Okay, I'm ready to talk about it now i think. The 2x4 trial that is.
We ran 6 runs, 3 each day. First was a gamblers and Izzie was motoring, she may not have motored in the exact way i wanted but she was having fun and the opening was actually not bad. The closing she was sticky on the frame (this continued to be a trend the rest of the weekend and I'm not really sure why) thus eating up time and there wasn't really time to push her out to finish the gamble. Next was our first Standard, no Q but Izzie ran clean. We had some sticky issues on the frame and had to redo the weaves once or twice and she was a bit slow to lay down on the table, that ate up time and we were over. But we ran clean, she did not zoom away from me or suck to the table unlike the last trial; this is improvement. I enjoy seeing improvement. Second standard we Q'd, which was awesome. Still a bit sticky on the frame but we only had to redo the weaves i think twice which is pretty good. The next day we started off with a Jumpers run, again clean but overtime. My handling was not the tightest it could've been but hey i've only been competing 5 months so cut me some slack, i get better every time! Izzie ran great, she was happy and even let out a few yips; it was by far my favourite course to run all weekend because it was fun an challenging. The next Standard was actually okay considering Izzie slipped on the dogwalk (the second obstacle in) and bailed. She did not Q because of time but it was actually a really nice run, having to put her back on the dogwalk really ate up our time, but she was okay and did not associate any fear with the obstacle and that shows to me how far she's come from instantly relating every bad experience right away to what was near her. The final Standard was also clean but over time so no Q, the biggest thing was she did her little standoff move at the weaves and did not want to do them though i made her do them anyways. She ran nice though and still no fear of anything and stayed with me.
Bottom line, we ran the "set courses" clean all weekend. This is big. Some people in agility don't think clean is important if it's not fast. Well screw them because you need both to Q in our venue and speed can be built. To have a green team do as well as we have after 5 months and come from originally being a shut down dog to one that loves the game is huge.
Honestly, in my mind, we did awesome. Yeah I'm a bit bummed that the sort of goal i made for our trialling year wasn't met, i don't think anyone out there wouldn't be if they didn't meet what they wanted to do. That is normal. However being someone who has been through extensive (and expensive) private sports psychology sessions, I'm not one to sit around thinking about every little "bad" thing that we did. There's a few rules i have for myself, a couple that i've had for a while and a couple that are newish.
- There is positive in every performance. Find it, cherish it, and know you did something good. Whether it is something that you improved on from the last trial or the fact you got your dog back with you from zooming. There is always something positive.
- Don't let anyone tell you different. You know that you did good, don't let anyone no matter how "high ranking" or experienced they are in agility take that away from you. Easier said than done i know but make an effort and it gets easier as you go.
- Smile. Smile big and smile strong and walk tall. People that want to bring you down are repelled by confidence, a big fat confident look on your face is like Off! For Assholes.
- Surround yourself with amazing people and instructors that are supportive of you and ditch the ones that are not. You don't need to be around people that are going to make you feel like shit.
Just four rules. That's all i need. I may break my own rules sometimes but who doesn't? I'm working on it. Number 1 and 4 i have down pat i think, especially number 4. I have the best agility friends in the world hands down. I may be the youngest in the group and kind of a weird kid, but they have been nothing but supportive and i've honestly never felt so accepted in my life. The support i get from those people help me follow rule number 2, when you're with people that do not want to tear you down it's much easier to ignore those that do. Number 3? Well, I'm working on it. I'm so afraid that I'll come off as a conceited little bitch because I'm so new to this all so I'm trying to get over that and really be able to feel and act confident. I think it'll come eventually for me.