Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Four Days to Go...and Snow!

It probably isn't ideal planning that I'm taking a January course that ends the day before our first trial, so I had to be on campus a bunch more than I do even in the regular semester, meaning I have less time to practice with Jonah.  The days are short and it's been really cold, so I have to admit I've been doing a lot more school homework than Jonah homework.  Also, we're supposed to get a big storm starting tonight, meaning that I don't know how much we'll be able to do outside for the rest of the week, thanks to at least a foot more of snow that's expected. 

This afternoon, I'd just gotten home from from class and was checking my email when I heard a truck outside.  It could have been any truck on the street and at first I didn't think anything of it, but maybe five minutes later I realized I was expecting something.  Being lazy, I checked the tracking number online rather than just walking downstairs, but I saw that our package had been delivered.  Our weave poles are here!

I had half an hour until I had to leave again, but I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity for a quick turn with our poles.  It took me a while to wrestle the box open, but once I did, they look great!  Of course, they're not painted yet so I really probably shouldn't use them at all, but I figured 10 minutes outside wouldn't do them much harm.  I just brought out half (6 poles) to save a few minutes and also because Jonah won't see 12 this weekend anyway (The maximum he could see would be 8, but 6 is probably more likely.  Also, at level 1, weaves will always be an option for us, so we won't have to do them no matter what).

Jonah was really good.  He popped out once in the whole session when I'd sent him from the far side at full speed and was about 10 feet away.  Otherwise, he was very honest through them.  He was hopping (2 feet each side), but he was moving through quickly.  Not the fastest he's ever weaved on our set of stakes in the backyard, but considering this was his first time at home with a new set, and the first time at home with 24" spacing, I'd say he was very good.  This was definitely the fastest he's ever weaved on a 'real' set that's not our stakes and flowerpots in the backyard.  Good boy.

We mixed in some teeter work with our weaves, and that's looking great, too.  I'm not sure why he was nervous about the teeter at Riverside last week. 

On Thursday we're having a private lesson at Riverside, and I'm very excited for it.  It will be neat to see if, with a few repetitions, he'll start speeding up his weaves there.  I'm also hoping we can get him comfortable with their teeter.  Some good contact work could do us well, too.  Of course, the number one priority is for him to be relaxed and have fun.  I'm sure we'll learn a lot, too!

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good about the coming weekend.  I think Jackpot will be the big question for us.  At home he'll work at reasonable distance, but I'm worried that he'll need more support in a competition setting.  It will just depend on what they set up.  I'm pretty sure it will be non-traditional because all the levels are mixed in together.  Who knows what we'll get.  Luckily we'll get another chance at Jackpot at our second trial if the first one doesn't turn out for us.  I'll probably be more nervous on Friday, but at this point I think we'll have a good weekend.

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