Training TANGO and CORKY ~ Training PRETZEL

Sunday, December 1, 2013

We decided to try the UKC show again today and aim for a group placement to finish our championship. We went ahead and entered both shows today. I will say that Pretzel was ON today, he showed great! Stacked really well, gaited nicely, and was fairly well behaved (for him). We were the only Weim, so we went into Group (it was basically the Sporting group, though UKC calls it "Gun Dog group") Boy was I surprised when the judge pulled us out as first place - a Group One!!! That sealed the deal for our championship! I now was in a new position of having to wait and compete in Best In Show against all the other group winners. How cool!

We waited around for BIS, went in and showed well. they opened up the rings to make a double-sized ring and that was to our benefit, because Pretzel looks great when he has nice long stretches to move out. Talk about SHOCK when the judge walked out with the awards, and announced he was awarding the Best in Show to the Weimaraner!!! Imagine that...Pretzel Best in Show....what a great moment.

We then had to stick around for the second show. once again, we were the only weim, so went into group. What a great feeling to be called out for first in group yet again!!!! Unfortunately, we did not place in the best in Show competition, but I was still flying pretty high from our first win that it really didn't matter.

Thankfully someone told me to stick around because they had a "Best of the Best" competition at the end for the 6 Best in Show winners from all of the shows. Pretzel was pretty tired by this point, but I was surprised that he kept his game on and kept showing well for me. Talk about a high - when the judge 9who was a different judge than the others that we had) pulled us out as winners of the Best of the Best!!!!!!! What an awesome day.

Pretzel and his awards for the day

Life always has a surprise or two up it's sleeve...just when you least expect it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tango was a bit feisty today, and I was in a bad mood...not a good combination. I hate when this happens. I probably shouldn't ride when I am stressed out and upset, but my riding time is so scarce I have to do it when I have time. Plus, I always feel better when I am done, and today was no different. we did battle a little bit when Tango wanted to fling his head up and act silly. After a quick battle, he settled right down and gave me a really great ride, so I can't really complain.

We did lose our football game last weekend, so that frees up this coming weekend for my agility trial with Pretzel. I am excited, nervous, excited, and nervous!!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

CPE Agility Trial - BRAG Columbus, OH - Day ONE

We got to the trial site at the crack of dawn (7am!!!). Pretzel had to be measured by the judge to determine his height class. I was very surprised when the judge measured him right at 24", I am pretty sure he isn't that small, but that bumped us down a height class, which was good - we could legitimately jump the 20". Dogs measuring over 24" have to jump 24", which he is not ready for.

We were entered in 3 classes today - Full House, Standard, and Snooker. In Full House, you have to complete 3 single jumps, 2 "round" obstacles (tunnels, tire jump), and one 5 point obstacle (contact obstacles, weaves, etc.). You try to rack up as many points as possible before the time is up. Well, I had a great plan but Pretzel had a different plan, which included doing the A-frame 3 times in a row. Then he zoomed around the course like a crazed maniac, taking off for the jumps from such a distance that he landed on nearly all of them. So although we racked up a fair number of points, we didn't complete our 3 single jumps (as he knocked so many of them down there weren't enough left standing to complete!), so we got an "NQ" which means non-qualifying round.

Next was Standard, which basically was a typical agility course - the obstacles were numbered and you had to take the obstacles cleanly in order within the time limit to qualify. Pretzel zoomed over the jumps, but did not pay attention to my signals and ran into the tunnel several times out of order. Another "NQ", but it was a little better than the last class (he at least left some jumps standing).

Our last class today was Snooker. This class was pretty complicated. You have to do a "red" jump, then another obstacle, a "red" jump, obstacle, "red" jump, obstacle, and then do a closing sequence of obstacles numbered 2-8, all within the time limit. You could not do any of these elements out of order. We almost had it...we got our red, obstacle, red, obstacle, red, and then were heading for our last obstacle before the closing sequence when Pretzel too an unexpected dive into the tunnel. the tunnel was listed as a pair with the jump after it, so we could have made it legal by taking that very next jump, but Pretzel decided the tunnel was just way too much fun and decided to turn around and go in it again, thus disqualifying us. Ugh! Try again tomorrow...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

CPE Agility Trial - BRAG Columbus, OH - Day TWO

Pretzel had a fun evening playing with his Weim buddies, so he was a little less wound up today. Our first class today was Jackpot. In Jackpot, we had to rack up as many points as possible in the opening sequence, and then when the whistle blew we had 18 seconds to complete one single point obstacle (single jump), one 3 point obstacle (tunnel or tire jump), and one 5 point obstacle (A-frame, Teeter, Weave poles, or Combo jump). During the closing, you cannot take more than one obstacle of each point value. We did really well in the opening, got a lot of points and Pretzel flew around the course. When the whistle blew we were right by the tire jump, so he sailed through it for our 3 point obstacle. I managed to steer him away from the tunnel (which is also a 3 point obstacle) and we did the Teeter for 5 points. All we needed to to was clear one single jump and get on the table to stop the time. I directed him to the jump, and he caught sight of the tunnel and headed for it. I was prepared...I was NOT going to let him go into the tunnel and disqualify us, so I SCREAMED his name. Amazingly, he listened, came away from the tunnel and cleared the jump, landing on the table to stop the time...for our very first Qualifying time!!!!

Jackpot (Non-Traditional)

Next up was Standard again - a typical agility course. this is one that I really wanted to "Q" in because it was a set course that we had to follow, and it would really show the training and partnership between Pretzel and I. I had a plan, and stuck to it, and Pretzel listened! We had a little problem with the tire jump - he missed it and then jumped the wrong way (for a 5 point penalty), and then missed it several times until I got smart and backed him up a bit to aim him at it. The times he ran by it (or underneath it) didn't count against us, it just burned up time. Luckily, he is fast enough that we managed to make up the time on the course, and finished just under the time allowed for our second "Q" of the day! This was really important to me as this is the class I really want to do well in. I was thrilled with how well Pretzel was listening to me.


Next we had two rounds of Jumpers. Jumpers is similar to Standard in that it has a set course to follow, but the only obstacles are jumps and tunnels. We had some problems in our very first Jumpers round where Pretzel took the wrong obstacle and we got an "NQ". In the second round, he did really well and was listening better, and we got another "Q"!!! We were up to three for the day, which was amazing for our first trial!!!


Last class of the day was Colors. In Colors, there were two short courses set up that intermingled. You chose the course you thought would be best for your dog, and ran it like a standard course for time. Of course, I picked the one that had obvious tunnel entrances, because I knew that Pretzel was going to be drawn to the tunnel anyways. This class was really smooth for us, it was the first class where I really felt Pretzel listened to every cue and didn't try to make his own decisions. We ended the day with our 4th "Q". What a change from yesterday! This has been the most fun I have had in a long time, it is kind of like hunter/jumper events with horses only you have to do a lot of running (and the only danger to you is tripping or running into a pole LOL!). I love this, I am addicted, and I want to do it again SOON!!!



Monday, December 9, 2013

I had an unexpected day off from school due to snow/ice. Pretzel was craving some attention, so I figured I would teach him another fun but useless trick - playing basketball!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Even though we were in the midst of a snowstorm, that did not keep me from riding today...finally a free Saturday morning! It just feels so cramped riding inside...I wish I had one more day I could ride outside on the grass. Unfortunately that area is under about 8 inches of snow right now. I can't even get the trailer out to go ride somewhere. Yes...getting a little winter-crazed right now. I hate snow and cold. Luckily in a week and a half I Pretzel and I will be heading to Florida. I will soak up some sun, watch the new year roll in and set my new goals for 2014 after assessing the success of my old ones. I always look forward to that - the new year is a fresh, clean slate just waiting to be marked. I am gonna mark it good!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Day After Christmas! We left yesterday afternoon for our road trip to Florida...a Weimaraner vacation! Pretzel got his first look at a palm tree...and his longest travel to date. Hoping to arrive in time tomorrow morning so we can hit the beach in the afternoon, I can't wait to see Pretzel's first beach experience!

Three Weimaraners chillin' in the motor home!

I love my glad to be able to take a vacation with my best friend!

Welcome to Florida.....FINALLY!

Three uncooperative weims trying to get a picture...

Pretzel's first look at a palm tree (right before he peed on it)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I am having a ridiculous amount of fun in Florida with Pretzel and my friends. Pretzel is having way too much fun himself...see for yourself!

At some point during this vacation, I managed to sit down and look at my goals for 2013 and evaluate my success for the year. Here were my horse goals:

2013 GOALS

Short-Term Goals
  • Show Tango in Hunter Under Saddle this year ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Show Tango in the 3yo non-pro at Congress, or another good 3yo futurity NOT ACHIEVED
  • Find a way to make breeding Corky in 2014 possible - find a place to board her that can accommodate her, or some other alternative NOT ACHIEVED
  • Win a HUS class with Tango NOT ACHIEVED
  • Earn at least 1/2 point on Tango NOT ACHIEVED

Long-Term Goals

  • Earn a Congress Top 5 NOT ACHIEVED
  • Breed another great HUS prospect for myself NOT ACHIEVED
  • Win a Circuit Championship on Tango ACCOMPLISHED - kind of...we won Circuit Champ for Solid HUS at the Paint Futurity, but we were the only horse in our division. Does that still count?

  • dog goals:

    2013 GOALS

    Short-Term Goals
    • Start training Pretzel (seriously) for agility ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Earn our first official AKC point ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Finish Pretzel's UKC championship ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Attempt at least one sanctioned agility trial ACCOMPLISHED!
    Long-Term Goals
    • Finish Pretzel's AKC conformation championship ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Earn an Agility championship Working on it!
    • Have fun for the next 10 years with Pretzel! Working on it!
    On to 2014....

    Click here to head to 2014...