April 15, 2012 was the first agility trial of the season for Scraps and Rags. They both finished up 2011 strong, but after after taking the winter off, we didn’t know what to expect. Additionally, this CPE trial required a small road trip to Cream Ridge, NJ. Horse country in Monmouth County just minutes off I-195.
Kathy and I are spoiled in that most of our trials take place at St. Huberts, which we can bike to if we elect. Cream Ridge was to be an hour and a half trip from home which means a 5:45 departure and a 5am wake-up, neither of which are our forte. Nevertheless, we did pretty well and were on the road at 6am. The trip was only an hour and a quarter and we were there in plenty of time.
Nice thing about this venue at an indo0r horse ring is there is little to set up. The less of your stuff that enters the ring the better. The ring was dark, dank, dusty and dirty. The floor is dry dirt mixed with horse manure making the entire day filthy. It does detract a bit from it all as the filth is omnipresent. It’s a big difference compared to the bucolic St, Huberts field at which we typically train and trial.
Who knew how the dogs would react? Rags has never been in and around horses and Scraps ran in one horse ring years ago, but that was it. Last winter we were taking class after class coming into the spring, but this year all we have done is get to St. Huberts and several occasions to practice. From the get-go Rags looked go and lively in her first run having a minor case of the zoomies but she was running. After that she never got her bounce and she went 0 for 5. Scraps on the other hand, seemed distracted by the dirt floor and only had a few moments of good focus and momentum but somehow he qualified in 4 of his 5 runs.
We helped clean up the place and were on the road by 4:30pm after snapping a few photographs of the horses. While traveling on I-195 to the Turnpike we noticed the Turnpike was totally backed up going north so we kept going west on I-195 and took Route 130 north home. I think this was a wise decision as we noticed a ugly looking fire on the horizon while on Route 130 that was coming from the direction of the Turnpike. This afforded us an opportunity to stop at a McDonalds and wash up a bit while picking up a little bite to eat. It wasn’t until we got home that I was able to give the dogs a good bath before they jump all over our bed. It’s good to be clean once again.