I haven't been doing very well writing on this blog. There always seems to be something else that MUST be done and then the day is over. I know it is only November, well tomorrow will be December, so I guess I am not too much ahead of schedule saying that the year is almost over.
Ribbon and I had a lot of fun trialling in Open this year. I learned a lot about how to warm up at trials with her. She certainly is enjoying her time in the ring. The sit stay has plagued me a little bit. But to be perfectly honest I haven't had much time to work in a group of dogs or get to many different locations. We have been working on utility and having a blast!! We have done two matches and although Ribbon is not completely sure what she is being asked to do (as in the order), her little eyes light up and she runs out and does it. My plan is Utility trials in April. There is a club that is hosting a trial at the school, so it seems silly not to have her ready for that. I also have entered Gali in it. Closer to the trial I will work him and if I feel confident about his vision I will try for that last leg. If not I will pull before closing. Otherwise Gali is his normal happy bouncy self!
I got to do quite a bit of herding with Maddie, it was such a great learning experience. I am so lucky to have her. We haven't done anything in a couple of weeks and she is getting pretty bored. I have two lessons booked in December and maybe I can get out on my own over the Christmas holidays. Viki is currently looking for a nursery dog for me ( Nursery is a class for dogs under 36 months). It would be great to have him/her over the winter to build our teamwork (and learn to whistle) and then be ready for the trials in the spring. Maddie will be 11 in January and while she is very healthy, I am not comfortable asking her to do those big outruns, what if she steps in a hole and blows a cruicate? My gut is telling me to stop so I am going to. She can still do lessons and barn chores and maybe some setting out at trials, she doesn't care as long as she gets to work.
I finally finished all my criteria for obedience judging!!! It took almost 5 years!! I have done my first assignment and I think it went well. Once I was judging I felt confident. I was glad to have utility first, so that I could take my time and get my ring set up, measured and not feel rushed at all. The trial filled (in fact overfilled so Ted Leslie had to judge some dogs for me) so I didn't want to feel under the gun about going over the 7 hours of judging, which I didn't. A few days after the assignment was over I was feeling an adrenaline let down. After all the hype of getting ready to do my first assignment, now I have to wait for the next one in February. I guess it will get here soon enough. The final step is that I still need to judge 7 Novice dogs and then once I hear from the CKC that I have judged all the numbers (10 Novice, 8 Open and 7 Utility) then I can accept other assignments.