It's not really winter yet, but we've had some freezing temps, and I've pretty much decided to push Laddie's competition until next spring.
At that time, I plan to again limit our events to Master tests, hoping to earn three more passes and thereby a Master Hunter title for Laddie.
When we've met that goal, I plan to resume running Laddie in field trial stakes: definitely Quals, and possibly Ams as well. Those are the levels of competition I would expect to run Laddie in for the remainder of his career.
The last few months, all of our training has been geared for Master events, but beginning this morning, I decided to switch gears with our future plans in mind. So for most of this off-season, we'll train for field trials. Then as spring approaches, we'll switch back to Master-style training to prepare for the first events we'll be running.
Today, then, Laddie ran two big land doubles, each including a land blind on a line between the two marks. The retrieves were in the range 170-370y, the throwers wore white coats, and we used no duck calls.
Laddie did well. I can't explain why, but Laddie seemed more comfortable with today's big marks and blinds than he has been running Master set-ups, and I was also more comfortable.
As we begin the off-season, I'll miss competing, but hopefully the training will continue to be fun as it always has been.