This weekend will be Pie's last time in the Regular 24 inch class. I have the feeling she is no longer 100% comfortable jumping full height. Even though she was in 6th place at the Nationals (until a bar came down) and even though she came in 5th in a large class of 27 dogs on Saturday, when I watch her jump, it doesn't look effortless, as it should be. Pie will love jumping 20 just as much (or more) as she loves 24, so she will be happy. But for me it feels like the beginning of the end... Every one knows Malinois live to be 100, and I am happy to jump her lower so she can jump for longer. Even if it does remind me that even 100 isn't old enough.
I was hoping I could finish Pie's Mach 4, but since she just finished her Mach 3, this isn't realistic. I know Pie can be very consistent, so I had hoped to zoom through the Mach 4 before moving her down to 20 inches. However, since I only have been showing her 1 day a weekend, instead of both, she has not been zooming anywhere. And on top of that, we haven't been QQing as much as we could be. Sometimes it is a bar, and sometimes it is something silly. This will leave us with 3 or 4 QQs at 24 inches, and enough points for 2 more Machs. Wish we could convert those to 20 inches!
Besides the fact that is is the end of an era for us, the other downsides to jumping 20 inches is now I am back in the huge, never ending jump height with walk throughs so crowded you can't get a sense of the course. Once I left 20 inches with Fancy, I was glad to be gone. Now I'm back. The second downside is I like to compare my dogs to the other dogs in the class and look at times and such (I suppose that is a little bit of competitiveness) and the preferred classes are much smaller and less competitive. Getting first in a class of 3 isn't that exciting. But I am doing this for Pie's benefit and so we can continue to run as long as possible, so that makes it worth it.
Go Pie, go!