrase
that I learned when I showed horses, and it means if the schooling
(aka training) goes badly, the show is likely to go well. Gryffin was
a case in point for that phrase this week.
I hadn't shown since the Marshbanks trials in October, and while I've
been training with some consistency, it still wasn't as much as I was
able to put in in September and October. Gryff's been working slower
than usual without his much more typical enthusiasm, especially when
compared to little rocket Ty. Yesterday with only one other person
around (and she wasn't even doing anything), he couldn't do Signals -
got the old "deer in the headlights" look. I used a toy behind him
some for proofing and then to reward him when he was successful. I
also did some go-outs proofs with the toy and the results weren't
stellar - he was heading for jumps on his go outs, veering off to the
side, etc.. I considered not going to the trial today, but it was my
last trial for the year (boo hoo). Only Gryff was entered, since I
figured it was too busy a place for undertrained Joker, and I'm still
waiting for Ty to come in season... After lugging 3 dogs and their
gear, a single dog was EASY!
We showed first in utility and except for a major struggle on the 1st
article - I think he was literally working the pile for 30 seconds -
all of which cost us 2.5 points, he had a nice class, and got 1st
place of the class of 9 with a 194.5, netting us 6 more OTCh. points.
He now has 57. We left Utility, got to our crate, I gave him a couple
pieces of cheese, grabbed the dumbbell and went into Open. He had a
nice class there, finishing the individuals by 8:45 (!). All 6 dogs in
the group survived stays, hurray! There was a single runoff, which was
for 1st place. They each had a 198 (Dave Tucker and Maddy ran off),
and we got a 197.5, so we were again close to earning that elusive and
needed-for-his-OTCh. Open B 1st. After the way he's been training, I'm
completely thrilled with the results :-). That was his 5th UDX leg,
and for frosting on the cake, we earned High Combined, his 2nd one.
So it was a far finer finish to the 2008 trial season than our 3 NQ
finish last year!