First Trial of the Season ~ Part Deux
If you read my last post you know how the end of the weekend went, but how did the rest of it go? Of course I’m going to say it didn’t go as well as I wanted, but it seems I always want more than I’m realistically prepared to achieve. I had to remind myself (and be reminded) that last year Jig and I went to two weekends of trials the entire year. One in the spring, one in the fall. That’s it. This year we were able to train maybe 3 or 4 times prior to the trial. So expecting to lay down some awesome runs was me being unrealistic.
Not to say I wasn’t happy with a lot of what Jig did. She showed me the training we’ve been doing is paying off. No crack ears, quiet, calm, responsive (for the most part). We would have had the best duck run of Jig’s career if not for me opening my mouth at the wrong time. Yeah, imagine that.
Even so, we had a superb center pen and the best center to re-pen ever. A couple of things I should point out. I absolutely hate ducks. Jig feels ducks are so far beneath her it’s hard to get her to look at them when they’re upright and fast. And these were Call Ducks. If you’re not familiar with Call Ducks, picture a wild mallard about the size of a large kaiser roll. Honestly, I tried to stay well away from them for fear we’d have to scrape one off the bottom of my boot when the run was over.
In any case, these are my take-aways from the weekend:
- I need to learn to shut my mouth when things are going good, and not yell when they’re not.
- Jig and I need to go back to training in a smaller space. We’re used to working in more open areas. When we get to a trial with minimum sized arenas we get too close to one another and neither of us knows how to handle that pressure.
- (This one is a theme, I think.) I need to solidify what ‘There’ means. At the moment it’s rather soft and mushy, and subject to where Jig thinks I meant her to turn in as opposed to where I really wanted her to do it.
- I need to be a better handler. Which, by the end of the weekend, I actually did accomplish once or twice.
- I need to firm up our flanks. (No, not the physical ones. Though mine could use it, Jig’s are very nice.) The issues here will be partly helped through getting a firmer ‘There’.
We’ve got our work cut out for us, but overall Jig and I have come a long way since our rather rough and rowdy beginnings. There may be hope for us yet.