This coming weekend marks the start of the show season for a lot of our members as we don't have many KC shows during the winter months in this part of the world. We watch in awe as the agility voice results tables, see lots of points being added, whilst we are firmly in the grip of our off-season training. So the excitement is starting to build, not just to be competing, but to see the friends we only see at shows, have the chats around the rings, the picnics, the laughs..... shows are most definitely not all about the competing for us.
In previous blogs I have explained our ethos of goal setting and I actively encourage our members to remember their goals before they go to their first show, so that they can maintain their criteria and be consistent with their dog despite the adrenaline rush. If fast contacts or tight turns are your aim - then remember to mark them in the ring - don't just keep pushing for the wins - the wins come when you maintain consistency.
I also recommend that you have Plan B firmly in your mind incase it doesn't all go right in the ring. What are you going to do if your dog breaks its wait / contact / turn criteria? I encourage people to consider shows as yet another training experience - what are your aims, how will you achieve those? (Obviously without training in the ring as such, at a KC show) What are you looking for from your dog? how / when will you reward it?
I am excited about our first show - I want to know if Maid's turns will be maintained amidst all the excitement, but I have Plan B ready if they are not. I am slightly more apprehensive about Glee's début! Heaven help me if a butterfly appears. as she will have to stop and watch it :-)
And this will be Raq's last competitive season - very bittersweet for me - i have missed so much time with him due to having the kids - but I wouldn't change my decision to have them! He is the best dog in the world to have by my side on the start line - always giving 110%. We are going to have so much fun this year.
So here we go, bring on 2014! See you at the rings, have lots of fun with your dogs!