Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not Our Best...

Today we had our first lesson in two weeks.  We got there a few minutes early so we just sort of walked around the room and chilled out.  In retrospect, I'm wondering if that was such a good move on my part.  The whole mode of the day turned out to be rather unenthused.

Anyway, we ran the first course, which was basically a big spiral with a few discriminations.  So far as I can remember, Jonah nailed all the discriminations, but he ran right by one of the jumps and then he popped out of the weave poles at pole 10.  I didn't bother fixing the jump, but the weave poles took three tries for him to go all the way to the end!  We haven't had any trouble with weaves in quite a while, so that was a surprise.  Then we were supposed to take that same jump he'd run by and he ran around it again, despite its being on a clear path, and he almost crossed behind me in going to the next jump.  Usually we only retry a section of a course if it doesn't go well, but this one we had to do all over.  When I really baby-sat the jump, he would take it, but he was not driving out to it himself.  As for the weaves, he popped out again at the same spot.  Hmm.

Grace opened the last three poles into a channel and he went through and after she closed it back up he went to the end, but his enthusiasm for the poles was clearly down at that point.  He still hopped through, but it was more methodical and dull than his now-normal driving pace.  Overall, he just seemed distracted and unmotivated.

The second course added some more difficult lines and handling to the discriminations.  Now he was missing the discriminations, blew an A-frame contact and he missed the weave entry.  Geez, it felt like a real back to basics day.   I guess we all have those, though.  We could do everything, but I had to help him a bit with the weave entry and make sure I had his attention early enough before I asked for the discriminations.  Not our best work.

After getting through the courses we did a few exercises with wraps and serpentines.  On one wrap he back-jumped (although according to the AGILE listserve that's all the rage these days!), and on a push-back he went entirely around the jump.  Really?  We just did these perfectly yesterday!  I think I did alright at not showing my frustration to Jonah, but all he really wanted to do was go straight to the teeter. At least he's conquered his teeter fears.

I was almost afraid to ask after this lesson, but when I did ask if Grace thought Jonah was ready to start in USDAA she said, "Oh, he's definitely ready."  So that made me feel good at least.  Hopefully next time we'll be a little sharper!

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