Adie and I went to our first field trial yesterday and had a great day. We both came away with new experiences and lessons. (I should probably give my usual disclaimer that I do not intened to offend any one with the following. These are just my personal observations and harbor any no ill feelings or pass any malicious judgement on anyone)
This was a totaly new adventure for the two of us I was very proud how Adie handled herself. My first worry was that this was going to be her first time seeing a horse or being around lots of strange dogs. She handled herself very well. Very calm..cautious but not freaking out. People on horse-back were just a little scary but not paralizing. My second fear was how she was going to handle riding in the dog cart. Again she took it like a champ..she wasn't happy about it crying abit and then was ok with it.
As for me...I offered to help out and in doing so I was able to get at good look at how things were ran and get acquainted with proper etiquette. I guess I should mention that miss Adelaid was the only GSP in a sea for English Pointers and Setters.
1) When the guy who looks like Sam Elliott asks if you can ride a horse just say yes...no need to say anything about arab horses or use the word English...you get a funny look.
2) There are people who never shoot birds over their dogs. I guess that somehow I have read this time and time again but it never registered in my head. This came about as I watched guys with GPS collars running their dogs 300 to 400 plus yards ahead. (and still lost their dogs dispite the tracking device) This blew my mind. I gatherd that many of these guys participated in hoseback trails... and I inquired that even on hoseback how do you know when your is pointing and where? I was told that those dogs never have birds shot over them...DUH I thought to myself...you can't find them. As I learned they do this deliberatly (kinda seems like surgar free candy or decaf coffee to me. IMO) and that is what the judges like to see. Big ranging dogs.
Adie did well in her brace. We were paired with another 2 year old (english setter) who was at her first trial. Adie was nervous with all the horses and extra people and she was a bit confused with the other guy talking to his dog and frequently whistling her in. The other dog pointed first and Adie backed her beautifuly! Staunch...through the shot! Heard the judges make comments about her backing. Adie had two points both steady through shot and backed the other dog one more time. Her down fall was that she was hunting close. I think that it was nervousness. She was quartering better than I have ever seen her do before, and was seeking out prime cover. She was a bit befuddeled why were not pursuing the the birds that got away and a little miffed that the other dog flushed and caught the bird she pointed.
At the end of the day we came away with zero ribbons (the dog we ran with got third) but had alot of positive feed back. We had several almost shocked comments on how well she was broke and how they really like my dog. One guy was disappointed that I wasn't breeding her. All of which I took as a good things comming from long tail dog people.
Good Day! Good dog!
(sorry for long post)