Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What a powerful learning experience

Well, we are back from the great white north, Minneapolis, MN.  And yes, there was snow at the beginning of May on the way there.  Made for an epic adventure.

We had an amazing time, learned a ton, found some weaknesses, and celebrated some strengths!

I have to say that at first I was a little in awe at being at ITT, but after a day things began to settle in and it felt a little bit like just a really awesome trial.  It was a wonderful weekend of watching fantastic dogs (big and small) and fantastic handlers.  As a friend said to me, "It is the best seminar you will go to all year", and really that was true.  I got so much out of watching.

What I learned
  • The people are great, welcoming and super nice
  • It is an awesome trial
  • My dog is rock solid.  I have never had a 2 year old that didn't loose his/her head in that kind of excitement.  Tangle was in the game and doing his job the whole time.
  • I need to work on my mental game a bit more.  I got lost on one of the runs and I rarely have that happen.
  • Hardly anyone lays down all clean runs (at least this year they didn't).  You have the mental image that only your dog is going to drop bars and go off course.  Not true.  I had great company!
  • Working backsides, threadles, turning after long straight tunnels, turning on the broadjump, sending to backsides of tunnels were all great things to practice.  The only thing that we didn't have were hilaciously hard weave entries.

Our Strengths
  • Tangle is an amazing partner.  Solid and honest.  If I didn't cue it, he didn't do it!  He kept his head in the excitement, ran well, and didn't get stressed.
  • Tangle has a lot of power and ability.  Check out the video above.  Not only can he turn on a dime, but he reads my motion so incredibly well.  I am constantly amazed.
  • Once I got over my bout with nerves I was calm and ran well.  I was proud of myself for being able to overcome the nerves and get it together.
  •  Our prep for the event was good.  Some of the courses that we practiced were actually harder than what we ended up running
What I would do next time?
  • Learn to enjoy the event right from the beginning
  • Start a little earlier on the prep work
  • Figure out better foods to help keep my blood sugar from diving
So, would I do it again.  Absolutely!

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