Boxing day saw us travelling up to Thetford in Norfolk for a festive run with UCSC. We all had a lovely time and as always the race situation and different trails were a good experience. We ran the two yearlings in lead in a four dog the first day as in training they have nailed their leading skills on our trails and wanted to see how they would do on different trails but we encountered a few problems with regards to Mars and Pickle wanting to say hello to every passer by and race marshal resulting in several tangles in the line. The next day we ran experienced veteran Snik with Pickle in lead and made up two and a half minutes from our time the previous day so we will have to work on getting the yearlings to stop saying hello to everyone they meet on the trail. It's not something we can train for on our training trails as we rarely meet people so will have a good think about how to set up positive people situations where they learn to go past, their ongoing maturity and experience will help.
We are missing Snak greatly and especially his skills on the trail so we feel we are getting back to basics in a way with regards to setting up teams and trying to match skills and ability up. Not an easy task in a small recreational kennel with dogs at 13 years to 18 months. Snik who is nine now isn't as quick as the youngsters which is to be expected and this showed on the quick, flat straight Thetford trails where Matt had to be cautious on the brakes so Snik wouldn't feel out of his depth so we are now going to run him with the dogs where he will be more comfortable and we are going to run Mars and Pickle as a two in training and mix things up and see how we go.
I (Lou) ran in the 3 dog class and when we sent the entry knew it would be an interesting run knowing our two girls would be enjoying their Christmas tradition of coming into season but I didn't not want to run dogs so we put them together and off they went. Laika can be a bit of a monkey in harness when in season and was not on her usual game which slowed the team down as I could only go as fast as she wanted so we all enjoyed a nice jolly on the very flat, straight grassy trails we actually made up a minute on the second day and she did perk up slightly and the dryer weather certainly helped.
It was a wonderful weekend catching up with friends, enjoying dinners out and general festive frivolities and Mars met his dad Boris for the first time since he left his mum as a pup!