Welcome to my brain...my world! If you've been reading my training diaries for the past 11 years (yes, I was "blogging" before blogging was cool!), then you know to expect the unexpected. What does 2017 have in store for me? I am excited to find out! Hang with me as we go through all sorts of crazy happenings - expecting a foal in February, Noodle's official show debut, Pretzel's return to agility, and who knows what else I have up my sleeve (heck, I don't even know!). I predict fun and frustration, successes and failures, but above all...keep on keepin' on.
By the way, Click on any image on this page to enlarge it.
"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." - Napoleon Hill
So now it is time to set goals for 2017.
2017 Short Term Goals
- Earn a Q in Open Agility
- Earn an open Agility title
- Get to level 4 in all CPE categories
- Earn a Q in Obedience (nov or beg nov)
- Achiever Noodle's conformation championship
- Earn Pretzel's Silver Grand Championship
- Have a healthy foal and healthy Corky
- Stay #1 in lifetime NOHS Weimaraner points
- Compete in obedience and rally at WCA Nationals
2017 Long Term Goals
- Earn a Congress top 5
- Compete at the Excellent level in agility
- Break into the top 20 in AKC Weimaraner conformation
- Earn a C-ATCH in CPE agility
- Put a ROM on Corky's future foal
I continued my New Year's Day tradition of spending the afternoon in the saddle. I think I have ridden nearly
I have not ridden Tango in a while. OK, let's be honest...it's been a
I will say - he is so fat and out of shape, he almost looks more pregnant than Corky! My girth barely fit him. However, he really ode great. He was a little heavy moving at first, but gradually got loosened up and back into his normal sweeping big trot.
However, when i asked him to canter (to the left, first), man did he
Overall, it was a very good ride, and it reminded me how much I truly
On the Corky front - she is
Welcome to winter! I guess it officially arrived today. Noodle became obsessed with eating the snow...I think she ate her body weight in snow and ice, and frozen mud. I suppose that is better for her than eating huge mouthfuls of mud, which is what she has been doing the past few weeks. Her pica-tendencies are a challenge to deal with. I hope and prays she grows out of this!
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
- Helen Keller
Can you say
I enrolled Noodle in a conformation handling class. I think it will be a good thing for both of us. I want to keep learning and improving, and although I've had a ton of success this year, I don't want to get stagnant. We start on Wednesday.
Well, I went north to run Pretzel in some agility run-throughs. No, I haven't given up quite yet. I always feel when I trial goes badly (which they ALL have been the past few years) that I should give up...then I go home, sleep on it, regroup, and decide to try and come up with a plan of action.
Here is the interesting thing. I did three runs. the first run was pretty bad - Pretzel kept stressing, disconnecting from me and putting his nose on the ground to sniff. This was
For some reason, if he
I know what you are going to say, but no, I do NOT get nervous or hyped up at trials. I am a musician, used to performing onstage, and have shown horses for 30 years. I really don't get nervous. I have been to enough trials that it really isn't that big of a deal to me. I honestly don't think anything I am doing is causing the stress (I certainly wasn't stressed at his first run at the run-throughs this morning). I really believe it is all in Pretzel's head. How the
I send the videos to a more experienced and skilled agility friend to get her opinion. We have a trial next weekend. I'd love to have a plan of action going into that trial. you know me...I need a
Tonight was Pretzel's first agility class in almost a month. He was the same way he has been for the past 5-6 months - very lackadaisical, slow, and accurate. He is just so bored with classes in the same training building week after week. He doesn't really do anything wrong, he nails his contacts, stays on target, but just does everything slow and unmotivated. I think I am going to try to get him in a class someplace new later this winter, or try something different. It's pointless to practice when he is like this...this is not the same dog I have at trials!
I spent the afternoon grooming Corky. She was covered in mud, so she appreciated the attention. Her udders are super-swollen, but in a weird way. they don't look like any of my other pregnant mare udders. I don't know if I should be worried, or if it is just my usual
I did feel the baby move around, it was awesome! Her stomach was rolling around a little as I groomed her. After I was done, I turned her out in the indoor, and she trotted around with this big, massive, gorgeous trot...just like she moved when she was in her prime. It was an absolute joy to see, and I felt like i could cry tears of joy. I
This evening I took Noodle to her very first conformation training class. I signed up for classes being taught by a well-respected handler. It was one of the best classes I have ever had. he worked us all the entire class, loads of good information, and he gave me a few hints to improve her free stack. She tends to want to stop with her back feet staggered (like a German Shepherd)...same problem i have with Pretzel. He had me slow down and stop her early, then use the leash to move her front end a little to the right and left to throw her hind end off balance a bit so she would bring her trailing foot forward for balance. I like having a specific tool to practice with. Going to practice HARD the next few weeks...her first show is in a week and a half!
Today I had a private obedience lesson with both Pretzel and Noodle. My instructor Pauline is awesome! She came up with a list of exercises to work with Noodle:
She did really well with her one-on-one lesson. She is pretty focused...when there aren't any other dogs or people around! Sounds
Pretzel was good. Our biggest struggle is heeling. he is heeling OK, but with near zero enthusiasm and not a lot of focus. Our goal is to get his focus up and his attitude excited. We did a lot of work with
My goal is to have him ready to show in novice Obedience and Novice Rally at WCA nationals in June. A big goal....I think I will add that to my 2017 goals!
Well what are the odds that I will have a conflict
On other conformation show news...they released the numbers for the Grayslake, Illinois show that we entered for the following weekend. Majors in bitches all 4 days! Oh boy...talk about jumping right into the fire with a baby puppy! Wow...
Corky gets her last pregnancy vaccinations on Monday. Either Tuesday or Wednesday I will haul her to the foaling farm. It's almost
Here is the weird thing...Pretzel never once sniffed the ground. What he did do is completely leave me many times in each class and run over to the fence near the doorway where people and dogs were entering and exiting. It was a very close trial site, and the incoming dogs were right next to the ring fence. I could not get him back to me to work...in fact in my third run (jumpers) I went ahead and just grabbed him by the collar and led him out, because he refused to come to me.
At dinner tonight, Mark and I discussed this whole agility thing, and Pretzel's agility career. We both decided that since there has been zero improvement, if this continues maybe we should go ahead and give up this sport. No sense in beating our heads against the wall (and spending
Well, of course because I came to that hard decision last night...things changed today! We started off the morning with open Jumpers, and Pretzel was
Next was Open Standard. We had a few more mistakes in this class, but every single time Pretzel came back to me and continued working. I don't think his stress was completely gone, but he was OK with making mistakes and didn't completely check out after each one.
So now, what is next? Good question. I guess I continue training. We are entered one day of a trial in late February. I came home and sent in my entries for a CPE trial at the end of March. We will give it a few more tries to see if things improve.
I sure wish I could just read Pretzel's mind. What is he thinking about the whole agility thing? Does he love it? Hate it? Is he having fun? Is the stress lessening? I wish I had taught him English....but then again he is a German breed ;-)
"Optimism is an expectation of the future, but hope is a way of experiencing the present. Optimism argues with the predictions of cynicism and bitterness, and is often proved wrong. Hope rejects cynicism and bitterness as unhelpful, and is perennially proved right."- Doug Muder
We will call this month the season of
Well...I bit the bullet so to speak and I entered Pretzel in two beginner novice obedience trials in Indianapolis in February. We are going there for conformation, and I think it is time to try him out in some obedience. We've been taking classes for over a year now. I am thinking I will have really no idea where we are at in our training until we attempt to do this in public. Oh boy...stay tuned...
This weekend's show is in Harriman, Tennessee. A small show, perfect for Noodle's debut into the "real" classes. Today is one day short of her 6 month birthday, so we did the 4-6 month beginner puppy event one last time. Noodle finished her beginner puppy career with a
Pretzel, of course, was not to be outdone. he was the only weim entered today, so of course we got best of breed....but we also picked up an Owner-Handled Sporting group
Overall, it was a
I checked on Corky at the foaling farm today. The manager told me he thinks she could go as early as this weekend!
Wow, Grayslake, Illinois is a
I was so proud of Noodle, she showed like a champ. We still need to work on our gaiting, because she does want to forge ahead and pull on the lead (which makes her go a little crooked). I especially love how she handled the show site. It was a big show and pretty crowded, but she was not fazed by the crowds.
Pretzel showed great also - he ended up getting best opposite. A great day for all of us (and you know what that means - celebration at Olive Garden!!!)
The next three days were pretty successful. All three days Noodle was seriously considered for winners bitch, and ended up reserve winners bitch. Several of the judges had some big compliments for her, and I was especially proud to hear the good remarks coming from other die-hard Weimaraner people that were at the show watching us. Pretzel was awarded best opposite two more days, and select dog on Sunday. Both dogs were awesome all 4 nights in the hotel room (way better behaved than most of the other dogs in the hotel!). The people at this show were extremely friendly. Overall, it was a show WELL worth the long drive (and the
Good girl, Corky! She held out over the weekend. Today she was pretty cranky and looked very uncomfortable. Maybe the foal will arrive tonight? I hope so!!!!!