My goal last weekend was to work on my mental game. Link and I set off on a seven hour trip to Utah. We attended my favorite small and supportive trial. Link’s start lines were good until we got to Steeplechase. I put him in a down and as I dropped his leash he got up and took the first jump. I stood there for a moment looking at him. He had that goofy look as if to say “come on let’s go play.” I called him to me, thanked the judge, put his leash on and walked him off the field. As we left, I looked down at him and said “that’s unfortunate.” I walked him back to the crating area and put him in his crate.
From that point on, I did not ask anyone if they saw him. I did not say anything about it and just moved on. If anyone were to ask, I would have told them that it was unfortunate. When it was our turn to run again, I did not worry about the start line. I followed my normal routine. When he looked like he was going to move I reminded him to down. Finally, I released him and off we went.
This was a liberating moment. Finally, I did not put a label on the issue. I did not say “my dog has a start line issue.” I did not say “here we go again” or “start line issues are back.” I did not put any emotion into the situation; it was simply unfortunate. This feeling was liberating.
The next time something similar happens to you at a trial, try this. Let me know your experience and if it makes a difference in your day. I’d love to hear from you. If you have not signed up for our email list please join our community. I’d appreciate it if you would “like” us on Facebook.