Yesterday Carmie and I took the first of two one-hour workshops focusing on jumping with Amanda Shyne. Wow. I am really impressed. I learned A LOT in a one hour class.
The first sequence we worked on was four jumps set up staggered right to left ending with a tunnel. The goal was to run a line and have your dog do it's job. The third jump Carmen kept missing and I did the terrible bending over thinking I am dropping my shoulder. Yuck. Amanda called me on it and talked about how in that instance what she wants to see is me making eye contact with my dog, turning in slightly so my chest is open and facing my dog, and my shoulder dropping slightly. The explanation of my chest being open made so much sense to me. Once I was able to fix my mechanics Carmie nailed it.
I was concerned because the lighting isn't the best, but Carmen didn't appear to be too affected by it which is a relief.
Amanda had us start our dogs by sending them out around a jump stanchion and then to the sequence. I was having trouble getting Carmie to do it initially - I think because she was nervous and the start of the sequence was right where everyone was sitting. Amanda recommended instead of *just* trying to lure Carmie while I am static that I start facing the other way so we are moving in a whirl together toward the stanchion. It was much more effective because Carmen really feeds off my movement.
The second sequence we worked on involved a 270 and I discovered that Carmie REALLY doesn't know what a 270 is. I may know what one is technically, but Carmie doesn't know how to execute one. She was VERY flat between the two jumps - almost coming between them. The sequence started with a tunnel, jump, front cross, into the 270. I sent Carmie to the tunnel and Amanda yelled at me that I am fit and young I should be running with my dog. She urged me to get Carmie riled up and then run with her to the tunnel. Carmie came flying out of it with much more speed.
To work on the 270 another classmate suggested setting up the 270 but much closer together. Slowly increase the distance and play with the angles. Use a dowel, stanchoin, target plate - something to help send your dog around the curve.
This class made me think a lot about what my goals are. I think perhaps I have been thinking mostly about MY goals and neglecting to make sure that the way I train Carmie to achieve my goals is the best way for her. I need to think about this some more.
6 days ago