Sunday, November 10, 2013

That was tricky (but fun!)

We were bums again today, but once again 3:30 rolled around and I told myself that if I didn't go out and set something up that we wouldn't have a chance to practice agility in the daylight again for two weeks. I also wanted to give Kizzy a shot at her weaves in a course setting, so it was now or never.

I decided to go for the most recent Happy Hurdle Day course posted by Ann Croft on her Agility Coach Facebook page. It feels like it's been a while since we've ran one of these and this one looked fun. I do not have video because when I took the camera out I couldn't find a spot that didn't cut off part of the course. Plus it was getting dark fast, so I decided to just focus on running the dogs.

Secret had another happy day, but she really, REALLY pointed out her dependency on my motion. She really dislikes wraps right at the start and will often come to a stop and bark at me, so I was better off wrapping her to the left on jump 2 instead of the right. However, going that direction I had to be careful not to lose her into the weaves, but we figured it out.

Lack of motion was also an issue on jumps 5 and 6. I knew I had to leave ASAP to book it down to support jump 8, which means that I often failed to really "show" jump 6 to Secret and she would stop short. It's like, really girl, have a little initiative... But still, this is something I know about her and need to remember to support.

She thought it was great fun to race me through the straight tunnel and because I was rarely anywhere near jump 8 to support a tight turn she ended up going wide consistently, but we did avoid any off courses. The entry to the weaves at 10 is tricky and fun. We were able to successfully complete a rear cross at the weaves, but it was much faster for me to blind the tunnel and get into place to support her entry with me on the right. Not easy, but we got it done.

I'd leave her in the weaves as soon as I dared so that I could sprint off for a blind between 12 and 13. I handled this a couple of different ways (running past 13 and front crossing or pushing to the backside and front/blind crossing) and the push to the back side seemed smoothest/fastest. After that it was a pretty straightforward finish.

Secret was the first dog out today and usually everything feels fairly easy with her. After our first couple of attempts at this course, though, I was saying to myself, "Dang, this is kind of hard!" It was loads of fun, though, and it felt great when we conquered it. Would have been nice to have video, but oh well.

Kaiser really struggled with having those two tunnel entries so close to each other. It was like a magnetic field pushed and pulled him every time he got in that area and he just didn't know what to do. lol He struggled a bit more with the second weave entry and wasn't happy with the rear cross today for some reason. We never got a completely clean attempt because on the best one I peeled off the second set of weaves too early and caused him to pop in my attempt to beat him to the cross. Oh well, he still rocked.

Kizzy did pretty awesome, too! I started her session by just having a weave refresher. She was struggling with staying in after pole 10 at first, but she got over it quickly. Once she was solidly weaving all 12 we started to play with the course. This is the first time we've really incorporated the weaves into any obstacle sequencing and the first time she's done them out of a tunnel. She did great! I still stopped to reward after almost every set of weaves to keep things happy, then picked up right where we left off.

The second entry was a struggle. I have not touched on crosses at the weaves yet so I was not going to even attempt a rear cross (I know, huge hole in my training of 2x2....). That left the run and scoop from the right, but Kizzy got way too high on my motion cues to even notice the weaves in front of her, so we consistently had to reset them.

Jumps 12 to 13 was another struggle spot for her. Kizzy has always read the cues to take a backside easily enough, but I guess I've never asked her to take a backside and then jump into me. Lesson learned, something to work on. I also have failed to work on come to heel because when I tried to run past 13 with her she would cut behind me to take it from the wrong side. Again, something to work on! Good thing she reminds me that she's still a green dog, or else I might just forget.  :o)

Back to the darkness tomorrow. I haven't ran since Wednesday, so you can guess what this slacker will be doing.

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