We are heading into a heat wave for the next few days. I didn't have anything going on last night and the weather was a gorgeous 82 degrees with low humidity. I was feeling really, really lazy and almost just opted to do more work on the double box I set up Tuesday night after working at the shelter (maybe I'll talk more about that later), but then I called up Bethany to see if she wanted to bring Rascal over to play. I figured if they were coming, perhaps I could inspire myself to do a bit more.
After digging through my giant book of courses (which is really super disorganized these days!) I located a fun looking USDAA Advanced Standard course that would work with where I moved my dog walk after the latest mowing. I made a few alterations out of laziness (my teeter & table are STILL in the basement, so obstacle #9 became a wrap jump and #12 became a jump -- I also only used a set of 6 poles because I was too lazy to correct spacing for my set of 24" poles vs. this map, which is probably spaced for 20" poles) -- but other than THAT, the course was as you see here:
We had a lot of fun with it! Highlights involved Secret mastering the turn from the tunnel up the dog walk -- I mean seriously, when did she learn that? I never taught it to her, but she was super awesome. The thing I was most proud of her for, though, was absolutely nailing her weaves and staying in them while I sprinted laterally away from her to get in position for a front cross between 12 and 13. Replacing the teeter with a jump actually made the course a whole lot harder, as with the teeter you at least get a stop to get in position to send into the tunnel. A rear cross into the tunnel at that angle did not work so well, so it was pretty much required that I get the front cross. Thanks to Secret being a GOOD GIRL and holding her weaves while I ran away from her, I was able to easily get into position to show her where to go next.
Of the four dogs, Secret was the only one to run it cleanly several times. She was just like, "Psh, this is too easy, give me something harder!" Baby girl rocked it and I'm very proud of her! I don't even recall the last time we saw a chute (not at all this year, I can tell you that) and that was a non-issue -- Now I just really need to get that stuff out of the basement... It would be nice to get her going on the teeter again.
Normally I wouldn't get all excited about double-box work, but Secret was super-duper awesome Tuesday night. As usual, I had absolutely no plan when I set it up. I just felt we needed to do SOMETHING and it required the least amount of effort to set. ;o)
There has been much discussion on the Clean Run list of the "blended front cross" and of course the Ketschker. My tired brain was happy when I realized the double-box offered several opportunities to work on these skills. I seem to recall trying a Ketschker with Secret back when I first heard about them -- I also remember it being a giant flop, but I am persistent and determined, so I decided to try it again.
Now you must keep in mind that I'm far from an expert on these two maneuvers -- In fact, both are pretty much as new to me as they are to Secret. Somehow the two of us actually managed to put our brains together and figured it out, because she ROCKED IT. Aside from Secret pulling up short before a jump on one blended cross due to my abstract cue, and then turning the wrong way on a Ketschker once, she got every single one of them that I threw at her. It was just so much fun and happily, Secret seemed to agree! I was jumping her at 16" and I have to say, she seems to enjoy herself and have more confidence at the lower heights. I used to think, "She's a 26" dog no problem," but structurally I just don't think she's up for it. I do hope she'll eventually be as happy & confident at 22" (which would be her Performance height in USDAA), but we'll see. Seeing as we don't exactly have any USDAA trials on the horizon, I'm trying to not worry about it and just do what is best for her.
As I mentioned earlier, we have another few days of gross heat & humidity ahead of us, so I don't imagine we'll be doing much of anything. We are heading to Minneapolis for a trial next Saturday. I just entered Secret in the four classes she needs for Champs qualifiers -- Two rounds of Open Regular, Open Chances and Novice Hoopers. Here's hoping for a perfect day. :o)