The 2015 edition of Jan Hare's life

Hop on 2015 and join me on the roller-coaster ride of training - training horses, training dogs, training humans, and attempting to establish order in my life.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Well, this weekend ending up being a bust. Yesterday Pretzel and I went to a CPE agility trial in Columbus...started off the morning with a Q (OK, so it was Full House which means all the extra obstacles Pretzel grabbed on his own actually added points to our score!), and I was excited for the rest of the weekend. But the trial ran sooooo slow, I ended up having to leave right after my second run (an unsuccessful standard run) and missed my last 3 runs because I had to be back in Delphos for a basketball game. I planned on coming back tomorrow, but the weather was looking to be really bad - we were under a winter weather warning with 8-12 inches of snow predicted for Sunday so I opted to be safe and eat my entry fees and stay home. BIG mistake! Today we ended up only getting a couple inches, and it wasn't bad at all! I am kicking myself for skipping out on the rest of the trial. In consolation, we went outside and practice some weaves in the fresh snow...made a pretty cool path!

I spent my "snow day" painting - I am doing awards for the Weimaraner Club of America agility trials at their national specialty. It's kinda fun painting Weims instead of horses for a change!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

*sigh* Do you like my new redecorating...compliments of Pretzel? Yeah, can we say separation anxiety? Ever since we got back from Florida last month, he has been really upset when I leave him for work. He is slowly but surely destroying my basement steps. Yeah, those used to be carpeted...and that wall to the left used to be a solid piece of drywall. He is banned from the dog door/stairway while I am not home until I can come up with a better solution. Frustrating!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Corky is shedding like CRAZY! She is almost completely shed out in certain areas of her body. This is thanks to the lights I have on her stall. Unfortunately, I still see NO sign of a heat cycle from her. Breeding season started this week. I had a feeling she wouldn't cooperate...I really hope this isn't going to be a problem breeding for me. For once in my life I would like everything to go smoothly like clockwork. Is that even possible when breeding horses? I got Corky out today and free-longed her without her blanket to get some of that loose hair blown off. Watching her trot and canter around the arena still gives me chills. Today was a good day for her, she was feeling good, and it just brightens my heart to see how incredible she still moves. Wouldn't it be awesome to get a foal that inherits her movement? It makes me excited for the future...but we gotta get past step one and that is proving to be difficult.

I hear from Alisa that Tango is doing well, and she thinks I will be pretty pleased with how he is working. I am going to see him on Saturday (sandwiched between some agility run-throughs and a trial this weekend)...I can't wait to see how he is looking. I also need to figure out if this fence thing is doable for us or not. He is now on his second month of training, and I want to make sure I am not throwing away good money. Good there ever bad money?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tonight I went to agility run-throughs at Incredipaws in Pataskala. I was hoping Pretzel would think this was an actual trial and make his usual focus-less mistakes so I could correct them. Of course not...he was phenomenal...nailed his two on-two off on the contacts, followed my directions, he was awesome. We did a total of 6 runs, and he was spot-on. I left the run-throughs with a LOT of hope for this weekend's AKC trial in Zanesville.

Saturday-Sunday, February 7-8, 2015

AKC Agility Trial - Zanesville, OH

Well, rather than giving blow-by-blow details, let's just sum up this entire weekend by saying it was a pure disaster. Pretzel did NOT pay attention to me in ANY of my classes. I had a hard time even finding spots in my runs that I could look at as good and hold on to a little hope. It's just SO embarrassing to have bumped back down to novice and still have NO success...week after week. People must think i am the worst dog trainer in the whole world, and mayb e they are right. or maybe agility just isn't the right sport for Pretzel, and maybe I should just give it up.

I just can't give up yet, it's not something I can do right now. I just WISH I had a shred of hope, or at least some ideas as to how to make things better. I am tempted to hire a dog psychic just to find out what the heck is going on in his head!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

This evening I went to see Alisa ride Tango. She is working hard to get him balanced at the canter, and more forward. He is easy easy over jumps, doesn't seem to care at all...and doesn't put a whole lot of effort into jumping. This is good and bad. Good - he is unfazed by the jumps, has no fear, and seems very quiet and willing. Bad - he has very low energy over the jumps. I guess we will know what he has in him when he starts being asked to jump higher jumps. For now, I am pleased. The jury is still out...not going to get too excited yet.

Saturday-Sunday, February 21-22, 2015

AKC Agility Trial - Springfield, OH

Well, I have NO idea what happened to Pretzel's brain, but it suddenly appeared! I braved a horrible snow storm to get to the trial, the hour and a half drive took me almost 3 hours. We arrived just in time to go in the ring for our novice FAST class. Amazingly, Pretzel was really really good, got the send bonus, and we ended up with 55 points and a Q!!! our first Q since October, hallelujah!

Ou jumpers class went really well also, we would have gotten a Q but he blew past a jump by accident and then back-jumped it for an off-course and an NQ. I couldn't be unhappy with that run, because overall it was good!

We had to wait all day for our novice standard class. We were near the end of the class, so most of the dogs had left for the day and the place was a lot quieter. Pretzel was completely subdued in the class, and guess what? We not only Q-ed, but we had a CLEAN RUN!!!! A miracle!

Sunday's trial went just as well! We didn't Q in Time 2 Beat (as usual we got whistled off before we could finish the course), BUT he nailed his weave entry and did all 12 weaves perfectly...BIG improvement! Novice Jumpers went awesome - I had a plan, and for once it actually worked!. Pretzel missed one jump for a refusal, but we ended up with 95 points and a Q...again! This is our "official" 3rd jumpers Q, which means it is our "official" novice jumpers title. I call it "official" because back in November the judge made a mistake when judging my horrendous jumpers go and actually marked me as a Q, when I had something like 7 refusals. So although the paperwork says he had the title, I never counted it and was on the hunt for that third jumpers Q, and we got it!

Last was Novice Standard and it went awesome. we had one refusal, for a score of 95 and a Q. FOUR Q's in one weekend!!! AMAZING!!!

My friends and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why Pretzel was so different this weekend. He was healthy and sound, just was a LOT slower than normal and actually stayed focused on me. Why? Why this weekend and not 2 weeks ago, or 2 months ago? I wish I could analyze this and figure it out, but I guess I will just enjoy the moment and the success while I have it.

Celebrating at the end of a RARE clean run!!!

Giving a hug to my partner

Our ribbons for Saturday

Sunday's ribbons

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tango update! things are improving!

"Tango actually had some fun and high bucks and even cantered over a few of the jumps I set up. I think he likes it. He starting to seek the jumps now when I jump him. he zeros in on the jumps once I get him straight to it, and now he's starting to take me to the jumps instead of me begging and kicking him to start forward. When he gets up to that big canter its very enjoyable to jump him. And it's easier for him at that speed.... I'd say he's been jumping a solid 2'3. But I always leave one low for a warm up jump. He was so good yesterday I'll raise them again today. I got a lead change on him yesterday! Just tried to throw it in while he was forward and he did it. AND it was right to left, which I anticipate will be his harder change. There is hope!"

I am going to go see him on Sunday. I can't wait to see his progress. Unfortunately, still no progress with Corky...NO signs of heat. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tonight in agility class Pretzel was slightly off in his left hind leg. We noticed that after the dog walk both times, he stopped at the bottom and was holding his left hind leg up. He jumped and moved OK, but when I had my friend trot him around I could tell he was ever so slightly short-stepping with his left hind leg. Of course, I am terribly worried. I have dealt with a million horse lamenesses (and for some reason they always end up being a major issue) but I have never ever dealt with dog lameness. I have no idea what to even do about it other than try to make Pretzel rest on it for a few days and then re-evaluate. Thank goodness our next agility trial is not until March 12 in Louisville. I hope and pray it is something very minor and he comes out of it in a few days. We are showing conformation next weekend...I am looking forward to that. Yes, this weekend we actually have a weekend off from dog events! I am heading to Granville on Sunday to see Tango. Alisa told me he has done multiple lead changes for her and I am beside myself with excitement! I honestly didn't think he was capable or athletic enough to do lead changes...and this is one area of training where I am VERY inadequate. I can't teach a flying change to save my life, so I am really eager to see how she is training it.

Other than Tango, it seems like I am slightly drowning and bad news, stress, and the like. I have huge personal life changes that are coming up within a few months and it scares me...I am excited but also terrified at the same time (stay tuned for details!). This could be the best decision I have ever made, or the worst. Only time will tell. Needless to say, it has my stomach churning a lot. It sure doesn't help to have another morning where I wake up to below-zero temperatures. Will spring ever come?

On to MARCH, 2015