Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To Enter or Not To Enter (that is the question)

It's time to decide whether or not to enter the Bay Team USDAA trial in December.  It would be our first trial since April 10.

A few months ago, I decided "when my back stops hurting, I'll enter a trial."  Well, silly poo-dunky idea.  I have an achey back and boo-hoo, get over it.  So a couple of months ago the deal evolved to "when I can jog through a course, I'll enter a trial."  I can slowly jog the length of the dogwalk now, and the length of the weaves.  Can't keep it up - the old body breaks back into walking pretty quickly.  But progress is progress!  So about a month ago, I thought "when Riff and I can get through a whole course during our Tuesday lesson, we'll enter a trial." 

Well that hasn't happened yet either.  We have made progress - we're up to half-of-a-course.  We can get through 7 to 10 obstacles before....something seems to happen.  Usually it's an off-course, with Riff way the heck ahead of me, deciding on his own which obstacle to take next... 

So - yes! enter the trial! or no?  On the plus side - we've made progress.  Progress!  Riff needs the exposure.  (So do I!  I feel nervous just thinking about it.)  Riff's startline-stay has been solid at the practice field.  (You may recall that back around February/March, and at the trial in April, we had to walk out of numerous classes, due to &$#@@! broken startlines.  And then Nancy helped me work on them at the trial, and LP helped me remember how to train them at home...)   PLUS:  The Bay Team trial is local and I could show out of my car, which means I wouldn't have to ask someone to help me schlep all my canopy stuff around and set everything up. 

On the negative side - Saturday I was setting up a new little table for my flower-picture projects - nothing really, just a small plastic table, and I leaned over to pull up the table legs and boom! my right leg nerves suddenly screamed for about five minutes, just like back in April, and I had to lay on the couch and ice the back and heat the leg for the rest of the day....    Which was a total bummer because I'd planned to take Riff to the AKC show and work the practice jumps.  We didn't go.

But hey, life is short.  Everything is good.  You gotta make hay while the sun shines. 

Riff is jumping well, and enjoying himself.  He's becoming a better distance-dog every week.  He's amazingly willing (and forgiving), while I try to figure out how to handle him.  [You've got to show him what you want EARLY...but not too early.  Stop and turn at the right time, keep your feet moving when you want him to keep going...etc etc etc.]  The courses we are on during our Tuesday lessons are Masters level courses, and often feature "international style" challenges.  Love the courses.  We can't get all the way through them without a correction....but we're doing okay, all things considered.  Last night our instructor said, "Riff is doing incredibly well on these courses.  You should be very happy!  He's been through a lot, you know..."
So, yeah.  Like that. 

Riff competes at the Starters level in USDAA.  (Except for gamblers, where he is at the Advanced level.) 
Starters courses are a lot easier than Masters courses....aren't they?  Simple, flowing courses with only one or two little switchbacks or discriminations.  Maybe we can get through them. 

So....shall we enter a couple of classes?  Just dip our toes in the water....?


vici whisner said...

A few things to think about:
-it is freak'n cold at the USDAA trial and cold is not good for what ails you.
-your adrenalin will kick in and maybe make you do something that you wouldn't normally do
-If this were Riff, you wouldn't even consider running him.
-The holidays are almost upon us...Bayteam January will be here before you know it.
-you can still come and walk Riff, play in the field, work on startline stays at the practice jump...etc

In the end it is your decision. It has been a LONG time and we want you back. Just don't want you back before you are ready. I hope to see you and will stand there cheering if you run. What about only one class (a game like gamble) each day? That way there is only the path you make and you can make one that is easy for you with a lot of stopped contacts?

Hugs, vici


Celeste said...

Oh, gee you bring up some valid points, Vici. Especially the part about "if this were Riff..."
And I know you know it's an addiction!
Okay, so we'll enter just one or two classes, each day. He needs two Starter Std to move to Advanced. He likes Jumpers a lot, though. And he's very good at gamblers. (Hmm. That's three.) Then when the time comes, we'll play it as it lays.

Celeste said...

PS. Thank you, Vici! xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I agree with Vici.

(so did you enter?)


Celeste said...

No....I decided to wait until January.
Have been limping this week. In the meantime Riff is really wired by the cold weather. He needs me to RUN!
We'll keep practicing. I'll keep working my "core strength" exercises, and hoping for the best!

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