On top of my sister getting married Saturday I also entered our very first APDT Rally Obedience trial on Sunday. Yeah not the best planning on my part. For the record I don't recommend it. But we survived and we are no longer a "Rally Newbie" team. Our first official trial is under our belt and we did pretty darn well. (If I do say so myself.)
Besides being tired due to the running around that a wedding requires, it also means little time to practice. Little practice can add to the stress of any trial let alone a first one. I have to admit that my first thought upon waking up was, Do I have to?? To be fair I'm not a morning person on the best of days. Then my husband reminded me how much I had put in to it and how close it was. Having a trial within a 25 minute drive IS a luxury and I know it. Thanks to Wag It for hosting an awesome trial. They even ran out to pick up our ordered lunches for us. Now that's service! (I had the BEST turkey sandwich.)
I was worried about the weather being hot so I froze two 2 liter bottles with water to put in Jenny's crate just in case. Of course I drove away without them. (Doh!) Luckily I had a plastic bin in my car with training equipment that I emptied out and added 3 bags of ice from the local convience store. That worked just as good if not better. Besides lying next to it she could also lay on top of it. Fortunately I got a good parking spot in the shade and there was a nice breeze. The afternoon got a little warmer but it wasn't an issue at that point. Thankfully the trial itself was inside.
I have to admit I was very nervous. Driving there I was wondering why I was doing this to myself again. Thank goodness for tums. The weird part is that once I am in the ring I am not nervous at all. I'm to busy to worry at that point. I'm not even worried about messing something up. I just hate the waiting part. I was hoping that after our first run the nerves would go away. They did right up until my second class started. Then the butterflies came back. If I want to keep doing this I really hope this gets better. Everyone there was wonderfully supportive and nice to us. They even said the nerves will go away in time. Our hostess reminded us that there is enough stress in life for free, there is no need to pay for it as well. Rally is supposed to be a fun hobby after all. If it is stressful we should take up some other hobby. Great point! Lucky for me I don't typically get stressed, just nervous.
The best news is that we qualified in both trials we entered. Our first run resulted in a score of 199 (out of a possible 210) and earned us a 4th place ribbon. Our second run gave us a 205 and a 2nd place ribbon. Needless to say I was THRILLED with Jenny's performance. Heck I was just thrilled that we qualified!
Now I have to decide which trial to enter next. There is an AKC trial coming up in my area at the Mid-Coast Kennel Club show and another APDT trial coming up at Finish Forward Dogs. (They are also hosting a UKC rally show but I don't know anything about that version of rally.) Then Wag It is hosting another APDT trial in November. (Hmmm November would be a great time of year to take Jack to a trial.) So no shortage of trials. Its funny how right after I've been in the ring I feel good about doing it again, yet when I am about to get into the ring again I get nervous. Gah.
Anyhow here is a video of our first run. My biggest mistake was moving both hands for the finish right exercise. Ooops! I think I could have moved faster too. She has a better heel than I give her credit for. And I definitely need to stand up straighter! Or she needs to get taller. VBG
And if this links works, here is our second run.
I know, I should have cued her for the sit on the last exercise when she got to my side. All things considered I am darn proud of her and how she did. Way to go Jenny!