First up was Standard and it was another nice course. I hesitate to use the word "easy" because nothing is really easy for us right now in a trial environment, but it was a very Peyton friendly course. I was really happy with the opening and I'm pretty certain that rear crosses are the best way to go in trials until we can get a startline stay. Unfortunately my very naughty spotty boy decided to run the a-frame which lead to an off-course. If you listen to the video you'll hear a collective "awwww" from the crowd, which made me laugh. :) The other bobbles in our run were pretty much all me, which is usually the case these days.
Next up was JWW and it seems like my ability to plan our strategy for a course has gone out the window. For the most part, I'm not one to walk and walk and walk and obsess over a course...I usually can come up with a plan fairly quickly and go with it. Now it seems that I'm over-thinking it too much.
For this course in particular I was debating a number of options and I just couldn't make a decision. I think the biggest problem is that I usually know what I would do if the course was set up in practice, but because Peyton runs differently in a trial I get stuck debating on whether I need to run like I train or if I need to provide him more support and set us both up for success. I'm still not sure what the answer is.
Here I opted for a less safe (non rear-cross) opening thinking that I might have a little less dog since it was so hot. This wasn't the case and I wasn't able to show enough motion in the direction we needed to go so we had an early off-course. Once we got back on track, this was a fun run and I opted to leave him in the weaves to get ahead - I didn't cue the jump after my cross, but it was nice to see how far I could leave him. Good spotty dog!
Poor Peyton seemed to be slipping quite a bit during this run and at one point he slid on his chin...didn't seem to phase him at the time, but sure didn't look very comfortable when I saw it on the video. I've also noticed that I've started "squeaking" when something goes wrong on-course...not sure why, but how annoying. I think Peyton is about ready to hold auditions for a new handler. Any takers? :)
I keep saying that we need mileage and we're definitely going to be getting our share in the next few months - lots of trials coming up and several in new locations. I've been wondering if it might be a little too much too soon, but Peyton seems to be having a lot of fun and I think as long as I keep the pressure off, he's more than happy to play.