Friday, July 29, 2011

Class Number Five

Jonah was excellent at class yesterday.  The courses were fairly open, so we got to run fast and have fun without many problems.  Here are some high/low lights:

-In the first course, we did a nice slingshot start so I could get ahead of him to push him off the dogwalk in a dogwalk/tunnel discrimination.  It worked beautifully.

-Then there was a jump with a 180 degree turn back to the dogwalk.  If you tried to support the dogwalk too much you could push the dog off the line and back into the tunnel, but if you didn't support it enough the dog would miss it altogether.  Luckily Jonah loves his dogwalk and is pretty independent with it.  As he landed off the jump I just said "walk it" and boogied out of there.  He nailed it.

-At the end of the dogwalk was a flip to a tunnel.  This is one of those things that is in a fair number of courses but we haven't ever had to do it before.  Jonah got the flip great, but his contact was a little slippery (as in, he didn't hold his 2o2o until released).

-Jonah pulled a bar because I didn't give him a good approach to a triple bar jump.

-Grace suggested I try blind crossing the teeter.  He flew off!  Oops.  That's a homework assignment for us.  Not that you need to blind cross a teeter that often, but we might as well have the tool.

-The second course went very well.  There was a tough turn in the opening where I had to move my front cross to improve his line, but generally it was good.

General thoughts:
-Jonah's table looked better, with good, fast downs.

-We ran the dogwalk a few times after class to get solid contacts.  I'm not pleased that he's gotten relaxed about the 2o2o when he's not at home.  We'll have to keep drilling it, but it's tough when we don't even have the dogwalk up every week for class, and he's always perfect on his dogwalk at home.  silly boy.

-I think I've gotten too fond of the blind cross.  I'm only going to use it when necessary at a trial.  It's still not a bad thing to practice, but it gets us both a little confused about where we're going.

So, this afternoon we're hitting the road and heading out to our first USDAA trial.  I'm kicking myself a little bit, because I realized something that I hadn't thought of before:  I want Jonah to be jumping 22 inches.  I think he will measure into that height category for Championship, so I didn't want to do Performance because I don't really want him jumping 16".  But, I realized that I could just put him in the 22" Performance division if I wanted!  I'm not sure he would even need to be measured if I did that, because it's the highest Performance height category.  I know Jonah would love to not need to be measured as much.  Anyway, we're going to see how things go tomorrow and then I'll make a decision about what to do in other trials.

As we left, Grace told us, "Go kick some border collie butt!"  So, that's what we're going to try to do :).

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