Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jump Practice

Well, it's still raining but Jonah was being silly inside so I decided we just had to go out and run around.  I had a really simple set-up, but I was thrilled with the results.  We had three jumps right in a row and one perpendicular to them between the second and third.  The jumps were just poles on paint cans, so only about 9" high, but I wanted it fun and easy.  I'd say there were probably 15' between the jumps in the line of three.  It looked something like this:

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It was actually remarkable how many mini sequences we could do with this.  I started out with just the three in a row, and I was absolutely thrilled with the result.  Jonah has always been pretty obedient with doing the obstacles we ask him to do, but he's never been excited or full speed about them.  This changed that!  I'd set him up in a sit-stay or down-stay before the jump, walk out past it, and then call him through.  I'd start running but he'd catch up to me and pass me before we got to the last jump.  I was sure to click over each jump and then I'd give him a few little cookies and lots of excited pats after each one.  He got SO excited!  He was leaping and jumping and trying to grab my sweatshirt.  Next time I'll bring a rope out with us so he can pull on that as a reward, too. 

After doing the straight line both directions with me on both sides, we added a curl around to the perpendicular jump.  We also worked on slightly angling the jumps to go from the perpendicular jump to one in the line.  I set him up at too tough an angle once but the other times he had no trouble.  It was certainly harder to add the turns/angles, and sometimes he would get confused, but I'm certain it's because I don't really know how to handle these types of questions.  I've read about front and rear crosses and I understand them.  I thought I'd be able to try them today, but I was expecting him to be kind of lackadaisical like he usually is.  The speed was a great surprise for which I am very grateful, but it also meant that he was going so fast I could hardly remember where we were going.  Thinking about how to correctly execute a cross was a bit beyond me.  I'll have to read up and set up a good exercise for practicing those next time.

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