I'm thinking of buying some poles from Affordable Agility. They have some regulation type ones that can be channels or straight for $200. My sticks in the ground that I'm using now have been OK, but they tip and bend and get out of alignment which makes it rough on Matilda especially when the idea is to be working on them straight. Barbara thinks it's important to have poles that can work as channels.
The woman with the Irish Water Dog had taken her dog to her first match over the weekend. They're about the same level as Matilda and I. Barbara said she thought we were ready to wet our feet. She suggested starting with "Show and Go" matches. CPE also sounds good, too. They have lower equipment height requirements.
These, of course are old backyard shots, but I thought I needed some pictures.