The short, dark days and the increasingly cold weather are making it very obvious that our home training days are very limited right now. As tends to be custom, this ends up being fairly motivating for me and results in a mad dash to fit in as much training as humanly possible before the snow flies and I have to move my equipment into the garage. I'm happy for each day that passes that my equipment gets to stay outside! I have a feeling that it won't last much longer.
The night before last, the motivation was there, but it was weak. As a result, all I did was set up a jump grid and a simple weave pole exercise with 6 poles. Simple it may have been, but simple flies out the window when someone forgets how to weave!
I was flabbergasted and can still not come up for an explanation as to why Secret suddenly INSISTED that weaves must be entered into from the left side. ??? What? My only real theory is that she hasn't seen the set of six poles for a while and was thrown off by the base that extends past the first pole. Who knows! Thankfully her memory came back and we continued on without a problem, but it was very odd. It was a good reminder of what a baby she still is.
The jump grid was set at 24" & 26" this time and she sailed right through it! I spread the distances out just a bit from last time to accommodate for the height. It still required a fair amount of collection from Secret, though, and she did well.
Last night Bethany & Rascal came over and we worked our way through a set of exercises in Clean Run.
This set was chosen mostly based on simplicity of setting up and being able to move through it quickly, as we didn't get started until 4:30 and it is now very, very dark by 5:00.
Secret did great! These exercises involved a lot of pull-throughs, 270's and other such things that I must admit we do not practice enough. The purpose of the exercises was to work on handler timing and I must say they were very good for that! Secret is very particular about timing, as I find it is very easy to pull her up short if I don't support her enough. She is very much a motion-based dog.
We ended up working well into the dark, taking turns between Secret & Rascal. This was a real test of Secret's toy drive, as I repeatedly hooked & unhooked her from the deck, but she was always ready to play again when it was her turn (we used the bumper last night). I was super happy about this, as I hope to be able to continue with the toys when we travel for training and keeping up her drive during breaks will be important.
We ended with a super fun exercise -- Just look at all of those squiggles! :o) Thank goodness we had a bright moon last night, as it was well past 5:00 by this time. We played with various front & rear cross options on this exercise and Secret did well with them all. If I have a goal for her, it is to be versatile!
If I were to discuss anything negative as of late, it would be that I wish Secret would stop all the darn digging in the yard. :o( Ugh, I'm getting so tired of filling in holes. It's a good thing I have a giant pile of dirt left from all the landscaping we did when I bought the house. The only good thing about the impending snow is that it will hopefully bring an end to this new hobby of Secret's.