Weekend Wrap-up

A big weekend just passed: it was a public holiday Monday and so we  headed off for a more regional trial. The day before, however, we met up with Penny and her crew and drove around some hills looking for campsites. Everything was muddy, wet and boggy, and very full of motorbiking people, so we went south into the Strezleki Ranges area, almost got bogged, towed Penny’s van up a slippery hill, and came to stop and set up camp at a great little spot about 30 minutes from the trial. Prime. Wishing we’d brought more alcohol post-towing-adventure, we built a campfire, tied Lumen up and ate bananas and chocolate and other sweet things until we felt ill.

Next morning was the trial, so we were up bright and early, snagged ourselves a good spot and began. Lu’s first run was excellent jumping – a course that had HEAPS of tunnel discriminations and threadle-arms into tunnels… I haven’t included the video of that one in the compilation below because something happened at the startline and she stood up, turned around and sniffed. This is so unusual for her- either she smelled Penny, or a dog had peed there recently (and being hormonal, this could be a high likelihood)… but anyway, when she looked back up, I released her and she crashed into the first bar and maybe hurt her toe or something, so the whole run was a bit off (though she did the tricky bits just fine) and not at ‘competition speed’… It was much more back to her old ‘training speed’ before Polona’s class.

Then we pulled out some really cool agility runs.

Some things I’ve noticed:

  • I need to get much better at cuing a pinwheel turn earlier for her. Send and go!!! I’m still lingering too long to make sure she takes the bar but I suppose it’s a balancing act between pulling her off (being a baby dog) and giving her enough information.
  • I need to do lots of just straight-exit RCs because her stride has shortened a LOT… And look, it’s probably competition, too, I know she needs to get up her confidence and that her striding will come with time and confidence and more trialling, but I also feel that she’s lost some of her reach and confidence because of the turns we were doing. I think that just doing straight exits for the next few sessions will help though, too.
  • Unfortunately I really set back my calf healing process during the last run of the day (if you watch me closely on the last run you’ll see me hobbling) so we both get a bit of a break unless I can convince Anne (whose field I use to train on) to help me… somehow. I just don’t want to have to do RC with me being static, I think she needs to know that if I’m stopped, it’s a deceleration cue and she shouldn’t ignore that and drive forward to the tunnel without me. So training RC with me standing isn’t the best idea.
  • I still need to work out my timing with front-crosses. There’s one on the video where I crowded her and all she could do was come over to the wrong side of me because she was confused. Poor Bean.
  • Need to do more weave practise. For some reasons he got a bit tangled up in the weaves during open agility which cost her a pass and considering how broken I was that was so annoying – I thought she went through clear. I don’t think it was necessarily because I did anything, I think it’s because she’s only been weaving for what, 2 months? And just got a bit tangled. On another agility course she was finding it tricky to get her rhythm so definitely seems like something to practise.
  • I have a lot of work to do to be able to predict her speed and timing of my turns- rear-crosses in particular. One rear-cross I did really badly because I forgot that I’m usually more ahead of her than I think I will be… and I’d planned to rear-cross her into weaves but said (out loud, too!) that if I had beaten her to the weaves, that I would cross her at the top instead, I wasn’t going to stand at the weaves and wait for her and then cross. Sure enough, I got there first so resorted to my backup plan. Need to remember to do that for all times I plan a rear-cross because I’m often ahead of her.
  • I need to go back to doing multi wraps and sends to cik/cap. She seems to have lost a lot of her turning ability since we took the Foundations class for the 2nd time OR since she had her long break after the surgery (or both). She seems to want to slice the jump and then turn, not turn in the air, even when we’re just doing little things at home and I’m making sure I’m being SUPER obvious with my cues. I’ve put a little sequence of pictures just below to show you what I mean. It’s a good example, I think, because in OMD world, I would be saying “we’re going back over there!” and I don’t know if I could have cued it earlier… Maybe I could have! Maybe she’s just forgotten how to wrap.

Otherwise, I was so pleased with her. Given I thought that we’d be going home after the agility run if she was running like she did in the very first go, she picked up and ran beautifully. Her A-frame contacts are so awesome now, I just love being able to trust her to just do them and I can’t wait for her dog walk to ‘settle’ into a routine, to get back to the long and low striding.. I miss being able to trust her to just do them. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how much is ‘trial stuff’ and how much is ‘having done turns training’ stuff.

 

And now for the video

 

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9 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap-up

  1. Penny says:

    Sweeeeeet FC out of the weaves in agility!! Whoooot!!! Plus i love her little bounce after the run.

    Poor leg though… geez you look sore at the end there. Poor Memily 😦

    • Em says:

      Her little happy bounce (and possible arm bite) is very cute!
      Yep very sore. Probably why I didn’t see her missed weaves. ‘Just get to the end. Get to the end. Get to the end’.

  2. Beautiful send with your hobbled leg at the end. And wow did you see that running contact on the second dog walk? That was really deep! Get well soon… I strained a muscle in the winter and I can attest it’s no fun 😦

    • Em says:

      Yes! Well, in Open agility, there’s actually a ‘distance challenge’ which I’d decided before seeing the course that if it was stupid, I wasn’t going to do, I’d just go over the distance line and do it normally but this was just so perfect for her because she drives beautifully on a line like this… It was so, so interesting to see which dogs pulled off before the A-frame or the last bar or something. Gosh I was yelling at her to GO GO GO GO GO by the end there- I didn’t know about the weave fault so still thought she was clear.
      And yes! The 2nd dogwalk was awesome! Though the stride was still short. That being said I took her to the muscle lady today and she was very concerned about the muscle inside her hind-leg so possibly she was sore all weekend and I didn’t know.. That wouldn’t have helped with extended running!
      Injuries suck. I have absolutely no patience for them. NONE.

  3. Oh you have distance challenges? I’m so happy we don’t have such stuff here! Or maybe I shouldn’t be… because then I would actually train distance with Ruby and I would be able to get places while sending him to do his own thing… hmmmm… Anyway that send was awesome!
    Uh-oh I hope it’s not because of that leg muscle. Do you take her on regular checkups to the muscle lady?
    Better get some patience for injuries though… they only seem to get worse if you don’t 😦

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