Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So Much FUN!!!

We had a "Welcome Summer Agility Fun Night" at the hall I run at ...


First class - snakes and ladders - 1 point for every obstacle completed in 60 seconds on a course that runs up and down in lines ....

Thea ran first and smoked it ...except she doesn't do teeter, dog walk or weaves ;)
She also blind crossed behind me and layered out to a lovely line on the other side of the aframe - just for fun! whoops ... guessing she got 22 points or so

Brody ran his usual steady and fairly speedy self .. I think he earned 22 points as well

Sally ran well - thinking and turning ... got her contacts .. 27 points or so

Second class - tunnel snookers

each tunnel was worth 2 points, apart from that it was a regular snookers course - Thea got 41 points, Brody earned 54 points and depending on when the timer started Sally earned 40 or 56 points ... quite impressive work from my gang :)

Third class was a jumpers class - nice little tricks but flowy - Thea ran a very steady clear, Brody handled beautifully but i left out a jump I had to go back to, and Sally was just incredible to handle .. she had an off course as I over steered but apart from that she was phenomenal .. i was in the right place, she was listening - I was simply thrilled with the run - THRILLED I say!!!

The last class was HILARIOUS - moving mat gamble - we carried a mat and dropped it where ever we could to double our point for an obstacle...Sally was amazing and Brody somehow freaking tied for second!!! All dogs ran well and let me place the mat a few times - even little Thea who I had planned to run without using the mat at all
not that it matters a whit but all the dogs ended up with more than 4 points (the minimum) Thea came 3rd twice - so 8 points, Sally came 2nd twice - 12 points I think, Brody I honestly didn't notice - he ran brilliantly though - and fast - so I'd guess he came 2nd and 3rd a couple of times - maybe 10 points or so?

what a laugh - what a lovely way to head to summer...

I was so pleased with the way all the dogs ran - Sophie (Sally's sister) was having fun; Cadence was listening - all handlers were having fun and yet taking time to reward their dogs and hold their criteria ..

I have very positive feelings about all my dogs generally - tonight was some lovely icing on the cake is that my agility life :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

relationship building ...

I love working on agility skills, I love jumping and practising send outs, I love learning to handle threadles and serpentines .. I love challenging courses

but the thing I like best is working on relationship building

Sally loves to run with the atv - today Big T was cutting grass so it wasn't safe for her to run with him I tucked all the dogs into the truck but it was pretty hot so I made the executive choice to pull the gang out of the truck - I knew Sammo would chase birds in the field and Brody and Thea would hang with me but I knew Sally would want to help Big T - helping is her middle name after all

She heard the atv for sure but stayed attentive and focussed on me heeling and eventually staying within 50 feet of me ... what a good girl

Friday, June 25, 2010

brought three jumps down ...

so now I have 5 jumps I can use ... amazing ... never had that before actually except in class

didn't do much tonight but set up a fan and worked with Brody and Sally around it

then set up a tiny course with Sally - ended up adding an awful lot to the challenge because her "chase" stick was in the middle of the course - something she was VERY aware of ... she wound up and up until I thought she'd explode but she didn't touch the stick til she completed the course and got permission - I was pretty pleased - that's something we haven't worked before (but obviously need to)

Monday, June 21, 2010

an interesting little task

I threw two lids onto the deck and took Sally outside

She ran to one touch plate then quickly ran to the other - she didn't seem too sure about which would pay so I simply said "yes" and treated her

Treating her on the lid seemed to work better with less confusion then if I rewarded her at my seat - after I rewarded her out of my hand she lay on the floor and made head down sad faces at me :)

She did pick it up again though and was happily trotting back and forth between the touch plates ... kind of a fun no thinking game to work on

Saturday, June 19, 2010

what a tangled weave we weave sometimes..

Sally has rocking weaves - truly rocking - they swing back and forth if they aren't driven into the ground .. she can find a TOTALLY independent entry and if I am "on side" she blasts through them without much fuss at all - occasionally she'll pop out but usually not and usually she is quite quick - I can run with her, hang behind her be close or laterally 10 feet or more out no problem. Her off side weaves are More difficult for her - and I'm not sure why. She wants more support and guidance. If I start on side and rear cross she's fine - if she's running a line hard she tends to be fine too but if she has time to think about it - FORGET it ...

Today we worked a pinwheel - 2 jumps, a tunnel and 6 weaves - quite straight forward as I wanted her blasting weaves both directions ... it worked ..
I used a ratty old stick as her reward and she thought that was the BEST ..lately I've been using food as I don't want her over aroused all the time.

I need to work more more more off side weaves though - her style should be the same either way

Saturday, June 12, 2010

day 2 and the fun continues

3/4 today and the missed Q was a Q for Brody and I - somehow I had the wrong course entry into a tunnel (the MUCH HARDER ONE) so I asked him for that tough one - never realized it was wrong and zoomed off to run a fabulous course - while I am PEEVED at me I am thrilled to be running again .. and I didn't let it rattle me for long 9it was the second class today)

The other classes were great - snookers is one of my favourite classes - I like the thinking - Brody racked up 45 points!! Fullhouse is fun too - the challenge of this course was to get three plain jumps in - a NUMBER of people didn't manage that. brody needed 23 points and got 29 so that was quite secure. Wildcard is not my favourite game - I always try to do something in it to make me think - it is usually VERY straightforward and over too fast for me .. today I ran without my hands - no sweat ...

I am so very lucky to live with Brody ..
I am so very lucky to be able to play a game I like SO MUCH even if not often enough
I am so very lucky to have a support system that understands this strange desire

Friday, June 11, 2010

He really is a super star

the comeback tour began with a strong start today

2/2 without a foot wrong

Masters Snookers .. the closing went tire(2), tunnel (3), jump (4), dogwalk (5), tunnel, jump, tunnel (6) and weaves (7)

I usually don't pick sequences for Brody to repeat but this was CLASS ONE of the tour .. and I wanted flow - the best flow BY FAR for Brody was red, 6, red 6, red dogwalk and start the closing - he sailed around it - nearly got through 6 in the closing ...about 1/3 of the dogs qualified in the class so I was very pleased Brody was one of them :)(he won his class too) he was very pleased too - which was pretty amusing.

Masters Jumpers - a nice opening line around and into a tunnel then a line back with a LOT of off course options ... then a spin around and angled line to finish

The course was made for Brody - so I pushed myself and handled him as if he were Thea or Sally - adding crosses in places Brody might not need one and being as tight and clear as possible with my handling ... it felt really really good - there wasn't one second on course that I had any doubt about my dog - and that included when a horrible sounding squabble between dogs broke out .. it distracted me quite badly but Brody just steadied til he knew where to go then blasted away

He was 9 seconds under time - a quick little JRT beat us for first but only by 3 seconds .. I don't really mind where I place in a class - I suspect that comes from my starter days when sometimes I'd be the only dog - and getting a ribbon when you don't q seems weird to me

a very nice start to the tour that's for sure :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

hmm another week goes by

wasn't the best Tuesday night ever ..
wasn't the worst either I guess

Sally did some nice contact work and some lovely jump work

Brody worked well too - but there was no ZING

we just did what we were told ...

Monday, June 07, 2010

sally ... sally ... sally

ain't she darling?
she is not an easy dog to run agility with and take pictures at the same time ;)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

the head game ...

Sally wondering if the tour plans are REAL this time

As I look at planning the comeback tour I realize there are some parts of this game I can do quite well already.

Nerves aren't a problem for me - though they may flare up on the comeback tour!
Nor do I get frustrated with the dog when things go wrong (myself - that's another matter.
I compete against myself not against other people - as long as every run is better than the one before I am quite happy.

There are things that I will always need to work on too:

Running with intention can be problematic for me at times - I don't always care enough - awful eh?

It is POURING rain here - and there is a driving wind - I woke up and thought - if I had agility today I would NOT go - what a bad bad attitude - however it is my attitude and one I will have to learn to live with.

Keeping what matters to me at the top of my mind can be tough too - think about the dog first. It's not what I see modelled so it's easy to let slip - but when it does slip I get quite upset with myself so it's important to think MY WAY.

Learning the more complicated masters courses was challenging at first - I suspect that will be challenging again.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

planning the comeback tour ...

actually managed to print off some premiums this week - need to sort them still and see what is when and how they can fit with life but I think I'm ready to put my toe back in the agility pond and see what happens

I'll run Brody in jumpers and snookers as much as I can for now I think - though masters jumpers can be tricky at least there are nearly always lines we can charge through - good for us both

I MAY run Thea in jumpers (starters) occasionally too - I think the more she sees trial situations the more confident she'll be

Sally can wait .. and wait and wait til I start her up .. she is doing beautiful work but I don't want to screw it up in a ring ...

Tuesday night was fun - proofed contacts and a couple of jump drills with Sally - did a chute too - which was great as we hadn't done one in a LONG time ....

then the last class started - I brought Thea in to do her teeter work and ended up keeping her in the building .. Brody motored his way along through everything .. what a good dog he is
then we had the jump work - neat little course with some WICKED turns ... Brody was great; Thea was awesome; the first time I ran Sally she overshot everything but once I thought about who I was "driving" it all clicked

I really wonder if I should trial one dog at one trial .. I can switch who I trial but switching back and forth between runs is really difficult sometimes as the same move has a very different effect depending on who is on the receiving end - just something else to figure out I guess ...