Come the end of next month we’ll be taking the plunge. I’ve signed up for a steplechase course and a jumpers course and I must say I am cautiously excited. I spent all day yesterday hanging out at a local trial, partly to get Mufaasa measured (he’ll need to get measured by a judge twice before he can show), and partly to allow Mufaasa to hang out and get used to the busy environment at a show.
Basically, aside from having to drive an hour and a half to be at the show for 7:30am on a Sunday (which should be illegal), it went really well. I volunteered a bit (helping to set jumps and build courses, also did a brief stint of announcing where I proved that I can still bellow with the best of them), but after the first few classes I pulled Mufaasa out and worked on the warm-up jumps a bit. He was a bit hesitant until I pulled out his new favourite thing, his angry bird squeaky toy (that no longer squeaks, but still looks plenty angry and bird-like).
After that we pretty much just hung out and watched all our friends run. We got to see our classmate run for the first time with her awesome dog Shiva. She was pretty nervous but she held it together. Poor Shiva seemed very, very determined to take a detour outside the ring but her owner managed to stay calm and meet her goal for the day, which is huge. I think she should also be proud of the fact that at no time did her dog look nervous or overwhelmed–something I’m a bit nervous about when our time comes. Mufaasa does great once he’s been to a place a few times but usually our first time he gets a serious case of the sniffies. I’ve got a few idea to work on to get us ready, but I’m trying to keep from letting my expectations get too high. Seeing the sort of courses we would be expected to run has made me a bit more confident–on a good day I know Mufaasa and I could do them. If I can just stay connected, we’ll do ok, but really I’m just hoping to make it over a jump or two.
In the meantime I finally got a proper contact trainer. The great news is that it works fantastic, it’s easy to set up and so far I’ve been using it behind my building and no one’s yelled at me for having a dog off-leash on the condo property. The bad news is that I found out the hard way that it’s about an inch too wide for every freaking door in my building. Which means I can’t use my fancy new dolly to take it out in one trip; I’ve got to carry it out one piece at a time, and then come back for the rest of our equipment and, well, the dog (sort of the key element). I am currently plotting to build some sort of elaborate pulley system for lowering it off of my deck. I’ll let you know how that goes. Possibly in a pile of expensive kindling…