07 November 2011

Drifter. And jumping.

Drifter winning the Mid-Atlantic Showcase Triathlon final round this past spring. Yes, he's got a line of spittle hanging from his mouth even at 8.5 years old...

I made the decision about WAO. I am only sending in an application for Kiba, and not for Drifter. I just don't like the idea of ME being stressed about his health the whole time I'm there. Kiba is younger, she's fast, reliable, can turn on a dime, and has no health issues to worry about. She also has the advantage of being clearly under the 2013 cut-off for the new 525mm height, so we could go 2 more years if we get chosen. With WAO out of the equation, that leaves Drifter's single goal for the next year as "finish MACH2 and qualify for 2013 AKC Nationals in Tulsa". Which means just doing some local AKC. He needs 6 more QQ's for MACH2, and then he'll need 6 total starting in December. But that will not take long. He's not going to Reno, he's not going to Denver, he's not going to Belgium. That leaves.... well.... no big events for Drifter in 2012. At all. That is a REALLY strange feeling after having him as my "main dog" pretty much from 2004 onwards. We've had our ups and downs, but he's proven himself well in his career. I am holding out hope that USDAA will move down from high altitude and not all the way out west for 2013, in that case I would run him in Performance (something I was looking forward to for 2012 but will not happen 6,000ft up with his heart murmur). So I guess it is really truly time to focus on Kiba as my "main dog"! She's been an "also ran" for a long time, and though she's done REALLY well in her time, she's also easier to run than Drifter so I never have to work really hard to run her. It's a nice feeling, I am always relaxed stepping to the line with her. She's predictable - she stays on the start, she turns tight, she runs her heart out, and if she hits a bar it was an accident, not laziness or carelessness.
And of course Strafe will be the "secondary" dog as he tries to come from Novice all the way to qualifying for AKC Nationals and Tryouts for 2013.... wow what a strange year, focusing on my 2 "easy dogs" all the time!
Seri will come out and do a little bit, but if I decide not to go to Denver (still a real possibility), she won't be doing any big events either. My main goal for Seri is just to be able to trial her once a month without her body falling apart...

And jumping. Here's a short jumping exercise from yesterday. I worked on the SAME exercises at the SAME heights with all 4 dogs. Here is a video showing some of the similarities and differences between the dogs. Sorry, no fancy music, just me talking to the dogs and quiet slow-mo sections.


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