Yesterday Tessa and I went out to Bella Vista Training Center in Lewisberry, PA to compete in our last trial for a bit. There isn't another that we will be able to get to until the end of April, which puts us into something of a break.
I just entered the earliest classes of the day - two rounds of Level 4 Standard. One thing that I find extremely frustrating about Standard is that when we mess up on a Standard run, I always have a strong desire to get right out there and try it again. Of course, you can't do that in competition. Sometimes we are running a game or two after Standard, but that chance to try again at Standard is rare.
Granted, on a round, it isn't the exact same course, but at least with a second round of Standard, we get a chance to go right back out and attempt Standard again!
The facility had recently expanded. Now there is a separate crate room which is HEATED! After a whole slew of winter trials where the waiting was the coldest part, I did appreciate having a heated area for Tessa and I to park ourselves to warm up. Really this was a "best of both worlds" situation for us. Tessa likes to run in the cold. I like to wait in the heat.
The only downside is that you can't watch anyone else run from the crate room, and I do enjoy seeing some of the other runs. And, Tessa is not a dog I can leave in the crate room for long, so she and I did spend some time just hanging around in the competition room. Thankfully, dogs were allowed in that area, except in the front row.
So, we got a nice mix of a place to heat up, a chance to watch others, and for Tessa to run in the cold!
Our first run wasn't too bad. It started off going really, really well. Beautiful, really! Until we got to the weaves, which were also mostly beautiful. The thing about weaves, though, is that they can be a thing if beauty but if the dog pops out before the last pole, they are faulted! Tessa popped out just one pole before the last. She hasn't done that in ages. I got her back in and she did finish. I thought we had NQ'ed at that point - but apparently we might not have? I'm not sure.
Anyway, we did the rest as a yahoo run, which was gorgeous, except for a big off-course! Tessa had fun, though, and it was a great warm up for her.
Here is the full run . . .
Our second run went much better. Tessa was just a little slower, but we did finish just over a full second under time. I really enjoyed the second run because there was a jumping sequence that allowed us to use some handling that we learned on Thursday evening at class!!
Tessa hesitated just a bit on the teeter, but other than that the run really was flawless!
Here is the second run . . .
This was our 5th Level 4 Standard Q. We just need three more Standard Q's at Level 4, and then on to Level 5. I'm hoping we might finish Level 4 Standard this spring.
Of course, as always, I was proud of Tessa. I wasn't in the greatest mood but she was a trooper and she went out there and did her best on both runs.
For now we are going to focus on some conditioning so we can get back to competing at the end of April in top form and ready to fly!