I am going to be splitting up the story of the June trial into a few parts.
This first one kind of sets the stage for how we were doing going into the trial.
In June Simon and I entered our first obedience and rally trial. It was my first time handling any dog in a trial and I was super nervous. My biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to get Simon to focus at all in this incredibly distracting environment and we would embarrass ourselves. I was worried we might even do so bad that we would be excused from the ring which can happen if the dog is naughty enough. I was really stressed about how he would react to all the other dogs and people; we had never been in that situation before. Of course we have taken training classes but the Blackfoot, ID show can have hundreds of people and thousands of dogs. That's all new to us and I was worried about how Simon would react and how I would be able to handle him and communicate with him.
One thing we really had going for us was that because the trial was so close to home for us a lot of our dog club friends were there. I bet there were almost 100 people I knew there so I got a lot of pointers and tips. It was also nice to have the reminders to breath and relax. I can't say enough how much it meant to me to have that level of support. I had people checking on me all day and I never felt alone.
Simon and I had been working together a ton leading up to the trial. Two to three times a day every day just for 6-10 minutes to do everything we could do to get ready. Simon was doing pretty good and was enjoying working with me to the point that he was acting like my shadow keep an eye on me for when we were going to work next. It was nice to see that he was enjoying working even if it was just for the chance to get a reward.
Even with all the prep I wasn't sure how the trial would go. It is held on a fair grounds so it has all sorts of wonderful animal and food smells as distractions. And Simon tends to be a sniffer if he is distracted or unsure. My main goal