2012 training goals

April 2012

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Kerry, the horse trainer, rode her horse, Kodi and I was on Windy for a morning ride. I learned how to saddle up and such. Then ended up having to unsaddle since my nice new saddle's stirrups wouldn't cinch up high enough for me. That just meant I got another chance to saddle up with one of Kerry's other saddles. We just rode down to the dead end of Bend Rd. and back towards the other horses housed on that road. Windy and I did fine. We had one good spook where she took off with me. Apparently branches brushing the top of my riding helmet is a new sound. She only got about 20 feet with me and we were back under control. There were several small, quick side step spooks or a couple of quick forward steps. Mail boxes along the road are apparently a new adventure. She just wouldn't walk between a power pole and it's wire support even though there was room for two horses to go through side by side. Kodi and Kerry walked through and she did the shut your eyes and run through the gap. Too funny. Kerry and Kodi were loaded and headed out by 11 am. Both horses were a bit upset to be separated and Windy dashed about her pasture and bucked and jumped some. Within an hour Windy was calm about her lone horse home. She'd picked a favorite spot by the dog fence and water trough. 

The dogs were somewhat upset this morning to find a large mammal hanging out by their fence. There is much barking and whining. I am afraid I've just gotten Josie her new 'bunny'. Josie used to spend hours running around and around the bunny cage whining. She was so attracted to seeing the bunny that I couldn't get her in the house sometimes. Hoping the fact that she's 8 1/2 now will tone her frantic self down some.


I took off Thursday to head to Memphis and spend a half a day or so with Mom before going on to Columbia, TN with Karen for a Siberian Specialty. Mom and I shopped a little and then we had dinner at Corky's when Dad got home from work. Karen and I with three Siberians headed to Columbia around 11 Friday morning. We got there in plenty of time to setup a grooming area at the show site and get a bottom floor hotel room. Karen's male, Revel, and my two Siberians found a way to all get along decently. Kamikaze played some with Revel after she told him who was in charge and how the play would be done. Revel and Kayak politely agreed to not have cross words, but we didn't really give them much chance to try and play. That just didn't seem wise with two intact males that don't really know each other.
Saturday morning I got Kayak all groomed up and took last place in the 6-9 puppy class. Such is conformation. The judge picked dogs with lots of chest and front, so I can see they wouldn't be attracted to my dog. Karen didn't show Revel at all since he was out of coat and leggy, not chesty. At least the show was at a nice park. There was plenty of space to exercise the dogs. During lunch break I got out Kamikaze to practice obedience with the distractions of people eating and other dogs walking by and such. More than just a good practice session with distractions we got lots of gawking and pointing. Apparently a Siberian working off leash utility heeling and signals and moving stand is a shocker for those conformation people to see. I also got some stares when my dogs went to their crates when told and waited in them until told otherwise.
Sunday I managed to get a second place in the puppy class and I showed Revel, with no coat,  in the Open class to a 4th place. As soon as Open dogs was finished we started packing up to go. I had an 8 hour or so drive to get home. I would've stopped in Memphis for the night again, but the horse trainer was bringing my horse this evening.

So Windy horse is here! She seems happy to be on a decent sized grassy area. Kerry, the trainer, brought one of her horses as well. We turned them out together for the first night at a new place. The morning is to bring riding and feed and tack lessons.



This morning was nice and cool so I laid out some practice tracks for Sprigs, Twinkle and Kayak. There was a decent breeze too. Sprigs was first and she sniffs the start article well then doesn't start. She stands and looks around a bit before deciding to start. She did well after starting on the straight line, 10 minute old 30 foot track with Ziwi Peak along the way. Twinkle got a turn on basically the same type track. I am still not sure she's tracking the person. She did actually stop at the glove for the first time and got tuna fudge for it. Kayak's track actually had a left turn at the end with a short, short leg to the glove. He was nose down and pulling looking for his track as soon as we cleared the door. He kept his tracking posture mostly the whole way through and was more focused than the two girls. He's really into his glove too since it usually has good stuff shoved in it.

I finally got my agility field mowed. My equipment has been buried in almost a foot of grass for a few weeks. I also got my brand new teeter base dragged out there and put together with my teeter board. Well, then I should try out the new teeter and the newly reconfigured field. I lowered the Aframe out there so I could start Kayak on Aframe training. He did well over the Aframe and tried out the new teeter. He did a couple of nice dogwalks and we worked some on jumps and adding value for jumps. He hasn't had much jump training since he's just now about 7 months. It was short because I saw him getting hot. I also got my jump chute set back up for Spirit. I think she lacks some stamina for a whole jumpers course at 16 inches and everyone knows she has terrible jumping form. I found she is just barely able to make the stretch to bounce the jumps at 6 foot lengths (my foot). I sent her through it 5 times and her form is better in the chute! Then we did a couple of weaves and went in.


Cheryl and I pulled the camper to Brandon, MS this weekend for a couple of days of agility. It wasn't my best showing as a handler, but the weather was beautiful on a normally hot weekend. Xanadu got her 5th MX leg, Kamikaze got QQ #22 and Sprigs got her OA title. Spirit had some moments of actually running, but still lots of sniffing. At least she's not avoiding obstacles anymore. She even made decent attempts to weave. I think she is feeling much better. Lego had moments of brilliance and moments of the way he used dash about. At least he still had a grand time even at his age.


Cheryl and I took off Friday morning pulling the new camper. It was an easy pull to Lake Charles and we were able to do the speed limit the whole way so we go there in plenty of time. It only took me two or three chances backing up to get in a good spot to hook up. Cheryl and I made short work of getting the camper up and going. Two competent people make things go smoothly and quickly. We did find we needed a bit long sewer hose and water hose for next time. We got the air running in the camper and went to set up at the show site. I had 9 of my dogs with me and Cheryl's 2. That was a lot of set up to do.

Spirit started us off in Jumpers. She was walking and only did some of the jumps and walked by others. I ended up picking her up about 3/4 of the way through. Lego had a nice run that I messed up at the weaves. Kamikaze and I managed to get around jumpers just fine though. Spirit walked the beginning of Standard so I just pulled her. Lego and I made it around Standard in good fashion. That was encouraging for me for Kamikaze's upcoming try. Kazee and I made it around Standard in beautiful fashion for our 20th QQ and our MACH!  It's my first dog to get a MACH and she's the youngest Siberian to have her USDAA and AKC agility championships. AND only one try at our final QQ! Now that's something to be happy about. Cheryl even managed to get someone to bring a cake for Sunday to celebrate.

When I got Spirit up this morning she appeared more lethargic and seemed to be running a slight fever. I had a vet friend, Rosey, check her out briefly. There didn't appear to be any tenderness and she was hydrated. I scratched her from the show all day and kept an eye on her. Xanadu started off the day for me with a nice Q in Standard. I managed to mess up Kazee and Lego's runs in completely different ways. Xanadu was not a chipper in Jumpers, but we did make it around just under time for her first QQ and her MXJ title. Lego and Kamikaze both Q'd in Jumpers as well. Sprigs ran her Open JWW and Open Standard run very, very well. Now she has 2 Standard Q's and one Jumpers one. 
Cheryl and I let Hero stay in our camper for the late afternoon and early evening so his parents could go some places without him barking his head off in a hotel room. He's fine if you're in there with him, but barks almost constantly when left with no people. Cheryl and I also found a decent local mexican place with an outstanding waitress. 

Spirit seemed perkier on Sunday so I let her run Standard. She actually took off at a good clip too. Then we got half way through and I could see her wearing down and struggling with the jumps so I pulled her at the table to have a happy exit and a good experience. I scratched her from Jumpers. I managed to mess up Lego in Standard, but Kamikaze and I pulled out an ugly Q by the skin of our teeth. Lego had a spectacular jumpers run, but hit a bar. That's not like him. Kamikaze made it around the course fine for an insurance QQ. Sprigs got a little wound up for Standard. I'm sorry to say there is no video. I would love to share that run. She was fast and WILD and happy. Even spinning in circles at the end of the run. Needless to say it was not a Q though. She did make her Jumpers run though, so now she's only one Q from Excellent in both classes. GO GO SPRIGS! Here are her runs.

Cheryl and I were able to break the camper down in fairly quick fashion and got it hooked back up on the first try. The drive home was nerve wracking though! We were having gusting winds, and a camper is like a sail. We had to do almost 20 MPH under the speed limit most of the way home to be able to control the trailer sway. That made for a long and stressful drive. So, we loved the camper setup for having at the shows though. I would just wish for no wind while I was pulling. We liked it so much we are taking it to Brandon, MS next weekend. There's a list of a few things I need to get before then too.


We had a great weekend here for our home show! The beagles only ran Friday. Lego got his 4th QQ! That's 2 in a row for him. Spirit finished her AXJ just barely under time, but at least she was trying. Last weekend she just walked. So, this weekend it was Xanadu walking. Think I just learned a lesson about the red beagle girls. Neither of them feels like agility just days out of season. They are still feeling hormonal or something. 

Kamikaze ran all three days and came home with QQ 18 and QQ 19. We so should have finished our MACH, but I screwed up Saturday's Standard run by trying too hard to help her. We have three tries next weekend in Lake Charles, LA to finish that MACH. I can almost taste it.

Sprigs ran Saturday and Sunday. Saturday she finished her Novice Jumpers and Novice Standard titles. 

Then we moved on to Open for Sunday where she got her first Open Standard leg. She should've gotten that first Open Jumpers leg as well, but I forgot that sometimes baby dogs don't take what's in front of them unless you tell them to. I let her come out of a tunnel and race past a jump with no information from me.

I'll be pulling the new camper to Lake Charles next weekend. I'll be hauling 9 of our dogs and 2 of Cheryl's. It should prove to be an exciting (and slightly crowded) weekend. Xanadu and Sparkle run Saturday only, Sprigs runs Saturday and Sunday, the rest of the crew runs three days. Sprigs' littermate, Quick, is debuting in Lake Charles too! 


We picked up our new camper this afternoon. It's a small one, but the layout is perfect for dog people. I was overall pleased with Berryland Campers. I would go there again. My first trip pulling it is just 9 days away. I'm a little nervous, but if I can learn to drive and back a motorhome I can learn to do this.

This week started my new work arrangement too. I am now only working part time. I do Tuesdays and Wednesdays from home. It's been hard to not log in to the office starting off this week. I am sure it'll get easier. I am only a bit nervous about making ends meet, but more excited about more time to do... well... whatever.


Well, I had a pretty darn good agility weekend! The only downside was Spirit walking around the ring all pouty with her nose on the ground. I'll just attribute that to 'just came out of season' and move on. Xanadu had her nose a bit out of joint since she had to stay home for actually being in season.
I kicked a jump foot in Kamikaze's jumpers run knocking off the bar. ACK! Well, we didn't make it around standard anyway. Lego had a very nice jumpers run with a third place finish. Sprigs made her debut runs in Novice. WOW! 'nuff said.
I started out well Saturday by getting Kamikaze around the Jumpers course clean. Lego actually hit a bar, a rare event, and missed the weave entry. Kamikaze and I held it together in Standard for QQ #16! Sprigs was, once again, just cute and fast and focused.
Sunday I was shocked to get both Lego and Kazee around that standard course! It was the most challenging of the weekend. That set me up for two different dogs to QQ in once day. I think that would be a first. Then I walked jumpers. It was such a sweet course! I thought of it as your reward for getting around standard that morning. BOTH my guys did jumpers beautifully! That's 17 QQs for Kazee and 3 for Lego. Sprigs and I ran Standard, but didn't stay for jumpers since you can't get a title with all your legs under one judge.