Today Noodle, Chevy, Mark, and I headed back to the dog show for some more fun. Mark showed Chevy in breed and I showed Noodle, who managed to get a Select Bitch and best of breed owner-handled. From there we headed to the Rally ring. This rally course was slightly more complicated than the one on Friday. I had Noodle prepped and ready, and she started off a bit better than Friday - much less sniffing. We hit a snag when a part of our heeling pattern went along the back ring fence, where we heeled in tandem with an obedience dog on the other side of the fence. Noodle actually did well on that part, but when it was time to turn away, she forgot to actually come with me...it took a bit of coaxing and work to get her out of her mesmerized stance.
Amazingly, we qualified with a much better score - a 91! Two rally events and two novice legs down. I am saving that last one for Weim Nationals.
Noodle and I headed to our owner-handled sporting group. I looked around at all of the nice dogs and I told Mark that there was no way we were getting a piece of that group. Boy were we wrong! Noodle showed fantastic, and we ended up with a Group 3! I was pretty darn proud of her. We have been working on her gaiting at home, getting her to stop pulling from her shoulders, and it looked a LOT better today. I love it when things I work on actually show marked improvement. That makes it all worthwhile.
Accepting my limitations is sometimes the hardest task I face. I don't like to believe something is impossible. This has driven me for years, but sometimes you have to step back and be realistic. Realism sucks! But in being real, one can re-focus on a new goal with a new purpose. So 2019 will be a year of re-focusing. Setting my sights on new things, accepting my changes in direction, and being happy for the joy of the moment. Sounds good, doesn't it? well...we shall see!
Thank goodness I had a farrier appointment scheduled today, because Cadence has a pretty significant crack in her left front hoof. Ugh...I do NOT need this stress before Congress! I also noticed that she is in heat today. That brings me to another thought - need to get her on ReguMate after this cycle is done, so I can get through Congress.
WCA Eastern Futurity/Maturity - Bridgewater, New Jersey
We spent a couple days in New Jersey at the WCA Eastern Futurity and Maturity show. This was Chevy and Marshall's futurity, and Noodle's maturity. I was so proud of all of them! Chevy won the Intermediate Dog class, and Marshall won the 18-24 month sweepstakes class. I mustn't forget Noodle, who won her Versatile Bitch class and showed awesome! We had a great time meeting up with all of the Weimaraner people. I was so proud of Pretzel's two pups. They looked great - confident, happy, and strong! It was a great weekend.
My training and practice with Cadence has had it's ups and downs. She is starting to test me a little bit, so I am having to stay on my toes and make sure she doesn't develop any bad habits. I measured her today, she is 15'1 1/2" at the withers and officially 16 hands at the hip! A bit uneven, but growing! She is still in season, but coming out so she behaved a lot better. Man she is wild when she is in season!
I did field training with Noodle and Pretzel today and yesterday. It is a long, slow journey of progress. We worked with Pretzel on backing. Interestingly a lot of his steadiness went out the window when we added another dog to the mix. I think the competition gets him razzed up and he forgets his discipline. As for Noodle - well, we are still working on steadying to the flush and the shot, and also working on impulse control. Ah, yes, impulse control - the never-ending training goal. It's marginally better. I guess that is good, but I sure wish we could have faster progress. Patience! Neither Rome nor a broke bird dog as built in a day.
We decided to do one day at the show in Lancaster since it is only 30 minutes from my house. Mainly it was to show my friend's new golden retriever puppy in the 4-6 month puppy class just for fun.
Noodle showed pretty good for me, but it was another case of being totally ignored by the judge. You can see from the picture on the left that although we nailed a beautiful free stack, the judge didn't care enough to even look at us. Oh well, you will have that! She was a little strong on gaiting...in other words she pulled a bit. Still working on that!
I failed to mention that yesterday I clipped Cadence - legs, muzzle, chin, face, ears, and bridle path while she stood there untied in her stall. Literally, she did not move an inch the whole time I clipped her! Damn, I love this horse!
Today I dragged Mark out to the barn to be my timer so I can work on timing for longe line. I think I have my timing right now pretty solid. We are leaving Friday for the West Virginia Futurity, which will be a great warm-up for Congress.
I had an agility seminar with Noodle all morning. She was stellar in behavior, but she was really slowing down a lot. I feel like maybe she is over-thinking everything and trying to be so good, that she is slowing herself down? I don't know, and although I miss her blazing fast speed I am loving her focus and good behavior. So I will make that trade for now, and hope that her speed starts to come back once she gets more confidence and understands her job.
I had the best day field training! I worked both of my dogs with another dog, and they both were amazing! Both dogs held their point through the flush and the shot and both are getting the concept of backing. I wondered who stole my dogs' brains and replaced them? Whoever did it...please don't return the old brains! I am getting excited about our future. Next on the agena - retrieving...ugh.
I felt like I was on a roll with Cadence - she has been longeing great, I was able to fully clip her head and legs with zero issues, gave her a bath before I left and she stood perfect...then WHAMO! I get reminded that things aren't always as great as they appear!
I arrived at the show in West Virginia yesterday with no problems. Cadence came off the trailer calmly, but that's pretty much where it ended. I was there early, and had her in a stall with no other horses around. She managed to kick and dismantle the stall door twice before I got smart and changed stalls to one where she had a neighbor. That solved that issue.
I longed her several times in the arena yesterday, there were other people longeing and people riding around us. She went crazy. Bucking, spinning around, kicking out, she was awful. Both sessions were pretty bad - she never did settle. Interestingly - when I had her braided late that night she stood perfectly. Maybe she was tired?
I got up and longed her around 6am today. There was only 2 other horses in the arena. She still acted completely rotten. I had to put her up hoping that she got it out of her system like she did at the Tom Powers. Unfortunately, she didn't. We had two longe line classes and she bucked in both of them, and got last place in both of them. The second class was especially bad - she bucked, kicked out, took off running, spun around and almost knocked me down. It was pretty darn embarrassing. Talk about a confidence-killer.
It's a long drive home when you have all of this weighing on your mind. We are definitely NOT ready for Congress at this point, and maybe we never will be.
I headed back to Michigan for a couple days with Noodle to work with the behaviorist. This time I had company - my friend and her Australian Shepherd came along. That made it a very fun trip. I was happy that the trainer saw definite improvement in Noodle, but she also discovered a lot of holes in her impulse-control. That will continue to be a work in progress, but we are at least making progress!
In honor of my birthday, both dogs decided to act like asses in field training this morning. Grabbing birds, not holding through the flush, moving on the shot, you name it. That will teach me not to be so darn confident...last week went so well and this week I feel like we took a major step backwards. We have less than a month until Weimaraner Nationals. These dogs and Cadence are out to make me into a total stressball!
I went out in the afternoon to work Cadence, and wouldn't you know it - she never put a hoof wrong. Longed perfectly! She has a cut on her left hock, it looks kind of deep. I hope it is just superficial. I put some ointment on it and will watch it carefully.
Cadence was once again perfect on the longe line. I even took her inside where two other people were riding and she was perfectly ok with it. Unfortunately the cut on her hock was weeping a ton of clear fluid, and her hock was swollen. I cold -hosed it, and walked her a bit. She was not sore on it at all, so I only worked her lightly. My vet is coming out tomorrow to check it out.
They released the class numbers for Congress - 30 entries in the Non-Pro Hunter Longe Line! I think that might be a new record number of entries. I am feeling extra-defeated today. I have my back number - #1296. Is that lucky? I guess we shall see in a few weeks...
My vet came out and checked on Cadence. She said the swelling was all superficial, left some oral antibiotics and meds for swelling and a topical ointment. Well, it is certainly a relief that it is not affecting her bone or joint. I cannot believe in less than 2 weeks I head to Congress. Crazy!!!