Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday Night - Thank Dog-Gods

Carmie, Ike and I had the best classes we have had in more than a month. After my Frantic post last week I realized that I have been behaving frantically for a while. So on my way home from work yesterday I decided I would breath deeply, slow down, and try to focus on being more consistent.

Well, what do you know – it worked! Both dogs had super classes and I feel like I didn’t muck it up too badly.

Katrin has suggested I try to allow Carmen to drive ahead of me more to increase her distance. Funny, it makes SO much sense and yet I never thought …. that just because she isn’t going warp speed doesn’t mean I can’t allow her to get ahead of me. Huh. This might constitute another training break through for me. I don’t think Katrin ever phrased it quite like that before or if she did I must have had imaginary fingers in my ears (la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you). I am excited. It worked quite well – that and the consistency. I felt like Carmie was really “on” last night. She nailed her weaves too.

We have been practicing weaves with 12 weave poles and I am considering breaking it down to just six. I am doing 12 because with Ike we had a pop-out issue at pole 10. Maybe it was just the learning curve but I blamed it on learning to weave with a set of six weaves. Now after watching Carmie nail the set of six last night (with two cages on one side), I am thinking maybe I should break it down to six – there would be less to fade. Then I could have two sets of six one after another and slowly move them to a set of twelve. Just a thought.

My *goal* is to have solid weaves by May. I REALLY want this – which I means I SO need to get cracking. Currently it is dark when I walk the dogs in the a.m. and dark when I get home!!! I don’t think I can train Carmie in my mud room like I did with Ike – the lighting isn’t good enough with her eyes. So, I need to buy a halogen work space light (which I have heard give off killer light for not that much $$) or borrow one.

Ike is such a joy to run now that I have sworn off trialing with him. He finds playing agility with me SO reinforcing and he actually has a decent foundation of baby-distance on him. It is fun to see him work. Working him allows me to work more on my consistency, which is good.

With Ike, on the second part of the course, I kept trying to stick a f/c in when he was moving too fast. It is because of my deathly fear of rear crossing (just kidding). But I am not comfortable with r/c because most of the time my dogs are not moving ahead of me. Katrin reminded me of what we had just worked on with Carmie and I worked at sending Ike ahead of me and crossing behind him. It was a little clunky, but by the third time I was getting more of an actual switch and not spinning.

I really do feel like the realization that I do not have to move as fast or faster than my dog is a breakthrough. It will definitely help with my consistency. Now we will see how long this takes to sink in. Last year in January or February I had my consistency breakthrough and I have been working at it ever since – some weeks good – some weeks TERRIBLE!


Diana said...

I find agility a funny sport. It seems like every time you get one problem fixed another one pops up. Im glad you had a good pratice. Diana

Jules said...

I agree!! I think it is one of the things I like. :D