We are leaving for England TOMORROW, and I won't be updating the blog while I'm gone. I will, however, try to post basic results to twitter and/or facebook. I will have my Droid with me, but will be skimping on internet unless they have free wifi at the site that I can link up to. We'll see.
Decided to watch Tryouts on Agilityvision this weekend. Great courses, much more international challenge than the year I went (2009), when I thought they were just a little too easy (except the whole one-bar-disease thing). I did see some people using blind crosses nicely, but you can tell who trains them, and who just threw them in there. The dogs who've been trained to do them, do them well, and the handler doesn't have to do weird back-twisty things to make sure they don't come up on the wrong side. If you train it, you can trust your dog to understand it, and you don't have to do the quick-twist shoulder change to pull them around an obstacle (or tell them to take one). Lots of iffy serpentines and push-throughs as well - it takes a lot of timing and skill to do those properly, and the courses were really separating the highly skilled from the, well, normally skilled. Obviously you can't be totally awful and still get to this event!
I have decided on a plan of action with Seri. I am going to run her at 26" at the AKC trial I've already entered the end of May, and the Regional 2 weeks later in June, but I've pulled her from Team so she only has 4 runs over 2 days, instead of 11. After that, I'm going to run her at 20" in AKC for the month of July, and see if some extra conditioning and strengthening work added to the lower jump height helps her get her head in the game. Then for the 2 trials I'm running in August we'll bump up to 24" as an intermediary step, and then for September back up to 26" again. That way we still have Sept-March to collect her Tryouts Q's, but we'll have 2 months of lower jumps to try to help get Nationals Q's (more QQ's, and deadline is earlier).
Looking forward to our trip! Drifter is ready!