Saturday, September 1, 2012

Behind Again...Two Lesson Recap

I just don't seem to be able to keep up with blogging.  Hopefully life will settle into a rhythm soon.

Thursday Jonah and I went to DogStar.  We just weren't as sharp as I'd like us to be.  Basic things were hard for us:  we missed a couple dogwalk contacts.  There was a turn out of a tunnel right to an A-frame, and he just ran right past the A-frame.  We missed a weave entry that wasn't hard.  We got the wrong side of a tunnel 3 times in a row.  Just lots of silly mistakes.  I'm taking things for granted and he's needing more support than I'm expecting him to need for some reason.  Oh well.  Lots of things went well, too.  We practiced lead outs.  His downs on the table were improved.  We aced some tough jump lines with tight turns and threadles and such.  He was getting good and excited and he ran fast--I just wasn't quite there enough to really polish most of our runs.  We did have one perfect and lovely run, but it was the second time through one of the courses.  Anyway, it was a good reminder for me that I have to be alert and proactive.

Then on Friday we went to Laura's for our last lesson with her for a while, since I will be starting my new job next week.  This was another one of her international courses, and it had some real tough spots.  Once again, when I was focused on the tough sections we did those beautifully but we had some mistakes on the 'easy' things that I took for granted.

Actually, our first 'mistake' was that Jonah somehow crashed through a triple jump.  I don't know if he tripped or just misread it (it was jumping right at a fence and he might not have seen it well), but he face planted and did a flip.  It was pretty dramatic.  Poor guy.  He shook it off alright, though, and went on to do a nice tight serpentine with lots of looming off course options.  His lines were lovely.  I tried handling a few ways and found that rear crosses can actually be good options for us:  I'm often able to catch back up, and it really drives him forward and gives us a tight line.  I've been trying to avoid them lately, but I shouldn't necessarily do that.

There was a very tight 180 degree turn weave entry out of a chute that he missed the first time, but then he got it every time after that.  I think he really just came so fast out of the chute that he didn't have time to see the poles.  That's a tough question.  Out of the poles I was able to leave him pretty far away and he finished his poles nicely and ran well through a tight, turning jump section.  His teeter was a little slow, but his table was phenomenal.  As good as it could have been.

Then the end of the course was an open but turning line.  I ran the most direct route and expected him to take the jumps that were vaguely on the same line (just slight turns), but I pulled him off one.  He just hugged tight to me.  The second time I shifted my path a little and said "jump" and it ran quite well.  Again, I need to support him.

This is a good lesson going into a trial, where he's even more likely to run past obstacles.  I need to be very clear with what I'm expecting.

In other news, I bought Laura's old dogwalk bases, so we won't have to use our shelving units any more.  Yay!  The dogwalk will look like real equipment :).

In other other news, the puppy is teething like crazy.  Today she went to a triathlon and had a marvelous time watching exciting things, meeting other dogs, and lounging in the shade.  Good girl.

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