a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Cutting Back On Agility

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Cutting Back On Agility

SUMMARY: Where to cut? How? Why? When?

I have vowed to cut back on my agility weekends.

My first thought was: I'll do only the Bay Team and SMART trials, because I'm a member and because they're fairly close to home--in theory meaning that I could sleep in my own bed on Saturday night and not have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to get there on Saturday. That would still be plenty of agility, because Bay Team is now doing eight (8!!) trials a year, and SMART now seems to be up to three a year. That's about one a month--sounds perfect!

There are two problems with this:

1) Four of the Bay Team's trials are now under cover up in Santa Rosa, which actually takes me as long to get to, or longer, than the VAST, NAF, Haute Dawgs, or TRACS trials in the central valley. Plus I have to go over a big bridge, and the traffic in the evening can be ugly. And I *do* have to get up at 4 on Saturday and I *do* have to stay overnight.

2) Those 11 trials aren't well spaced through the year. They actually run like this:
* One in late January.
* One in mid-March.
* One the last weekend in April and another the following weekend.
* Nothing for 6 weeks, then one every other weekend for from mid-June to mid-July.
* Nothing for 5 weeks, then one the last weekend in august and another the following weekend.
* Nothing for 3 months, then one in mid-December, which is really holiday time and I'm usually busy.

So I don't like the way it's laid out.

If I do only the ones where I can [reasonably] sleep in my own bed Saturday night, that drops me to only 7 a year. Not only am I not sure I'm ready for that drastic a cut [Yet, at any rate], that also drops all the trials from December through March, meaning that I'd have no agility from Labor Day until the last weekend in April. Ack! Can't be done, just can't.

But maybe.

The evolving schedule is a work in progress.


  1. Hey, if you go to the Nationals again, that gives you a mid-Nov trial :-).

  2. You are funnnnneeeee.

    Besides, that doesn't meet EITHER qualification of being a Bay Team or SMART trial, or of being one where I can sleep in my own bed overnight.

    So there.

    I am NOT going to scottsdale this year. Unless (uh-oh, this is how I got conned into going last year, I said "unless"...) either dog wins the Steeplechase or maybe Grand Prix at the labor day regionals, I'd think about it.

  3. I'm finding the best way to cut down on entry fees is to not enter the tournaments. Unless of course you really are wanting to go to Nationals.

    Is there an advantage to winning a tournament at Regionals? I thought they were doing away with byes into the finals but maybe I've got that wrong.

  4. You're right, I've also heard that there are no more byes into the finals.

    What it would do for me is prove that we could be contenders at Scottsdale.

  5. lol, you sound just like me!

    Me, I only compete at trials that are held at the 3 closest venues, and no more than 1 trial per weekend. Of course, there never ends up being a trial every weekend. After planning out our entire year of trialling, we'll probably do about 20 trials and fun matches this year.


  6. Well, there's my problem. I could do 17 weekends of USDAA trials without going more than 2 hours from home and an additional 14 weekends of nonconflicting CPE trials without going more than 2 hours from home.

    But I don't like coming home overnight if it's more than 1 hour, and that limits me to too small a selection. So, then, if I'm going to pick some that are farther away, why not pick ALL that are farther away? AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! Run away!!!!!