Welcome to Rabbit's world - 2014 edition!

Follow my journey through the twists and turns of 2014 - training my horses, training my dog, attempting new things, attempting to improve on some old things, and attempting to have bucketloads of FUN!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

I haven't reported much about Tango recently, but I have been riding him, I assure you! Things are up and down with him - one minute he is riding great, the next minute he is inverting and acting stupid. It's the 4-year-old syndrome, every one of my horses had it at age 4. They are just confident enough from their 3yo year to act out a bit, since everything isn't new and shiny like it was their first year of showing, but yet they aren't quite broke enough to ride easily through the issues.

I was bound and determined to take Tango to a show tomorrow. It is time, and he needs the experience. Our ride was not the greatest today, but I still washed him up and got him ready. Thankfully, I decided to get up at the crack of dawn and braid him rather than doing it the night before. Glad I made that decision, because the show I planned on going to ended up cancelling at the last minute tonight. They got a dusting of rain and cancelled (I personally think the show committee just didn't feel like having the show, because the arena was bone-dry!). Oh well, Tango needed the bath anyways!

Friday-Sunday, August 8-10, 2014

AKC Agility trial in North Olmstead, OH

Pretzel and I headed to my old stomping grounds of North Olmstead for a 3-day agility trial. I have been taking private lessons from one of the top trainers in the state, attending my regular classes, along with taking an additional class in Columbus once a week. Whew! Can't say we aren't trying!!!

I ended up with mixed success this weekend, and just enough good success to get my competitive juices flowing again. Yes, just enough success to be dangerous for me! We had three runs each day - Time To Beat, Jumpers With Weaves, and Standard. Inevitably the first class was always the wildest for us, so it is safe to assume we did NOT get any Q's in Jumpers this weekend! I did have some nice jumping passes, and I had a couple runs where he ran around like a crazed lunatic and I had to pull him off. I had some craziness in Time to Beat also, but I also had a couple really nice 2 on-2 off stops on the teeter which makes me extremely happy. The best news of the weekend was that I Q'd in 2 out of the 3 novice standard runs (one was a terribly ugly Q that we achieved by the skin of our teeth, but a Q nonetheless!). These two Q's along with the one we got waaaay back in May in Springfield meant that we have finally graduated out of Novice Standard and into the Open Standard class. I was thrilled, but part of me was a bit worried since this means that my first time doing open standard would be at the Weimaraner Club of America trial in Tennessee at the end of the month (my big goal for the summer). Time to get back to work and practicing!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

APHA show - Swanton, OH

Tango and I worked hard all week with mixed success. I am still having trouble with him when I take a hold of him and try to drive him into the bit. He travels wonderful on a super loose rein, but that is not exactly correct for hunter under saddle and there are times when taking up contact is absolutely necessary! We headed today to a paint show in Swanton. I knew of one other solid paint that would be showing, so at least we wouldn't be alone in the class.

He is definitely a different horse than a year ago when I showed here. He seems less confident and more looky. I didn't arrive with much time to spare (the show was very small and ran really fast), but I didn't get a chance to warm him up under saddle in the make-up arena. Unfortunately I arrived just as the main riding break was over, so he never got to go into that big scary indoor until it was time for his class.

Right off the bat he was jumping at things on the rail. This is a VERY scary arena. I kept him way off the rail and tried to build his confidence by keeping him within his comfort zone. This worked somewhat, although all of the judges noticed his occasional spook. What bothered me the most was that in both my classes he was so tense that when I cued him for the canter he prematurely jumped into it and took the wrong lead...over and over again. Ugh! That, plus I had issues trying to take a hold of him and get him to frame up. Needless to say, we took second out of two in both classes. On the plus side - he didn't buck, and his spooks were easily managed and we got through the classes somewhat cleanly.

On the long drive home I debated my training options....I need to change what I am doing since I am not getting results.

Thursday-Sunday, August 21-24, 2014

AKC/Weimaraner Club of America Agility Trial, Murfreesboro TN

Well, this weekend finally arrived - I have been looking forward to this all summer! The trial was an all-breed trial, but it was put on by the WCA and there were a TON of Weimaraners there! We all crated together, it was a blast!

I will say this - I had a lot of fun. I met some awesome people, saw some GREAT Weims (including the top agility Weims in the country), and Pretzel had a total blast. Unfortunately, we had not one ounce of success all weekend. NO Q's. Pretzel was wild...absolutely wound up! In one of my jumpers classes he took about 27 jumps. Unfortunately there were only 14 jumps scheduled in the course! He definitely didn't lack for enthusiasm. I tried all sorts of things - getting him outside and running him until he was tired, playing focus games with him before our runs, you name it. Not much worked. He got in the ring and exploded off the line and before I knew it he was 4 jumps ahead of me and grabbing random obstacles.

On the plus side, we had some great start line stays (including a couple where I was able to do a two jump lead-out!). Our very last run on Sunday was in Open Standard, and he was actually paying attention to me and we were running CLEAN through most of the course until he decided to fly off the teeter and gain an instant NQ. While that was troubling, I was really really happy with the rest of that run. Too bad the other 9 runs that weekend were pretty disastrous. Good thing I had fun, or it would have been miserable!

We're representing Poet Weimaraners!

Gorgeous sunset during one of our evening walks in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

On to September, 2014...