Monday, 10 January 2011

New Year, New Start, New Blog!!

Wow, so it’s a year since my last post, which was even on a different blog! We had such a busy year, what with selling a house, buying a house, two house moves, setting up a new training venue and of course agility!! Add to that working for a living and just trying to find time in a day for the routine things and you can see why blogging kind of took a back seat for a while. I’m hoping that this year will be calmer (well by my standards anyway!!) and so I’m hoping I will have time to become a regular blogger once more.

So where to start? Well we have a new house! It took months and months of hard work, worrying and living out of cardboard boxes to get us here, but we finally took ownership in late November and moved in that very day. This was the second house move we have done in twelve months (third for me the in past 18 months!) and so I have now had enough of moving house to last me a lifetime!! It has been worth the effort though, and we are now quite settled. The dogs in particular love it, as we can walk directly down to the beach from the house, through the woods, and don’t even have to go in the car if we don’t want to. Just perfect for them.

We also have a new training venue, which is at a site called “The Eden Project” (no not THE Eden Project, but a riding stables by the same name J) Hence the name for the new blog!

Agility wise, 2010 was a great year, which I really enjoyed. At the moment Smudge is running really well, and we feel like a great partnership. We are loving agility and I can’t wait to get back into the ring with him this year. Our first show will be on February 5th and 6th, and I’m excited to be back competing after a three month break.

I’ve made the difficult, but entirely correct, decision to retire Maisie from agility (not jumping) altogether this season, despite her fabulous performance last year beating Smudge to Jersey Agility Dog of the Year (an event at which he is still particularly unimpressed!!) I have really started to feel her nerves on the contact obstacles, and I feel that she is doing it for me, not because she enjoys it. I never want to run a dog feeling like that, and it gives me no enjoyment whatsoever. As I know this is partly down to a medical condition, it is not going to change, no matter how much work I do with her. Having said that, she still LOVES the jumping classes (she lives for tunnels J), and I don’t feel she is ready to retire completely just yet. So for this season she will only do jumping runs, and will not train much. She gave me so much joy in her early agility days that I want to make sure she enjoys every single run she does now. And I want her to live to a healthy old age, still being the feisty terrier that she is!

And finally of course, there is Mayzee (yes confusing I know, two dogs called Maisie, albeit with different spellings – they are now know as big Mayzee and little Maisie, and actually answer to those names respectively) Mayzee had done absolutely no agility training until she started living with me around a year ago, and is an incredibly high drive springer spaniel, from really strong working lines. In fact she had done absolutely no training of any kind at all up until the start of the year, so was a little crazy to say the least! She was generally a good dog, but had never learnt that working with humans was fun or rewarding. She would come back on her terms, and would do as she was told on her terms, and certainly didn’t see the benefits of cooperating with humans! So before we could even think about agility we had an awful lot of ground work to do.

She has been fun to train, and most definitely a good learning experience for me, having never trained a spaniel before, let alone a four year old one who was set in her ways! Although obviously the principals are the same, she has presented many challenges – like how to get her nose off the floor!! Lol Mayzee has come a long way, and as a pet to live with daily is now almost perfect J, although we do occasionally have the odd relapse! She has also come a long way in her agility training, and this year will be her first full season competing (all going well!!) When I think back to this time last year, the difference in her is amazing and I can’t wait to see what she is like at the show in February! I love seeing her enjoying agility, as she has finally learnt that it is a fun game that lets her use her brain!!

So there we have it, the first post on the new blog, in the new year. Hopefully 2011 will be a great year for us all J

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