Actually, we did have some good moments. He did qualify once:
See Porter in the back?
But things didn't start that well on Saturday. His first run, Tunnelers, wasn't bad. He was fast & happy, taking 1 off-course tunnel, but that wasn't unexpected. There was only one person on course that he could visit, the photographer, and so he did :)
His next class, the first round of Regular, was really not good. He ran off to visit all the ring crew. One by one he went down the line. I waited, thinking maybe he would get it out of his system and then we'd see how the next run went. Once he was done, we took the last couple jumps & left the ring.
I can't remember the next round of Regular :( But I do know that he wasn't as friendly. I believe he ran to one person, but he came back while I was on my way to get him :) So I marked it with a "good choice" and we continued the course. Although not perfect, it was better than the previous run!
By the last run on Saturday, he was obviously too tired to go visit :) He would look at the ring crew, but stuck with me. I praised him like crazy!! And we finished with a big celebration. If he hadn't missed a jump while thinking about running off, we would have qualified. I was pretty proud of the little guy.
Our first run Sunday morning was Jumpers - he did great! No running off, although he thought about it :) I praised him like crazy every time he chose me over them:
His next class, Regular round 1, he actually qualified! While he did visit a student of mine that was setting bars, he chose to come back to me before I could go get him. We were still able to finish the course cleanly & under time.
Regular round 2 wasn't too bad, either. He visited both ring crew, and jumped both his contacts. Ok, maybe it wasn't good. But it wasn't awful either:
So I didn't exactly stick with my plan that I made going into the trial... Why? Well, taking him off the course requires that I catch him first. Yeah, he's a fast, slippery little guy :) I didn't really think that through. Either he was already gone & on to the next person, or I couldn't grab him because he was too wiggly (they don't wear collars in NADAC).
He also fooled me because he was progressively getting better throughout the day. I really wanted to give him the chance to be right... But I realize now that it may have been less "getting better" and more "getting too tired to run all the way over to the people."
I do want to take a moment to document some other things beside the visiting :)
The good things:
- He nailed his weave poles the first time every time!
- We had nice little "baby" start line stays!
- He got the discriminations!
- He read my rear crosses (even though I think a couple times that they were the reason he turned wide right into the ring crew...)
- We did a nice blind cross.
- He played before & after his runs (a little)
The bad things:
- His contacts were atrocious! But I knew that going in. We'll talk more about that tomorrow...
I also have some new ideas & some help to work through this friendliness problem! My students that were at the trial offered to stay after class Monday night & pretend to be ring crew so I could run him. I took him out to potty beforehand, came back in, & they were seated on the course with paper targets on their chests! I about died! It was hilarious, and I can't thank them enough for helping me :)
We are going to do this for the next few weeks. I've also gotten some input from readers (thank you!) and our online class. I will start implementing these and let you all know how it goes!
There could be worse things than an overly friendly corgi :)