Thursday, July 26, 2012

Havin Some Fun

Jonah and I had a great time at class today.  It was cooler, so Nika came along and stayed in the car.  She was nice and cool, and she was good and quiet.  Yay girlie.

Meanwhile, Jonah was awesome.  It was his good old self, running fast, letting me leave him and get ahead/lateral, wherever I needed to be.  He was speedy and I had a great time.

Our first course had some tougher, 90 degree weave entries (where dog turns right into the weaves).  The first time I handled them like I would in a trial (a little more support), and he nailed them.  The second time I pushed it.  I did the first at some distance.  He got it.  I blind crossed the end.  No problem.  Then for the second I did a rear cross, which he did beautifully even though he really had to drive ahead of me while I crossed behind.  He was pushing hard.

There was a teeter to a fast line of jumps with a tight turn to a tunnel/A-frame discrimination.  It looked something like this:

I put in a Ketschker and his line was lovely.  It's fun--there's a moment of anticipation when my back is turned and before I reconnect.  If he bid for the A-frame in that instant, it might have been hard to pull him off it and into the tunnel.  No problem, though.  He read it perfectly.  I think it worked better than a post turn, where he would have turned wider.  I suppose I should work on that so I could do a post turn with a better line.  Ketschkers are fun, though :).

There was an interesting jump question right after the chute.  You pretty much had to have your dog on your right for the chute, but then there was a jump mostly ahead with a right turn after it.  I still have a little trouble knowing how fast Jonah will come out of chutes.  The first time I played it safe and rear crossed the jump.  The second time I pushed ahead and (barely) got a front cross in.  It felt late, but Grace said it wasn't and that she actually liked it.  

The only thing we had trouble with on this course was the last obstacle, which I totally did not support.  It was the A-frame to the chute.  Both were pointing in the same direction, but the chute was about 10' lateral to the A-frame's line.  I just ran a straight line and said "chute," but he paralleled my line as if it was a gamble.  He ran right past the chute.  Doh.  Silly me--don't take the last obstacle for granted.  How many last rails did I pull in my equestrian career?  Do I remember the one that cost me first place at training championships?  You'd think I would have learned my lesson.  The second time through I said "here" and put in turning cues.  He got it no problem.  I ran it one last time with me on the other side so I could push to the chute.  I hadn't thought I could get that far ahead, but I got there and it actually ran really well.

The second course was pretty straight forward.  I rewarded the table heavily--lots of treats, praise and petting.  I got to practice some distance, too.  He did the teeter pretty far away from me and looked quite confident.  Good boy.  I rear crossed the weaves once and sent him out away from me to an independent weave entry another time.  We played with some blind crosses too:  once in a jump line and once on the down side of the A-frame.  Everything worked well.  He was just running great.

In other news, at the end of the lesson Grace mentioned that next weekend she's going to a Tori Self seminar.  I follow her blog, which I love (, and I'm super impressed with her agility (she's super young, super athletic, and super successful), her writing, and her photography.  For a minute I got excited about possibly taking a working spot, but I've decided to audit.  It will be lower stress for me, since I've never been to a seminar, and 9-5 seems like an awfully long day for Jonah in a stressful new environment.  Anyway, I'm stoked to get to go absorb her insight without having to worry about Jonah.  Can't wait!

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