14 May 2011

Q's Blog, Stardate 64868: Where are we?

For those of you that don't know the answer to that question.... here's a little hint: the FUTURE!

Amongst the progressions of everything over the years is the "BLOG"... The WEB-LOG! 

And you get different types of blogs too! The most popular is the Personal Blog... like an "online diary" where people can write their day-to-day experiences, their own views, social commentary, complaints, poems, illicit thoughts ...and in fact any content that might be found in a traditional paper diary or journal. They even allow readers to contribute through comments or community posting.

So this is MY blog, MY views on dogsports, MY training experiences - and if you are not interested in it, simply don't read it.

Over and out

10 May 2011

A little moan......

I have been very quiet on the "opinions" front lately... been a good girl, keeping my mouth shut! But some things I just need to vent about a little... nothing major, just a few little gripes...

We had some open shows this weekend, nothing fancy, but 3 shows sharing a weekend comprising Dog Jumping, Agility and some other disciplines. The weather was dreadful, it was cold and raining, and not many handlers turned up (quite understandable), but I needed to proof a few things, so off I chugged wiyh my dog... but the weekend just went a little pear-shaped for me.

I started thinking to myself.... what are open shows for? I mean, what is the purpose of them? Mostly to have a nice enjoyable day out with the dogs and do the sport we all love.. right? Sure! But also for me, It is a means to an end.
My 'end': Well trained dogs that have great rounds with me in the top grade. And how would I (amongst others) use open shows to get there? Yes, to enjoy a day out with the dogs (but in this case the bad weather and lack of unity in the group of handlers huddled in their gazebos made it unlikely)... but MAINLY to PROOF my dogs' training, try different handling manoeuvres, push the dog for speed.. anything that I will want to do in the higher grade (Chakotay is in Grade 2 in everything).

To my dismay, obstacles were left out of the courses, and on top of it, the 2 I most wanted to proof! The see-saw was put in only 1 course the entire weekend, and thankfully we nailed it, but what's with leaving out the weaves??? Don't judges know that they are helping young, inexperienced dogs qualify into higher grades by leaving out the weave poles??? And where on a course are we to practice poles in a show situation other than open shows?? The courses that had weaves were messed up by me on almost every round! I rest my case! Oh, and thanks to the judge at the PE April Champ shows that put my dog in a higher class with NO weave poles and NO crosses on the entire course UGH!

Which leads me to my second gripe...........

JUDGES aargh

I am a judge. I take pride in my courses. I take TIME preparing my courses. I put up my courses to the cm JUST as I want them. I judge my courses to the best of my ability, I stick to the rules............................ I understand that taking on the responsibility of being a judge I am obligated to do it properly.

How disappointing to get a slapgat judge, not caring what is put out or where, not measuring distances, not being fair to the competitors that have entered or to the dogs that have to negotiate dangerous angles. And or course we must be grateful that the judge is giving up his/ her time and judging for us..... but still, when it is not okay to accept the bad and just speak up??

Some judges took some trouble putting out their courses this weekend, and made a good effort and they ran well, but one judge (Dog Jumping) didn't seem to know the rules........... obstacles were placed as little as 4m apart, with the incorrect maximum jump heights for the grade. OK... I just couldn't let that one slide because I was trying to handle properly and there was no way to do the twists and turns in those tight spaces, I had to speak up. Unfortunately once something was corrected, I was straight into the next thing that was not to the rules - I asked for a pile of amendments and the judge was visibly peeved! But surely I have the right to query something that is not to the rules? And I was polite!

The piece of ground we were given was small, but the Dog Jumping courses could fit in easily, only the agility rings were maxed out, so really to have such problems is not acceptable.

Judges, please, take more pride in your work, put out something that you can be proud of, that is good to judge, enjoyable to spectators and that TESTS the dogs. Nowhere in the country do handlers moan more about our SA Champs and AWC courses than those in PE.... and I don't even have to wonder why! Because we get rinky dink courses that let the dogs just meander casually around, without the approaches, turns, angles, and all the necessary testing of skills that prepare us for higher competition!

Ok that's my moan for now............