Front crosses and ‘close’ threadles

Oh boy. The last two months I’ve been living in a country song. It felt so good to be in class.

The first course was a front cross drill with serps. I felt like I was floating those crosses creating wide turns, but upon video review I was doing a decent job of sending to the jump, rocking back and stepping on down the line. My initial thought is that I was late starting the crosses – surprise, surprise. Will look closer at video to try to determine which of my dogs actually collected before take off. Really stay connected as the dog lands the front crosses. We tend to look where we’re going next right as the dog is landing and turning so the dog guesses which side to come to.

The start required a further back start in order to give the dog the collection info before take-off. The better line at #6 was the outside wing. And again at #9, the outside wing. Continue to use the serp/off arm for #8 to cue the outside wing at #9. I really like that move. It feels natural and my dogs read it well. Blind cross 10 to 11.

The circle course was a threadle lesson. Methods for handling threadles have changed over the years. From calling!! the dog through to executing a fc to a bc to a double blind. The double blind does the better job of getting the handler down the line, but the timing is difficult. The ‘new’ method is to teach a verbal cue, given as the dog approaches the jump (#2 and #5 on the circle course). No matter the method utilized the dog needs the collection information before take-off.

We worked the ‘close’ cue by targeting. Didn’t work Edie on this, but the other three did good work! I gotta use targets more often! For motivating. For rewarding. For teaching.

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Run The Year 2018

I planned on hitting the mark. 2018 miles in 2018. I was on track. Then. March took the wind out of my sails. The lump that’s been there since I was a teenager…possible cancer? Turned out it wasn’t but darn when you’re trying to walk 2018 miles getting behind is not good. However, the challenge did keep me walking while in the hospital. I got 2 1/2 miles in the day of surgery! I didn’t reach the ‘destination’ this year,, but the challenge served me and my health well. Next year we’re Racing Rings Around Saturn!

Apparently I can make a custom bib to commemorate my achievement this year. This bib thing is a deal, I guess. Don’t know that I’ll bother and I certainly don’t have a photo of me running….oh wait! Unless I freeze frame running on an agility course! That could be fun. However, not really on the priority list. Instead I’ll save this…

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Shoulda stayed home??

Thursday’s courses

This hasn’t been the best week. Rocky died Christmas night. Kula was euthanized Wednesday. Rick was on the road Thursday morning, which given that I-80 had been closed, worried me. 285 was black ice. After seeing a truck in the ditch I pulled off at the next safe opportunity and messaged Lori that I was turning around. She told me the roads were dry down the hill. So. I sat for a few minutes and reconsidered. Let her know I’d take back roads and audit the first class when I arrived. Then run dogs, one run each, in the second class. I still wasn’t 100% present in the second class. 😦

The courses had fun challenges, from a possible tandem between 4 & 5, to weave entries to backside tunnel sends. Plus! There were stuffed Christmas friends near the weave poles. Tanner loved the tree with the Santa hat. Silly boy.

Friday. Knowing Tanner would love it – and my focus was scattered –
I chose to run the circle course.

Getting #3 and #13 were the challenges for me. A Japanese at #3 ended up being the best choice for my dogs. And a push to the back at #11, with a rear on the flat to the tunnel. I didn’t execute either well. That’s okay. We managed to get through it. My dogs did what my body told them too. 🙂

Had a possible aha moment and reviewing video I could be onto something. Kneeling down while engaging my dogs at the start line. Made a note to self to continue to do that.

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Ay Yi Yi

Some days there’s just not enough time for me to walk and analyze the course to my satisfaction. This was one of those mornings even though I left early in order to haul all our ‘props’ in. Three separate accidents in various states on C470. All of them were off on the shoulder, still traffic was stop and go. I pulled in the parking lot at 8:17 and tried to juggle unloading and setting up, walking dogs and exchanging Christmas cheer with Lori. Ay yi yi.

Jen Bailey was in class along Kelly, Kathi and me. I’d been excited to see if our startline work at home would show improvement on course. It really did for Zopa. Tanner was on and off his bed, but I was able to lead out. If only I’d had a good plan. 😦 A Lot of Winging It was my plan. That is not a good plan! Most times when I see decent handling choices and with an exception or two have made the right choice for my teammate…even if not executed well. Maybe once I review video it will look better than I think it was.

Anyhoo….from notes while walking the course with Lori.

Send to 3…in order to be at the outside wing of 4 to indicate the jump…or Japanese 4 (which was my plan but the angle of 3 – 4 made that super hard)…could fc the take off side of #4, but the dog needs to feel comfortable coming into that close of a space…Lori trains a verbal ‘close’ for such situations. Weave entries were hard. 9 to 10, initially I chose the inside wing. The angle from there to the a-frame looked fine. Plus I couldn’t come up with a way to cue the outside wing at 10. The better choice was the outside wing with either a lap turn or a tandem turn. Second run I tried the lap with Tanner and the tandem with Zopa. Out of tunnel #12 and through the weaves…my plan was a hot flippin’ mess. Oh jeez why didn’t I see the easy option?! Just keep your dog on the your right through the end of weaves and go with the dog to wrap the inside wing of #15. Duh.

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Oh jeez. The bar has been set.

This is so cool. Wouldn’t be legal in the doggie Parkour associations because that dog isn’t ‘safe’. No harness. No apparent spotting. But. Gads. I. Think. It’s. Awesome! More along my thinking when I thought Tanner might like Parkour. Not this harness, spotting, safety shit on a freakin’ picnic table bench. Give me inspiration! Give me a vision to move towards! This!!!

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