Sunday, September 30, 2012

USDAA Nationals 2012 (aka Cynosport)

Well, another USDAA Nationals has come and gone.  I love these events.  It gives me an opportunity to spend 5 days around nothing but my dogs and agility and an opportunity to watch at lot of FANTASTIC teams.  But, by the end of the event, I am tired.  Bone tired and need a vacation!  :)

I ended up pulling Tip from Nationals.  She pulled a thigh muscle a week before Nationals and I didn't want to run her on drugs or risk making the injury worse.  Hopefully she has another Nationals in her at 9.5 years old!  If so, we will try again next year.

So, Tangle got all the attention at this Nationals.  He loved it!

I had to remind myself this morning.  Tangle is 26 months old, just barely 2 years old.  When I decided to try and qualify him for Nationals I knew I was asking a lot of this very young dog.  He did way more than what I asked him to do and I am very proud of what we have accomplished as a team in the 9 months of trialing to get to Nationals.

Tangle ran Team (Jumpers, Snooker, Gamblers, and Standard) and Grand Prix (Semi-Finals) in Nationals.

It wouldn't be fair to the young dog, nor do I typically measure things in wins and placements.  So I won't.

I change the way I measure things from time to time, but in general I am the most proud of improvements that we have made and training accomplishment.  The ribbons and podiums will happen if those come together.

So, here is our inventory of accomplishments!
  1. Tangle kept his head the entire 4 days, no wild BC behavior.  I swear this dog has done agility in another life.
  2. His course times where outstanding--placing him several times among the top of the pack (if you take away the handler induced fault)
  3. His foundation training is solid
  4. Only one bar dropped the entire event (handler induced)
  5. No start lines broken
  6. No 2o2o contact faults called
  7. We worked together to get through some very, very tough courses
  8. Always proud of myself when I make it all the way through Snooker :)
  9. I stayed organized, eat well and had a good mental game for the majority of the trial
What we learned and/or have to work on
  1. Running AF contacts (got called twice)
  2. Continue exposure to large energetic trials and working through the stress
  3. My mental stamina over 4 days of Nationals.  The last day it was really hard for me to pull out my mental game.
  4. Very minor, but set up a couple of sequences that we saw at Nationals and work them.  We got the job done, but I want to be more comfortable with the quality of the work.  Threadles are included in this.
Did you notice, most of the work items are training the handler?

So, we had a great time, met a lot of great people and my dog and I had a ton of fun playing together!!

p.s. Special thanks to my husband for coming as much as he could and just being there to support me, potting dogs, gettomg me food, and having the beer ready at the end of the day :)

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