I must note a special thanks here to both of my parents. With so much to do in their own lives they still happily give up their time to help babysit for me. Without their help I would not be able to do even half of what I am able to do with my dogs. Thank you.
So to the trial. After a scorcher of a day previously (37 degrees) and expecting another hot day it turned out to be quite pleasant. Still hot for both humans and dogs if you stood in the sun too long though.
In the AM trial I had to wait around a bit as both Nix's runs were in the second session. It was our first trial in Excellent Jumping which of course ran at the same time as Novice Agility. It's been a long time since I have had to memorise 2 courses at the one time - but I managed. It was also the first time Nix has gone straight out of one ring and into another.
I had hoped to run Jumping before Agility but it wasn't to be. Nix had a lovely Agility run but we got caught up in the weavers - Damn Weavers! She powered off the start line, responded well to my body cues and hit both her contacts. Very happy. However no time reflect as we ran down to the Jumping ring where they were waiting for us.
Now if I had of been thinking I would have taken a minute, composed myself, let Nix have a break and then run the course. But alas I was flustered and worried about missing my run so I went straight in the ring. Sorry Nix. My girl did the first couple of jumps and then went all 'airy fairy' on me, not least of the reasons why was the fact that I had no idea what I was doing!! We pulled it together and finished the course, with a few missed jumps and off courses along the way, but I wanted Nix to still have a bit of fun and for us to put a couple of obstacles together nicely before leaving the ring, which we did.
During the break I thought about those morning runs and how I could better transition myself and my dog between runs in the afternoon. Both runs in the afternoon were going to be at the same time again. Hmmmm...
So to the PM trial. After letting the stewards in both rings know that I may clash, I decided I would do EJ first and then NA, and hope that I wouldn't put the agility ring too far out of whack. So it to EJ, a nice course by Mel Rhoden. Nix ran beautifully and even though I lost her position for what seemed like an eternity between two obstacles I managed to find her behind me and get her over the next jump at a HUGE angle - Good girl Nix - to finish with a clear round. Her first leg in Ex Jumping which also gained her second place.
Now to NA. Instead of racing up the ring. I took time to reward Nix for her jumping run and walk calmly up to the next ring. I was called straight away but asked if I could take a minute as I had just come out of another ring - wasn't a problem. By the time I walked up to the line I was calm and focused on the course in front of me (a far cry from the mornings effort). It payed off. Although not a clear round (Damn weavers again), Phoenix was focused and worked lovely. I was more than happy.
So even though we got a clear round. I was more happy with the fact that I was able to read my dog and know when she was and wasn't ready to work in the afternoon, and to give her the chance to succeed instead of rushing and hoping.
Something else that interested me at the trial was my son who is nearly six. He walked each of the courses with me, called obstacles by name and by the end of the day was asking "Mummy do we need to put a cross in here", and darn it if he wasn't right too. He has been coming to trials all his life and was interested but not to this degree. It was great. While we were sitting watching some of the runs he was commenting too. He was picking up when they missed a weaver or if they took a wrong jump. I think his best comment of the day though was after he watched Graeme and Mavy (super fast Working BC) run Novice Jumping. He said "Mummy, you know, I think Mavy would do better if he slowed down a bit, then he wouldn't knock the bars so much" - PRICELESS!!