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Adventures on the Ranch
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---Working off of
about 4 hours of sleep over 2 days - working with horses and dogs. Working
against extreme heat and competition stress, so much work comes down to
about 30 minutes of competition time - and you and your competition buddy
better be right there when it comes. Read on to find out what I'm talking
Left to Right :
The Judge - Kira - Leah- Uzi
- Julie - Jason
I had been competing all summer in horse shows going
for some big year end awards, the year was going great and we were placing
very well. I had also been working several dogs for a Schutzhund trial
...... but several months before the trial I found out that there was a
big horse show the same weekend as the trial! What was I going to do! I
couldn't miss either of them - so much work, time and investment had gone
into both the dogs and horses, over the last year to get ready for this.
So my mom and dad - being the ultra cool people they are - suggested I
do both! Luckily they were in the same city about 100 miles from here.
I had been going to horse shows all over the state - so really what are
the chances of the horse show being in the same city as the trial --- the
same weekend! Pretty amazing.
So that was the plan, to do both.
It was the beginning of September, we got up about 4:00 and left for the
horse show, and the Schutzhund B competition was that evening so we took
3 horses and 3 dogs, 3 kids and mom and dad of course. My sisters showed
horses with me - that's why the 3 horses. And I was showing 2 dogs and
my mom was showing 1. My sisters didn't title dogs - but were always very
helpful at the trials.
Whew, ok so it's Saturday morning, I competed in my first few classes at
the horse show - we placed well in every class and won the most important
class to me - Western Pleasure. In between classes that morning I worked
the dogs. The horse show was over at about 3:00 - we did the best we could
- placed well - now it was up to fate if we were going to win the year
end awards I was after. Before this weekend we made arrangements to leave
the horses with some people not to far from the dog trial grounds - but
they only had a pen for all 3 horses and we could only leave them there
for the evening. So that's where we went and unloaded the horses, left
the trailer, then headed for the trial. The people putting on the trial
were great - we talked to them about me also competing in the horse show
so they changed the trial times so that I could definitely compete! So
the Schutzhund B started around 5:00 - so we had an hour to spare.
The dogs passed the Schutzhund B with flying colors! We loaded the dogs
up, went and got the horses, and had to go back home that night since we
couldn't leave the horses. And would have to drive back the next morning
for the Schutzhund I competition.
We got home around 11:00PM, and by the time we got the horses and dogs
to bed, and got something to eat it was around midnight. Several hours
to sleep and we were back on the road at 3:00 (leaving at 3:00 meant we
had to get up about 2:30). The tracking started at 5:30 - 6:00 and we had
to be sure to find the right place! But we did and arrived at 5:00 - I
warmed the dogs up a bit. Then the judge arrived - we were tracking on
plowed dirt today. The Schutzhund II and III people laid their tracks first
because they had to age the longest. Before too long it was my turn - 2
tracks to lay. By the time I got the second one laid it was time to go
on the first one - Uzi was the first to go. He has always been a top tracking
dog - always cool under pressure - and today was no different. He was flawless
and got almost a perfect score - the only points off were handler errors
- MY FAULT! Shame on me. Anyway I was extremely proud of Uzi. Kira was
up next and also was flawless and had almost a perfect score - again several
handler errors. No big deals though - I love training tracking dogs and
it sure paid off today!
We got done with the tracking and headed back to the main trial grounds
to warm up for obedience. That went very well, Uzi was very sharp and right
There was a break and then the protection phase. Today like yesterday the
heat was terrible - around 100F. When your working out in that kind of
heat it really takes it out of you and the dogs - luckily for the dogs
we kept them hosed off so they stayed pretty cool. They would be dry in
about 30 minutes after being totally soaked! But the people on the other
hand couldn't just turn the hose on themselves - some people playfully
squirted each other but for the most part we ......... baked.
Protection also went great and Uzi had pronounced courage and good scores.
GREAT! He passed all 3 phases so he had a Schutzhund I!!!!!! I was very
excited about that - then one of the guys comes up to me and said you know
your probably going to have High Score. I said oh really......but I didn't
think a lot about it actually. I don't know, it was such a passing comment,
and I was so tired and hot - it didn't compute I guess, it wasn't something
I thought about winning before - I was just thinking about getting a title
Several hours later it was time for the award ceremony - and guess what?
Not only did Uzi and I get High Score Schutzhund I - we also got High Score
in the WHOLE TRIAL! Against all the Schutzhund II and III dogs - some of
them were even going for their second Schutzhund III!! Wow! That is something
that is hardly ever done. And I'm proud to say I did every part of his
For the record - my moms' dog also got titled, quite a weekend!
And - to top it all off, I did win the horse show High Point Awards for
the year I was going after - winning even more than I expected - All Around
Champion for the year !
Till next week,
Leah and everyone at Omega Shepherds!
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