We attempted Open again at the herding club trial. Overall I'm fairly pleased.
Lance heeled pretty attentively. His eyes weren't on me the whole time but I felt he was actually paying attention to me the entire time. His slow time was excellent and even in the fast he actually gave me a bit of eye contact rather then just tearing off ahead.
Figure 8 was superb. I went to the right for the first time and I think this really helped keep his attention and prevented the crash into my leg we always get when we go to the left first. He actually held even a proper heel position pretty well the entire time.
Lance came on the recall and sent on the retrieve over high even though he wasn't completely looking at me when I called/sent him.
His fronts on the retrieves were much closer and he seemed more confident.
His finishes actually looked much better today then they usually do in the ring. Not forging quite so much.
Things to work on:
Maintaining heel position. I knew that the work I've been doing on fixing Lance's forging wouldn't transfer over to this trial so I wasn't surprised that he forged the entire time.
Fronts and finishes. Again I knew our recent work wouldn't transfer to this trial.
Paying attention to me at the start of all exercises. Lance did really well through the first 3-4 exercises but by the last 2-3 wasn't giving me eye contact on the start.
His drop wasn't as fast as he normally is. I was also afraid Lance was going to do a fly by since he wasn't looking at me on the come after the drop. But instead he just sat really crooked in front!
Getting faster retrieves in the ring. Lance flies after his dumbbell in practice but in the ring he is noticeably slower. Usually he still runs out fast and then trots back, but today he trotted in both directions. Not bad and not something I'm really going to worry about but it would be nice if he were more confident on his retrieving in the ring.
Not leaving me when the steward takes away my dumbbell! Every show Lance likes to follow the steward on their way out and each time I have to call him back to me. At least this time he came back on my second call and didn't get too far. Walking backwards to the broad jump helps him focus on me as well since they always put that damn broad jump right in front of the ring exit!
And everything about the broad jump. Wow it was not good today. Very very close to cutting the corner on the broad jump. I'm still throwing treats ahead every single time (every time!) in practice so I'm not sure if I need a new strategy. His front was also extremely crooked.
And the glorious stays. Lance lied down on the sit about 20 seconds into it. Unfortunately I'm kicking myself since I should have told the judge we weren't ready. Lance wasn't looking at me at all during the set up and I'm pretty sure that he only half saw or heard me tell him stay. I have no clue if it would have made a difference or not considering our past failures at it, but I didn't give him a good chance. It just didn't pop into my head or all that I could simply say no when the judge asks if we're ready!
Heel Free/Figure 8: 3.5pts off
Drop on Recall: .5pt
Retrieve on Flat: 1pt
Retrieve over High: .5pt
Broad Jump: .5pt
Long Sit: NQ
Long Down: 0
Total: NQ (with a 194)