My princesses

My photo
Sava Sara Brakada, AKA Xsara was born on 06-27-2004. She was raised in Kennel Brakada spending the first two months of her life on beautiful countryside Gorenjska (Slovenia) with her siblings and parents. As soon as she came to Ljubljana we started a puppy class, followed by an obedience class. She passed her B-bh exam with 96 points (instructor Agility EO winner Polona Bonač). We now continue with Rally-Obedience under Polona's supervision. Our biggest passion however is Agility. We started our first Agility class in October 2005 (club Agility Ilirija, instructor Silvia Trkman, two times agility world champion). When Silvia stopped teaching agility classes, we switched to Daša Zakotnik. We regularly participate in Agility trials in Slovenia and sometimes abroad. Xsara also loves to learn new dog tricks, you can see some of them in our videos. Her other passions include long walks, big meals and playing with dogs, specially her pyr shep sister Tani, her crazy agility pals and her sister Sena.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Roadtrip To Narnia

We had another beautiful day yesterday. Our Rally-Obedience instructor Polona asked if I would help her film a short video about her crazy furry monsters. We decided to film the video by the river Soča (Isonzo) and make a fun day out of it. We originally wanted to go to the seaside but it was too hot for the dogs to really enjoy it, so we chose a cooler place among the mountains and near the icy river, so clean and blue that it just can't leave you indifferent.

We tried to find the place where they filmed the bridge scene from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (they only filmed one scene in Slovenia). None of us has actually seen the movie, so it was kind of difficult. There were just so many beautiful spots. But we found a spot with a waterfall in the background that could be the right one. It was also hard to find a place with some grass by the river to shoot Polona's tricks, so we ended up filming the tricks in one of the meadows away from the river and the playing scenes separately, by the river.

Xsara is not a big swimmer, but she went in the water a couple of times and even swam a little. The funniest, however, was Polona's croatian shepherd Kisha who cannot swim. But her swimming technique really improved by the end of the day and she is a better swimmer now. Here are some of my favorite photos from this trip:

I also have some new agility pictures from the latest two trials, thanks to Iztok and Andraz again:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hiking Photos

We were in the mood for some hiking today. It was very hot in Ljubljana so the fresh mountain air was a good idea. We originally decided to go for a walk with Xsara's friend Ben and his Simona, but ended up going to Kamniško Sedlo. Since we weren't really prepared for mountains we didn't get to the top this time (we ran out of water and decided to return), but we will go back some other time and prepare for it. However we walked for about 4 hours and managed to escape from the heat weave in the city. Here are some of the best photos from the trip:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Haven't Lost Our Mojo

This weekend was a lot better than the previous one! We had an agility trial in Slovenska Bistrica on Saturday and we were playing it a little more safe. We finished on the third place with two clean runs, but our times weren't as good as they could have been if I weren't so afraid of mistakes this time. However they (the times) weren't bad at all, so I was very happy with our performance. We also had luck with the weather, so we spent a really nice day with our agi-friends.

But today Xsara even surprised myself. We had a Rally-Obedience trial and I wasn't expecting anything at all, so I really wasn't nervous. Xsara worked very well and won the trial, even though there were 32 dogs in our cathegory (some of them incredibly good). We got 147 out of 150 points. Now I have to check out the exercises for RO-2 and if we know all of them we will probably try to pass the exam for the higher cathegory before the next trial (if we do pass it, we will be allowed to compete in RO-2 on our next trial).

I'm posting the video of our trial, but it's very bad quality because "our" boyfriend Gas can't seem to understand the whole "zoom in" concept :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bad, Bad Barby

Unfortunately our trial went pretty badly. Our speed was OK, but we again made quite some mistakes, including one bar knocked down by THE HANDLER (for the first time ever). The courses were quite difficult, but the main problem was the terrain. The ground was very uneven and some obstacles were pretty unstable because of this (which is also the reason why I knocked that bar down). We have training later today and I can't wait to improve some of our mistakes from Saturday. I am a firm believer in "everything-that-goes-wrong-is-the-handler's-fault" theory, so I spent a fair amount of time analyzing what went wrong, and we will use this opportunity to learn how to do something better, so in a way it's actually exciting :)

In a couple of hours I have to take Sena back to her people. It was so nice having her around and I really got used to her. If the weather is fine tomorrow, we'll take her to Narnia with us - otherwise we'll have to postpone the trip. But eather way I promise a lot of beautiful pictures! I also got some new agility pictures from this year's trials. They were shot by Iztok Noč and Andraž Cerar - so thank you, guys!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Party Of Seven

So two days ago, our group went to Planina for a couple of hours. We were three girls walking seven dogs - two BCs, two poodles, two beagles and a mutt. To be honest, I wasn't too happy about walking two beagles in the woods. Xsara didn't want to stick with the group and constantly walked a couple of steps away from us, and Sena also had some tendencies to go hunting. At one point Xsara even ran downhill to the stream, so that I had to climb in the precipice to get to her. So we decided to go somewhere more hounds-appropriate next week. We will probably go to Tolmin, which is one of the most beautiful parts of Slovenia (it's where they shot the film Narnia) and if the weather is nice we will also go to Nanos (on a different day, of course), which is a mountain on the way to the seaside and requires a little more climbing.

I think Kate probably enjoyed Planina the most. She found a little waterfall in the stream and she could have easily entertained herself for hours looking at it and trying to catch the water with her paws and her mouth. She was absolutely adorable :) Other dogs enjoyed water as well, except for the beagles who don't like swimming. They, however, enjoyed chasing Katka (one of the poodles) around a little pond that we found in the woods. So Sena and Xsara got their share of fun as well.

Yesterday we had agility - Xsara was fast, but made more mistakes than usually, so I wasn't too happy. But I guess, if you want to work on the speed in agility, you have to accept a greater share of mistakes as well. After all, we are both quite new in this field. She is an amazing little dog and running with her is my favorite thing in the world. Sena is also getting better and better. She is already jumping the normal height for A1/J1 and can do a normal sequence without the weaves, which she needs a couple of more trainings for. But when she'll be able to do the weaves, we can already take her to some trials. She probably won't compete regularly, but I think if she can do it, then why not. We have a trial tomorrow, and it's also team competition (our team this year is called Speedy Gonzales), so it will last very long. Sena is going with us because her people are not home yet, so I hope she won't get too bored while Xsara will have to rest between her runs.

We are resting today before the trial, we only have Rally-Obedience in the evening. The girls need some rest and so do I - I had horse-riding lessons every day for the past three days and I really didn't expect it to be such a difficult sport. But the instructor is extremely happy with me and I'll be allowed to ride alone on Sunday (after only three lessons). The picture of me on the horse is very bad quality because we didn't want to use the flash since the horse could get scared of it. His name is Falco - isn't he beautiful?

I'm also posting a couple of portraits of my little treasure from our walks:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Sun Is Shining :)

The Belgian Shepherds World Championship is over and although it was fun, it was also very exhausting. But the week we've been waiting for has finally arrived! On Monday I went to pick up Sena who is staying with us for the entire week. I took the girls to agility and RO, and they both worked really well. Sena could already do a sequence of eight jumps, two tunnels and the teeter and Xsara also ran really fast. However they were really jealous when Daša let me run with Kate and they destroyed one of my transporters. I really have to find a way to keep them still while I work with another dog.

Running with Kate was absolutely awesome. I think I did quite well for the first time with a dog that really pulls ahead. She also worked very nicely in RO and so did Xsara. Since Polona wasn't feeling well she put me in charge of our class, meaning that I even got to play the instructor for a while :) So all in all, it was a very successful day.

The next day I decided to take the girls for a little trip. We wanted to go to the lake of Cerknica but ended up by the sea with Xsara's friend Ben and his Simona. Funny how that happened! We went for a walk and stopped for coffee, but unfortunately we couldn't stay more than a couple of hours because I had big plans for the evening: I decided to make another one of my childhood dreams come true so I picked up horse riding. And discovered that I am a natural at it! I know my life sounds a little bit like a fairy tale, but I worked really hard to get here and now I really need some time for myself. So tomorrow I'm taking the girls for a little hiking and then it's back to the stables. I haven't felt so good in a really long time!