Monday, December 12, 2011

practice time

During our winter break from classes, I've been working on some goals for the dogs. We were at the barn with our friends Jen, Clue, Tag, Delilah and Holly on Sunday, trying to work a few exercises. 

I've been watching "Dial up the Distance" and found several helpful exercises to work with Griffin. I am insistent that we can get some distance with Griff. We've also been working some hard weave entries and refining our contacts. 

For Zig, it's contact work, weaves, and jumping. Baby courses of a few obstacles and teaching front crosses. I need to teach the tire. I'm not going to work on the teeter on my own, really don't want to f it up! 

They both did well. Griff was driving ahead nicely, especially since his reward was a thrown ball. It was easy to reward him working at a distance that way. Zig worked mostly for his frisbee, which was pretty cool. Treats just for contact work. 

I am planning to neuter Zig on Saturday but I'm dreading it. Especially since that means no more practicing til the start of classes! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fleet Feet December 2011 trial, day two

Fleet feet CPE trial day two....

Standard run:

The decoy tunnel near the dog walk got a fair few number of dogs, but not us. Got a front cross in between jump 10 and 11 tunnel. Got another one in between tunnel 13 and weaves. Really solid run all around, and our last level 4 standard q! On to level 5.

I'll have to compare the difference between Wildcard, which was a great run, and Colors, which was a passable run-maps will help but the main difference was in wildcard, I handled the way that was the most clear and smooth, and in colors, I ran to prevent knocked bars, which made the run much choppier. We incidentally had no knocked bars and no weave problems all weekend. But right now, too tired to analyze more. Going to rest and recuperate.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fleet Feet December 2011 trial, day one

Today was day one of FF's December trial...really, really early. I was up by 5:15, in the car by 6, and at the trial by 7. In 25 degree weather. Brrrrfreakingbrrr. 

Wish I had a video camera of the runs we did, but I do find watching myself painful, and my iPhone doesn't really take the best video, so we will settle for some course map illustration! 

Let's talk about Standard....

Tricky areas-I wasn't too worried about the Aframe-tunnel discrimination the first time, Griff highly prefers contacts and is much easier to pull than push, so I just planned to lead out. The pinwheel led to my favorite dilemma, where to place the front cross I know I needed to do. I walked it with the cross between 5 and 6, between 6 and 7, and with a rear cross to the weaves. The rear cross option was the least promising as far as getting him to nail his weaves confidently, so I really wanted to get a front cross in there. Needed to be on the left of the weaves to pull to the 8 jump and not into the tunnel. And then finally, the tunnel choice instead of the Aframe was going to be tricky, but I knew I could keep up with him on the jumps and just planned to run straight as if I was going past the aframe before asking him to tunnel. 

So all that worked well. Front crossed between five and six, lovely weaves, no problem with the jump, nice jumpline and turned into the tunnel nicely. Feeling home free when we hit the teeter---and that of course was my mistake, because I was not working the 16 tunnel and somehow got an off-course jump (14-15-8). Not really clear on why, but perhaps the teeter was offset just enough that I was still pulling to the left slightly, and again, Griff doesn't push well. So NQ on that, but really nice work in general on the run. I was disappointed only because had we Q'd we would have been done with level 4 standard and on to level 5. But usually we don't struggle in standard like we do in, say, Jackpot, so I know we'll have plenty of chances to get those.

Now Snooker, which I used to hate, worked out nicely. I decided to do the #5 tunnel after each opening red jump because, hey, no chance to knock bars. I thought we'd start with the far left red jump, but there ended up being a cone to mark the start line on the near left jump which interfered with the wrap I would have needed there so we started with that one, then alternated sides, then 234567 done. Did a reverse flow pivot on the first red, which somehow popped him in the other end of the tunnel than I'd planned, but it worked out fine. Nice wraps. Plenty of time. Didn't get point greedy, because for me any snooker Q is a good one.

Fullhouse was typical-fast, fun. Jumpers was a fun course as well, I'll try to remember how I ran that one as I really was impressed with both Griff's work and my ability to think on my feet. I'd planned a front cross in two different spots but didn't decide until the run when I determined which made more sense.

Anyway, 3-4, and a nice NQ standard run. Griff did well. I was proud of him and a little sad because he seemed tired before Jumpers, although once on course you couldn't tell it. I guess he's grown up.
Back tomorrow...I need to get a more mellow hobby...