Well, the Big Day came. My first agility trial with Pinot! and what a day it was!
The event was a fundraiser held for two fantastic Alberta competitors going to the World’s to compete; Lynda Coughlan and Stephan Henry and started with two workshops taught by them in the morning. First a 2 hour session with Stephan on Distance skills, then a 2 hour session with Lynda focusing on Using Motion effectively in handling. Both workshops were great and certainly helped both Pinot and myself totally relax and get into work-mode, forgetting all about nerves (which has been such an enormous issue for me in Rally and obedience!)
Then, in the afternoon, as a lot more people arrived for the trial portion of the day, we were entered in our very first ever AAC Steeplechase run.
I had a few clear goals in my mind. (No, it was not winning!)
The first goal was to work through nerves and be able to stay focused enough to remember the course and be as clear as possible with my “driving”. The second goal was to maintain connection with my dog the whole time. And the third goal was to get through the whole course – from start to finish, with obstacles in the correct sequence!
And we DID IT! Never mind the fact that I had to re-do the weave poles both times, I am OK with that, it just shows where I have some work to do – once she got going, she was fine…and certainly stayed connected with me the whole time.
I can’t believe how emotional it actually was! I was very close to tears as we crossed the finish line 🙂 and I think I’ve been smiling ever since (it’s now 4 days ago. LOL)
Here’s a video of our first EVER run in a trial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCE5YQcNn-w&list;=UU2C_HmSN4P0qKiLUDC9f5eA&index;=1&feature;=plcp
Oh what a great feeling! I came home telling the family all about it…and the amazing thing is that we did not even get a Q. Our time was 49seconds, and the allowed Course Time was 43…so we would have needed to shave 6 seconds to qualify – but the amazing thing was that it did not even matter. We might as well have won a World Championship. The feeling was worth more than Gold, I have a Happy worker who loves doing this together with me? What could be more important?