Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Scunthorpe and other bits

Well it's been a couple of weeks since I updated the blog, but not alot has been happening really. I wasn't booked to go to Shuttleworth, so at least that saved me some money as I wouldn't have gone anyway.
Last Saturday I made the very long journey up to Scunthorpe. I left home just after 3am and got home about 8.30pm, so a long day. The day was made even longer by the fact that I had such a crap day, Chip had 4 runs and had 4 E's. He was missing all his contacts and having jumps down, I know we all have our off days, but I could have done without Saturday being one of them. Anyway I have decided that Chip isn't quite right on his backend, so I am getting him looked at, I have also decided to rest him for a few weeks so wont be going to Wallingford and I wont work him at Lewes.
Dave Bryant kindly took a few piccies of Chip in the Champ ring on Saturday and they are quite good. The expression on his face in this one is clearly saying "i'm not going to make it" and he doesn't, he has this jump down.

The other couple of piccies are good as well.

Nothing much this weekend, but I do have Toni Dawkins coming upto my field to do a training day and I'm going to work Tigg in the morning, so really looking forward to that, just hope the weather holds up.
Next show for me then will be Lewes and that is when Tigg makes his debut. I am confident that he can do all the equipment, he just doesn't concentrate for very long and is easily distracted. Also although he can weave, they need alot of work still as he is almost walking through them. Oh well, we will see what happens on the day.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Mid Downs & Easter Celebration

Doesn't time fly. Well at Mid Downs I just had 3 runs with Chip as Buzz didn't have any veteran classes. Both of Chips agility runs were abit pants, he was very strong on his contacts and I felt abit out of control. His grade 6/7 jumping was a lovely course and he worked fantastic, I could not have asked him to be any tighter around the jumps and he really picked his feet up. We were rewarded with 2nd place, so I was very pleased with that end to the day.
I did spend alot of the day sitting in my chair, so my feet weren't too bad, but they did ache the next day.

Onto Easter Celebration: Tenterden were ring partying at this show and although most of the show was moved indoors due to weather, we still ended up with one of the outside rings. I had already said I wanted to do scoreboard, so it meant I could sit down most of the day, this was made better by being in a portacabin and having an electric fire on, so I did feel sorry for the other ring parties outside. I had 4runs with Chip and 1 veteran jumping with Buzz. The veteran was a lovely course and Buzz worked fantastic and won the class, so I took home an Easter Egg (but I did give it all to my husband as i'm doing Weightwatchers and that is far too many points). Chips contacts were much better this time and unfortunately he had a pole down in the Olympia qualifier. I thought I would struggle to steer him around the Power and Speed, but he was actually quite controlled and I did get onto the speed section and we came 8th. Unfortunately in the grade 7 agility, Chip did a pullthru right at the end of the course on number 18 when it shouldn't have been a pullthru, so a good day. Unfortunately Chip was a bit stiff on the Saturday evening and my feet were very sore, so we didn't go back to the show on the Sunday.
Next show is Scunthorpe on 5th April.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Not alot been happening

As the title says, not alot has been happening with regards to agility. I haven't been back to Mac on a Monday for Chips training due to my feet being bad, but am hoping to go back when the next 6 week course starts. I only managed to go up the field a couple of times as I was in alot of pain with my feet. Anyway I have now been to see a Sports and Remedial Massage therapist and he has been working on my feet, with some good results so far. I have now been to him twice and I knew it would be painful whilst he was working on them, but not quite that painful. He's given me a few exercises to do, one of which includes rolling my feet over a golf ball. Anyway I'm hoping that they will feel a little better for Mid Downs on Saturday.
Chip worked really well at training last nite, so that probably means he'll be awful on Saturday (not really). Also I've just had the Osteopath visit and check Buzz and Chips backs and all is good, so all set for the start of the season.

Monday, 3 March 2008


My orthotics arrived last Tuesday so have been wearing them everyday, can't say I've noticed much improvement just yet. I don't have pain in my feet, just that they ache, so even though I've only been standing or walking for about 5 mins, they feel like I've just been on a 20 mile walk.
Anyway I went up the field on Friday as I had someone coming for a 1:1 lesson, so I worked Tigg for a little bit in the weaves, he is finally getting the idea and his weave entries are excellent.
Saturday I had another 1:1 lesson and then Elaine and Catherine came up the field and we worked Chip, Pi and Steiff and then I did little bits with Tigg.
On Sunday I went off to C-Side, Buzz had a run in the Veteran Jumping and he loved it, although no prizes, he did have the fastest time of 16secs, so I am pleased he can just have a run and enjoy it. Chip got 4th in the jumping, but after a missed Aframe in the agility (which was very bad as I had spent alot of time on Saturday working on it) he then got E'd as I could just not move quick enough. He did do a lovely dog walk and he didn't have any poles down, so I was pleased with that. Although I spent most of the show sitting down, my feet were just so painful and I am just so fed up that I'm letting the dogs down.
Anyway no shows this weekend, just got a couple of 1:1 lessons to do, then it's Mid Downs, I'm looking forward to going to the show, just not looking forward to the pains in my feet. Any volunteers to push me in a wheelchair might be gratefully received.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Ouch my feet hurt!!!

Well not much happening at the moment purely because I can only just about walk and even then its only for about 10mins all due to Plantar Fasciitis. My poor dogs are going stir crazy as they are not getting walked. When I go up the field I am letting them all have a run around and I throw their toys just to wear them out abit.
Anyway I have still had 1:1 lessons up the field so I have really suffered afterwards as have been standing for over an hour.
Last Friday Leah came up the field and did a bit of training with her dogs and then she worked Chip for me. I can manage to do a little bit with Tigg as long as is doesn't involve running. He is doing very well on the channel weaves and will go in from all angles with me sitting in a chair.
I am waiting for a referral to a physio to try and help sort my feet, also really hoping my orthotics turn up this week. The way I feel at the moment I don't see how I am going to be able to go to shows. I keep entering them in the hope that they will get better, if not someone is going to gain Chip (grade 7) to run and then Tigg when he starts competing at the end of April. Unfortunately Buzz doesn't run for anyone else, so he wont get to do his Veteran classes.
Lets hope I can get them sorted soon and be back up and running.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Lovely weekend weather

Well the weather was lovely this weekend (although a little nippy). Went up the field on Saturday with Elaine and my husband to assemble my new agility equipment (well secondhand, I've got the old Eukanuba set), it all looks very nice now. Also had someone come up and buy my old frame and flat tunnel, so that went to a good home and freed up some space. My feet are still really bad and have found that my crocs are the most comfortable, not really good for doing agility in though. Anyway after the equipment was set up, Elaine and I played about with Pi and Chip. Chip is such a good boy, as I couldn't run, I recalled where I could and then just sent him while I was walking around. He did some really good bits and his contacts were excellent (I will have to walk around more often).
On Sunday I had 2 people come up for private lessons, so I went up abit early and did some weaves and contacts with Tigg.

He is doing some really nice work now and he seems to be enjoying himself.

After being up the field for almost 3 hours, I could hardly walk and came home and got the footspa out and sat with me feet in it with hot water and Dettol, for about half an hour. They felt a bit better, but I am going to the doctors on Friday to see what they say. My special orthotics that are being made wont be here for at least another week or two.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Sheep herding and weaves

I took Tigg and Chip on a sheep herding day, this was just a session to see if your dog had the herding instinct. Although I had tried Chip on sheep before and he was actually quite good, the difference was I was in the pen with the sheep and Chip was on the outside, this time it was one big pen with the dog in the pen with the sheep. Therefore as Chip could now be with me (rather than outside a pen) he spent the whole time walking backwards staring up at me. Tigg on the other hand was excellent. From the minute he saw the sheep he didn't take his eyes off them. I let him off the lead and he went straight around the back of them, I was able to tell him to lie down as he got around the back of them as you don't want the dog to just keep going round and round in circle.

He was even strong enough to squeeze his way between the sheep and the fence to get them away from the fence, whereas alot of the dogs would just hold them against the fence.

Elaine came with me and she worked him the second time as I tore my Plantar Fasciia tendon in my other foot whilst working Chip. Tigg was really good and it was good to sit on the outside and watch him and as Elaine said it felt good to feel like you were in control of the sheep and the dog. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and might consider taking Tigg back for a few more lessons.

Then on Sunday I held a weave workshop up at my field. Although I had to sit down for most of the day due to my foot, Elaine helped me hold dogs, put out toys/treat pots etc, it was a good day. The first group were quite inexperienced, so we did alot of work on the channel and V weaves and I think they went away with a few exercises to work on and were pleased with the work they had done. The second group were alot more experienced so all the work was done on the upright weaves, but we were working on entries and positioning of the handler. I had them sending the dogs through all 12 weaves on their own and recalling through. Also had them moving away from the weaves to get into position for the next obstacle. They all worked really hard and I really enjoyed teaching them.
Now for a weeks rest and continually putting ice on my foot, I really hope it heals soon, so I can continue training Tigg.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Weaves & Contacts

Just been to Nancy's and had a really good lesson (thanks Nancy). I had told Nancy that I wanted to concentrate on the weaves with Tigg as I am struggling to get him from V's or Channels onto the uprights. Anyway Nancy had a look at what he could do on theV's, then we tried putting some of the poles upright and it is clear that he really doesn't understand. So with Nancy's advice we kept him on the slightly open V's and practised lots of different things. He was completing the weaves with me infront or if I left him to do them all by himself and I didn't move from the beginning. He knows that he has to do all 12 weaves regardless of where I am or what I'm doing. I am now just going to practice lots of those exercises and NOT do any upright weaves with him for a month or two. I will go back to Nancy in about a months time and hopefully we can see what stage he's at. The one good thing is that I have spent alot of time working on weave entries and he did prove that he can find the entries. I will continue to proof those whilst on the V weaves.
We then talked alot about his contact position and he does a lovely touch at the bottom of the contact. I have talked to Nancy about his contacts and I am going to do a similar exercise that Nancy has been doing with Niamh. I am going to put my dogwalk plank down onto the mini table and just practice running him at speed down the plank and proofing his contact position.
Nancy has given my alot of things to work on and I must make the effort and go up the field and put the ideas into practice.
Anyway off to do abit of sheep herding with Chip and Tigg tomorrow and then I've got 2 sessions of 8 people/dogs coming upto my field on Sunday for a weave workshop. At least the weathers improved.

Monday, 4 February 2008

The Weekend

Well another update in a short period of time (what is going on). Saturday we had Toni Dawkins come to our club for a training day. I love training with Toni. I had decided I wasn't going to run Tigg and had booked a lesson with Nancy on the Friday instead, unfortunately couldn't go to Nancy's as her ground was too wet. Decided I would work Tigg, but I would only do little bits then put him back in the van. He did some really good bits and pieces and I was very pleased with him. He had lovely tight turns (so glad i taught him the "steady" command) and his contacts were excellent and had infact speeded up abit. The real problem I had with him were the weaves and I know I've got to go up the field and put the work in to help him. Then we took Toni to the pub for lunch and had a good ole natter. Then I worked Chip in the afternoon group, his contacts are abit hit and miss at the mo, but can't moan as I can't make up my mind what to do with them. I think I want to run them, then I change my mind and I want him to stop, so no wonder he doesn't know what to do. Anyway he was his usual brilliant self and did some really good bits.
Sunday I went to C-side. Bernadette set a lovely veteran agility course and Buzz loved it and he did a lovely wait. Buzz did have the fastest time, but it was clear round only and a little bag of biscuits (which Buzz loved). After alot of hanging around I finally got to run Chip in the jumping, he was going so well, then went off to look at the tunnel, so although clear, it was slow. I was pleased that he didn't have any jumps down. Then after more hanging around, finally got to do the agility, by now, my feet were killing me and I was freezing cold, but once I get on the start line, I forget the pain I'm in and just run. Chip did a lovely run, got all his contacts and again left all the poles up. He was lying 2nd when I went home, but it was very early on into the class. I was just pleased he got his contacts and didn't have any jumps down.
By the time I got home I could hardly walk as my feet were so painful, I soaked them in a bowl of dettol and they felt better. I've got an appointment with a clinic in Surrey on Thursday that specialise in making orthotics for people with Plantar Fasciitis, the orthotics are very expensive, but if it cures the problem I don't mind paying.
Having a lazy day today to rest my feet then off to training with Mac tonight.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Up's and Downs

Tigg has now joined a class at Tenterden as upto now he had only been trained up my field on his own. The first week he was excellent and I was really pleased with all he did. I didn't do the full hour and put him away on a good note. Last week was a different story, he would not concentrate on anything, he kept sniffing the floor and eating the smallest piece of horse crap he could find and had forgotten how to weave. Anyway I put him back in the van as I really didn't want to continue with that sort of training. This week, I got him out and was obviously abit dubious about how he would behave, well he was great. I had set up the course that Nancy had posted, which meant we could do lots of little bits. We did a circuit on the contacts going twice round and his contact were the best they've ever been. Then we did a few jumping exercises, which involved scooping him inside me (which I haven't done alot of) and he was a star. Then we worked on wrong end of tunnels, this proved a little more difficult and I will need to go up the field and work on this. Then I put him through the weaves a couple of times on the lead, took him off and he was fine. I then put him away as I was very chuffed will all he had done. I did have a lesson booked with Nancy tomorrow, but now that we've got rain, unfortunately it will be too wet at Nancy's. I'm hoping I will be able to go sometime next week.
Anyway I've got a Toni Dawkins training day on Saturday and I'm working Chip, then I've got C-side on Sunday and I'm looking forward to that and so is Buzz as he's got veteran "AGILITY", yes he loves his contacts. Took Buzz into training last nite, just to remind him about his contacts, it just goes to show, you still have to put the work in even if they have semi retired. He broke his wait about 3 times and this is my dog that I would have said was 100% solid on his waits, but the fact that I have done no training with him (not even waits) shows. He then ran his dogwalk even though I had asked him to wait. He was very funny and was soooo pleased to be doing a little bit of agility. Anyway he's still sound this morning, so thats a good thing.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Training & Ribble

Well it's been a while since I last posted, but not much has happened. A couple of weeks ago while training at Mac's I tore the Plantar Faciia tendon in the bottom of my foot. I had only just got to training (after driving for an hour) and managed to do about 6 obstacles with Chip, when it felt like an elastic band snapping under the bottom of my foot. Well that was that and I limped out to the van and drove back home, I then spent the next week resting it totally and putting ice on it every 3hrs or so. I could hardly walk let alone run a dog and was quite disappointed as I was due to start working Tigg at club on the Wednesday. Anyway i didn't want anyone else to work Tigg as he is still a baby, so he didn't get to train, but I did manage to get Catherine to run Chip. He was a good boy for her, but did take the p..s abit on his contacts.
Foot is now alot better and I managed to work Tigg and Chip last week, I'm glad I worked Chip as this was his last training before going up to Ribble. Chip obviously knew I was not up to full fitness and he was soooo bad, I was not looking forward to Ribble with this wild merle.
Needless to say, he was still wild at Ribble and I got 3E's in the classes I ran, and Leah got 20th in the pairs running him with Eve's Dash, even though Chip had 2 poles and Dash had a refusal.
Tigg is going well at the moment and I have a got a training day lined up with him with Toni Dawkins and another with Natasha Wise. Must also make the time to go over to Nancy for some 1 on 1 as I do enjoy that and Nancy gives me ideas to go away with. Tigg is due out at the end of April and think his first show will be Lewes.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Chip doing abit of Training

A while ago I went to Nancy's to do some training and Leah kindly videoed it for me, so here is a little of what we got upto.


Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Happy New Year

Yes I know, I haven't written anything for quite a while, so here goes.

Well Olympia came and went and in fairness to Chip he worked really well, he just responded instantly to my commands which were too early, therefore he got E'd. Had a good day though, spent lots of money and Chip got to say hello to lots of kids.

With regards to Tigg's training, he is now weaving on the upright weaves. Although it is slow, he is thinking about it. I am still running him through the V weaves to encourage speed. He will be starting at Tenterden next Wednesday, this should benefit him as he has only been trained at home in the field alone.

On News Year Day I went to Camber Sands with Elaine and Catherine. Between us we had 5 collies and 3 Aussies, they were all very well behaved and it was even commented on by a couple of horse riders how good they were when we put them all into a down while they rode past us. Anyway we walked for over 2 hours and the dogs had a great time.

Buzz loves going anywhere that there is water, so he was in heaven.

Heres a few of the dogs, Pi and Tigg were not in the picture as they were too busy stalking the group.

Pi (Chips little brother)