Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rain during a field trial makes for a long day

Kistler Ranch on Saturday experienced rain all day long.  The rain was cold and bordered on snow at times during the day.

Around sixty hardy souls, their dogs and horses braved the weather to compete in this horseback field trial.
Glad to have the Aero Cruiser.  Some folk were dealing with the weather by sitting in their vans or pick up trucks.  It never stopped raining all of Saturday.

Mark Miller after running his pup

I ran Bailey off of a borrowed horse in an Limited Amateur Gun Dog contest Saturday.  It did not go well and we were done in 10 minutes and walked back to camp.  My spirit was as damp as the weather.

Sunday, we awoke to a bright sunny day. Everything was wet but the sun felt great.

 Like the weather, every one's moods improved and what had started out as a crappy weekend ended up enjoyable.  Bailey, in his Sunday contest (Amateur Gun Dog), had two nice bird finds and worked them well.  We got "around clean."  That was my goal for the day.
I left Kistler Ranch knowing that it may have been my last horseback field trial with Bailey.  Bailey will compete in walking field trials from here on out.  
It has taken me awhile to come to peace with the understanding that Bailey and I can compete only up to a certain level.  There are dozens of "levels" that exist, just like in most sports.

Bailey sitting in Aero Cruiser at Hungry Valley field trial June 2, 2009 at one year old. He ran in walking puppy and derby stakes.

Bailey in the same seat 17 months later at Kistler Ranch.  He ran in two gun dog horseback stakes.
   Walking field trials is that level for us, and horseback field trials are not. 

In two weeks we are off to east of San Diego to run at the South Coast Vizsla Club walking field trial.  

1 comment:

Andrew Campbell said...

Rod: Ray Cooper wrote a great article in the last Vizsla Field about how trialing is exactly that -- a whole series of sub-games. And while he was advocating for all-age, one-hour championship caliber vizslas, the fact is that people should choose the game they feel happiest at. It might be just running in club hunting dog championships, or it might be all-age pointers. I live in hope that one day, we'll be able to have horses! 8-)

all best