After taking several days off to relax after the Monday trial, Jackson and I were back at it today at a fun match in the area. It was not at the club where we do most of our training, but it was in a familiar building where we take utility classes. There is only one ring in the building, so it is not quite as busy and distracting as the club. Jackson did fairly well today - much better than at the trial anyway : ) I think it helped to take some time off. He was still somewhat stressed at having an audience, but he worked through the exercises in spite of it.
His heeling and signals were good. He lagged a little on the turns, but he paid attention to the signals and got them all this time.
Articles - He was slow to get to work on the first article, so I helped him out by reminding him to get to work a couple times. I don't want him to get in the habit of taking so much time, so this was a good trial-like setting to help him work through his stress. He did get the correct article. On the second article, he went right to work and got the correct article right away.
Gloves were good. He had a good pivot and retrieve - even trotting back with the glove. Moving stand was also good, although he was so busy looking at the 'judge' that had just examined him that he missed the come to heel signal, so I had to give him a second command.
I was pleased with the directed jumping. His go outs were good. His sits were very slow but he did sit, and the jumps were good.
Overall, I was happy with his performance, although he is still showing stress in the trial-like setting. He's probably always going to be stressed in the ring - that's just his personality. But, his ability to work through the stress is improving - some days it's just much more apparent than others : )
So, we're back to work training next week, but my plan is to keep it fun and try to get some enthusiasm and speed. I've decided to just go ahead and enter some trials this fall, maybe the more he gets out to trials the more confident he will become.