The 2015 edition of Jan Hare's life

Hop on 2015 and join me on the roller-coaster ride of training - training horses, training dogs, training humans, and attempting to establish order in my life.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Well today Tango was finally bad. Sounds weird to be excited about that (not really excited!) but he has been such a model citizen all month that I wondered what was up with him. I do think having daily turnout is working wonders with his brain. He is just so mellow every day when I get him out to ride, no longeing necessary.

Today was a different story. He came out of his stall pretty quiet as usual, but there was a small child running around the arena that was getting him on edge, and also horses out in the pasture that were right up near the gate of the indoor arena. he actually bucked a bit...I had to get off and longe him a little to let him look at everything and freak out without killing me. It didn't take long, maybe 5 minutes of longeing and he was done. I love that about him.

So, we rode, it was very hot and humid, we got a little work done but by the time I had him settled, he was so sweaty I didn't want to push the ride much farther. No biggie, it's not like we are preparing for anything. And THAT is the problem for me. It's OK right now, because I can focus on Pretzel's showing career. However, not having Corky's baby to look forward to nor getting tango ready for any sort of showing is really hard on my horse-goal-oriented mind. What exactly am I doing? Pretty much riding aimlessly around. So when you wonder why my training diary has become dog-heavy in the past 6 months, that is why. Gotta focus on something positive, something to work towards.

On another unrelated note, it is really really really really really weird to not be starting school right now with everyone else. My life has been ruled by the school year since I was in kindergarten more than 40 years ago. For the first time, I am NOT starting school! Yep, I kinda like it! I am liking my new job, loving my "new" life...there are some drawbacks and some sacrifices, but the good far outweighs the bad.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Wilmington, OH - Cincinnati Weimaraner Specialty

This weekend we had an AKC show in Wilmington, Ohio. Friday was just a Weimaraner specialty. Lots of really nice Weims, and a judge who did all sorts of unusual stuff in the best of breed class, including having each one of us go in to the center and "show off" our dog. I was excited to get Select Dog with Pretzel, but even more excited to do the math and figure out he earned his last-needed grand major to finish his Grand Championship!!! I was hoping to accomplish that this weekend, and it was really cool to do it on the day of the Weimaraner Specialty.

Saturday, September 4, 2015

Wilmington, OH AKC Show

Today's show was pretty big! I love the bright blue flooring, but found out it was VERY slippery. It was a beautiful weekend, sure wish we were showing outdoors. We had a decent morning, ended up Select Dog again, but the most important thing was the Owner-Handler Best of Breed, which we did win! That's the main reason I came to this show...yay!

The judge for the Owner-Handler Sporting Group was the same judge I had for breed. For some reason, I had the impression that although he gave me ribbons, he wasn't all that into Pretzel. I was right, we got completely ignored in Group...again! Ugh, this is getting confidence is really going down. In the past month, I have gotten very few group placements, and the past few weeks have been mostly ignored.

Oh well, as they say, tomorrow is another day! And there's always another show, another judge, another day...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wilmington, Ohio AKC Show

The judge we had this morning was VERY cranky. He made a rude comment to me about my bad hearing and hair color...I stared at him trying to figure out if he was joking, but could see no sign of a smile. I swear, some of these judges NEED to retire. Regardless, we ended up Select Dog and Best of Breed Owner Handler, so I can't be too upset. Still...

The judge for Owner-Handler sporting group was actually my breed judge from the Weim specialty on Friday. I am not sure why, but this boosted my confidence a bit. Well...looks like I had good instincts. We were pulled out and awarded a GROUP ONE in the Owner-Handler Sporting Group (and it was a TOUGH one!). Wow did I NEED that confidence boost! FINALLY! I cannot describe how I felt at this moment. I am so proud and thrilled. What made this even better was the fact that many of my friends stood around the ring and cheered for me. I think that helped my showing a LOT...I felt confident, and Pretzel felt confident.

We went on to Owner-Handler Best in Show. It was awesome to be there. We had the same judge that judged breed and group yesterday, so I knew he wasn't going to even look my way, and he didn't (best in show went to the Chow). But it was SO AWESOME to be in that ring with everyone watching, and my friends cheering. Seriously an epic moment in my life, for sure. I would like to bottle up that feeling and keep it forever.

I got to show one of my friend's Labrador retrievers both days, ended up getting Best of Winners with her both days! Standing ringside, I got asked at the last second to take a Siberian Husky in the ring, with ZERO notice...and I won Best of winners with that 10 month old puppy also. TOO fun! No pics of the husky, unfortunately.

My new lucky socks...Pretzel socks!

Saturday-Sunday, September 12-13, 2015

AKC Conformation Show - Lancaster, OH

Well, how do you go about topping last weekend's epic win? You get yet another epic win!

The weekend started off like usual - not overly successful. Got zilch in the best of breed ring, but got best of breed owner-handler by default, being the only non-professional in the ring. Got zilch in the group ring, which I figured would happen. And then...there was Sunday...

Same scenario in the breed ring, but went into the OH Sporting group and wowowow! We pulled off another GROUP ONE!!! There was some serious tough competition also, which of course usually happens in the sporting group. Once again I got to go in the Owner Handler best in Show ring. I felt I had a really good show there, but the judge gave it to the Pomeranian (why oh why do hair dogs always seem to get the BIS?). Ack, who cares, I am so pumped with my group 1 I could scream. OK, and I will have to admit I did scream a little (in private!).

Best of Breed ring

Owner-Handler Sporting group

Pretzel and I in Owner-Handler Best in Show

Owner-Handler Best in Show

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I was in a big mental debate this week about Tango. I rode him yesterday, and he was phenomenal! I started seriously thinking about hauling him to a show somewhere in a few weeks. My birthday weekend is dog-show-free, and I don't have any plans yet. I went home and started researching.

Then I came out today to ride, and he rode like a rhinoceros. Yeah, that's about the only thing I could come up with to accurately compare him to. He was lumbery, stiff, and I had to force every stride to keep him going. He just felt super lazy today, and when he is that lazy he makes zero effort to try and lift his shoulders and canter in frame. Show in a few weeks? Not on your life!

My problem is that I have been spoiled by the best - Taylor and Corky. After riding those two awesome powerhouses I just don't want to step down this far. I hate that, but it's true. I am having a blast riding Tango around this new barn, but I honestly have almost NO interest in showing him. Losing Corky's baby has really put my show desires on hold, and I suspect it will be years before I step into the show pen again. This makes me very very sad.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Well, I entered Pretzel in a CPE agility trial in November! It's time, I think...time to see if these 6 months of re-training have worked, or whether we are a hopeless case. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Well, this week I learned the fragility of dogs...comparable to horses! Pretzel was lame this weekend. I first noticed it on Sunday, though he might have been sore for a few days earlier and since we didn't really do much training-wise and the weather was too bad to play outside, I didn't notice. It got progressively worse on Monday so i took him to my vet on Tuesday morning. It was pretty subtle and hard to diagnose, she guessed it was a soft-tissue injury like a muscle pull. Have me some anti-inflammatories, did hot laser therapy on his right leg and shoulder, and said all should be good.

Well, of course I am paranoid. After my horses' drastic career-ending injuries, do ya blame me? I have been keeping him quiet (yeah...easier said than done!), trying to keep him in a small area like an ex-pen when hanging around so that he doesn't run around much. Borrowed my friend's cold laser and am doing that on his shoulder every other day. Why shoulder? well, for some reason I have convinced myself that this is what is injured. I started thinking back to last Thursday. mark and I rented the ARF building to work our dogs, and Pretzel was, shall we say, over-enthusiastic? He was doing his contact obstacles with gusto, and SLAMMING his body down on the two on-two off contacts. I have a feeling that this is what possibly jammed up his shoulder. Keep in mind that Pretzel can be a wild man, so really the injury could be ANY sort of wrong twist or turn, but for some reason my instinct seems to think the contact obstacle is what caused this.

So, we sit in our cage...take it easy, hopefully we will make our conformation show this weekend (the vet seemed to feel that would not be a problem), and REALLY pray it isn't something that would require surgery.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I have been working on lateral moves with tango, always trying to strengthen his balance and get his shoulders up. We have incorporated a lot of half-passes at the trot, which I can tell he doesn't enjoy but he goes about it somewhat willingly. His half-pass to the left isn't too bad, but he struggles to the right and often breaks into a canter step or two. I know this will only help him get stronger, so I have to keep at it. He at least keeps a better attitude about it than Corky did - she was one angry woman when I would work on half-passes with her back in the day!

I have been pushing him for more forward motion at the canter to clean up his legs. It works at times, and at times it doesn't. Man, it is a CHORE to get a lot of forward motion out of him. He really is a western pleasure horse stuck in a hunter's body, for sure! If he could jog (which he really can't - stride is too long), he totally would!

Congress starts in a week. I am kind of sad. I was looking forward to this Congress, getting to buy baby stuff in anticipation of Corky's upcoming foal. It still crushes me when I think about it.

On to October, 2015...