SUMMARY: Training might be paying off--
Saturday: Generally a good day.
- Pairs Relay: On a lead-out pivot, Boost ran around the first jump. Reset her and started over and we ran beautifully. No Q, though.
- Standard: On a lead-out pivot, pulled off the 2nd jump and (watching the video) I don't think I had even turned yet. Reset her and started over and we ran beautifully (well, except once where I did a front cross and the jump wasn't where I expected it to be, so a bit of time wasting while I figured it out). No Q, though.
- Gamblers. Went exactly per plan, except for a bit of confusion in the actual gamble part--we got it but were *barely* under time. Thought it was a pretty good run--a Q but ended up with no placement.
- Jumpers: Went really nicely up to the next to the last jump when she turned back to me for a refusal, but the rest was lovely.
- Steeplechase: Wahoo, a lovely, fast run! At least, it felt fast to me. Would never have occurred to me that Boost doing a lovely clean run wouldn't Q, but she didn't. I did notice that she hesitated slightly before a couple of jumps, but thought nothing of it. In watching the video afterwards, I see what I've noticed in other vids-- it might feel fast to me, but she's constantly measuring her strides, taking too many, spending too much time looking at me. That made me very sad--despite how well things have gone all day, this tells me that we have a very long way to go to fix things. (I'll see about posting the video later.) Plus, well, the fastest dogs are so DANG AMAZINGLY fast.
- Which took us up to Snooker, which is the one Q I really want--the Super-Q variety, that is. We'd had a pretty good day actually. NO (!) bars knocked, no weaves missed, only a couple of runout or refusal things. I could only hope--I scouted out a four-reds, four-7s course but decided that it required skills that we are too weak on, so picked a nice four-reds, one-four and three-sevens course that I was pretty sure that we could do.
Sadly, however, we were near the end of the running order, and by that time I knew that, to get a super-Q, I had to do at least a 6 and three 7s, and four 7s was easier--by that I mean that it wasn't easy (for us) but that it flowed better than the 6. So--the part that I thought would be hard for us? It was. On the 2nd red, she did the "what jump?" thing and then knocked the bar, and I knew it was all over. Went a little longer but my heart wasn't in it and I missed an obstacle, so not even a plain Q.
- Jumpers: Well, we got through it sort of--two knocked bars and one reallllly wide turn (my late front cross). Still, a reasonably good flow.
- Snooker: Picked a reasonable two-7, one-3, one-5 opening that I thought that we could probably get through--only one long stretch where she had to send ahead of me, and of course she didn't--turned in front of me and started leaping backwards. I had to reset her and move again, wasting time--and then turned back to me instead of taking a teeter, which really surprised me. But we got all the way through the opening, all the way through 6 in the closing, over the first jump of the 3 jumps in #7, and on the second jump of #7--she was so busy watching me that she ran past it instead of taking it. I could've just died. Yes, it would've been that badly desired Super-Q. Crap. SO much work left to do to try to fix years of deteriorating performance. Still--with 3 days perspective--it was a pretty good run over all. It was a Q, adding to our huge stack of useless plain Snooker Qs.
- Gamblers-- Wheels starting to fall off. Some miscommunications wasted time, two sets of weaves and she didn't make the entry on either of them, so not a lot of opening points. I had a good approach to send her out to a tunnel in the gamble (which lots of dogs had trouble with), but I knew that the part where she had to keep going over a jump after the tunnel would be a problem, and sure enough, she turned back to me before the jump. So no Q.
- Standard: Ran past a jump while looking at me. Turned away from a jump in front of her to look at me. Turned away from the weaves in front of her to look at me. Back to our usual messy style. But at least no bars down.
- Grand Prix: Came in past a jump in front of her while looking at me. Turned back to me on the approach to the weaves. Definitely no Q.
So--Only 3 bars for the weekend, which is pretty good for us. Two Qs for the weekend, which is definitely better than 0. I'm not completely discouraged--it does feel like we made progress--but will I have the stamina and determination (and time) to keep on it? We shall see.