It was the Dalia Lama that suggested “When you lose don’t lose the lesson.” So with every disappointment I am faced with in my life I search for a lesson. Some are more obvious then others but I find they are always there.

In today’s video I will share with you some of my more disappointing rounds at the WAO. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in my dogs but I sure wish I could have been better for my Canadian teammates during our team rounds and better for my dogs in the individual events. In all of these rounds there are take away points for myself.

Encore, Feature, Lynda and I heading to our crating area.

1. First of all even though I have put some weight on I think my worry of it effecting my running effected me more than the weight itself. I felt I ran pretty good, however I am back at it, working to get into better shape before the next World Championships in September.

2. I learned to come home and practice pressuring my dog’s line without having them change direction in response to that pressure.

3. I came home and worked on my pull throughs (my mechanic were sloppy on two rounds that resulted in NQ’s for my dogs.)

4. But mostly I think my fault lied in not being completely focused for the entire weekend. Not my normal self anyway. Heck I don’t think I put my ipod on once! Not like me at all.

5. I needed to remember to visualize the small details. Sometimes, particularly at an important event, after I walk a course and think “I love this course” I sometimes get too excited to get in there and give it a go. I have to be more patient and do my normal preparing– visualizing. For someone like me, my visualizing is the key to everything.

6. Now that I am using more verbal cues in my handling when I do my visualizations I need to remember to hear those cues and see how my dog reacts to them. That was a big take away for me.

7. I need to remember to trust my training and my dogs. My girls are brilliant I know it, but twice I used last minute verbal cues “get out” with Encore when she was heading for the correct obstacle and I sent her out to an off course.

8. I need to comitt to these big events way in advance and prepare myself and my dogs the way I know we should be prepared.

Regardless I enjoy watching these runs; even if the outcome continues to be less than what I wanted:). I am so happy to see my handling is aggressive without being careless. My dogs are driving hard and focused on the course but still responding to me and Encore gave me some beautiful nose touches when I didn’t release her from the seesaw:). Most of all, I am so pleased that regardless of the outcome or the disappointments I faced over the weekend I am so thrilled that my dogs never knew anything different when we left the ring. I am so crazy about my dogs, they are just so amazing and try so hard for me.

But everything is left at the gate when I exit. The highs of winning the lows of losing. I love my dogs and I think that is why I can continue to play at this level after all of these years. It is how it works for me.

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson it is a good one to keep in mind any time you step out of the ring with your dog;

β€œWin as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.”

As some of us head into two more weekends of “important” events (the Ontario Regionals are this weekend and the USDAA SE Regionals in Perry Georgia are the following weekend) this is something worth keeping in handy place, available Β for quick reference.

Today with it pouring rain outside, I am grateful that for our RV garage attached to the house allowing me to pack the motorhome and stay dry:).