Due to human health issues and hospital visits, we haven't really had a set 'plan' for attending events this working season, just getting the dogs out and making sure they are happy, content and well exercised and taking each day at a time. Right now, we feel life is too short for spending time on motorways every weekend travelling to events. We have still attended at least two working events a month and taken part in events in Scotland, 'up North' and Suffolk but we have concentrated on getting the miles up more locally, happily we have four training permits permits that we use for forests in the West Country and South Wales so we can still enjoy a variety of trails for the dogs this season and we are averaging about 8-10 miles a run, but we have been focusing on attending events with good, fun trails that are only a couple of hours away or events that mean that we can return home after running which feels like an absolute luxury! Just to be able to come home, wash kit, cook a meal and the dogs sleep in their own beds at home, before their their second day run has been really wonderful. It has actually been one of the most enjoyable seasons we have had with the dogs.
We opened February with a 16 plus mile trek event with AMWA race organisation, at a beautiful private estate venue just up the road in Wiltshire. The estate was gorgeous with the added fun of the venue being used to breed pheasants so there was lots of open pheasant pens which kept things interesting. Nothing like a bit of pheasant turbo! We saw lots of deer too and it was just lovely to run the dogs amongst beautiful scenery and seeing the wildlife, it is fun just to be out with the dogs, following a marked trail over a longer distance. The trails were mainly grassy but uneven and were holding a lot of water so it was quite hard going for the dogs with the passenger rig which, with the added weight does sink into the ground and get stuck in ruts more than a light rig. There was also some hard packed trail and this is where it's super great to have the passenger rig and being able to control the speed. We like to mix the teams up during our run and we all enjoy a refreshment stop midway and the dogs did great. The second day of the event we were not blessed weather wise with storm Ciara which increased the temps and humidity as well as very strong winds so we scratched the run but the dogs were happy and content after their run on the Saturday and we all spent a rare lazy day on the sofa.