By this point you might notice that I've spent a substantial part of today blogging. I guess I've decided I needed a day off after my last day of class.
Anyway, I have an update about equipment. First, Four Paws is having a silent auction for a bunch of their equipment, so I've put in bids for a tunnel, a pause table, some jumps and a set of weaves. We'll see how that moves forward, but maybe we'll pick up some new toys. Second, after much thought, I ordered a teeter base! I know it's getting cold, and in not too long there will be snow on the ground, but it was probably our biggest problem yesterday at class and I can't stand to not be able to work on it. I got an adjustable metal base, and I'll have to get and paint a board, but it should be good. It would fit in our rooms (although might not quite match the decor ;)), so I might have to set it up indoors for the winter :). I don't know how long the shipping will take, but I'm excited!
Jonah and I had a great practice session today. I set up five jumps in the pattern from yesterday's course numbers 3-7 and we just played with a bunch of ways to handle it. He was happy and fast, which was fun to see. Here's the setup:
So first we practiced it the way we did it yesterday: Lower jump to the left, jump above it jumping to the right, then down over the next, curl up to the vertical jump, then curl around to jump the far right jump 'down' according to the map above. I swear he remembered it, and he was a total star. Here are the ways I played with handling it:
1. Staying on his right the whole time.
2. Front cross on the landing side of 5 to get him to come in to me, making the turn after 4
3. Front cross after two, then landing side rear cross after 4 to direct him to 5
Then I did the whole sequence backwards. I tried:
1. Rear cross to the first jump (far right on map), then stay on his left for the rest of the sequence
2. Front cross after first jump, rear cross at 4
3. Handle entirely on his left
In general, this was great practice. I was impressed that pretty much everything we tried worked, especially running the sequence forward. The only problem we had in this direction was that if I got out in front of jump 3, he would jump two and come to me past 3. When I stayed solidly on the landing side of 3 he would always come jump it.
When we ran the sequence backwards and I was on his left for jump 3, he would sometimes not totally check in with me, and he would try to take 3 on a ridiculous angle. I had to call his name and step back to make a point of him needing to check in before I pointed him to the jump. The second thing was, when I was on Jonah's right through 2-3 and rear crossed at 4, he would slow down before the rear cross. I'm not quite sure how to improve that.
So, it was a great jumping session. I was thrilled with our ability to handle the sequence multiple ways, and it was chock full of difficult lines. Good boy, Jonah.