Yesterday I was doing some RC training with Loki and we had leaps for the first time. I don’t know what was going on, he wasn’t driving for the tunnel or he was leaping. I may have thrown him by starting him from a wrap but the wing he was wrapping was literally about 50cm from the beginning of the dog walk. Hopefully it’s just confidence and he’ll be back to normal in a session or 2, since we’ve only been doing static, close, slow starts, this just might have worried him a bit. Not sure. I’m hoping to raise the plank in the next couple of sessions since Lu seems to be getting her groove back and Loki WAS doing really, really well… I’ve managed to slim Lumen down a LOT in the last 2 weeks and she now has her beautiful trim, shapely figure back. I’ll be curious to weigh her. We’ve also begun trail running together with her on a belt pulling me along so that has to be fantastic for her muscles and cardio.
Anyway, after Loki and I did the terrible RC session I let him hang out while I set up this sequence I found on agilitynerd.com. I was only going to run it with Lu, and only run it once as an “All in” session since I’d like to start alternating between ‘skill building’ sessions which will be more technical and probably less exciting for her, and ‘all in’ sequence running sessions, which will hopefully mimic a trial more, with no mistakes, or, if there are any, they don’t matter and we just continue on. As I was setting up, Loki was hanging around and I decided I’d use him as my guineapig and memorise the course and get the handling perfect with him before bringing Lu out. He’s much more forgiving than her and doesn’t mind that repetition as long as he gets his rewards (and he does, every time I stuffed up, he’d get his reward!).
I filmed both as you can see below. I don’t have Lu’s bars on full height because I’m trying to rebuild her ability to turn and wrap and she can’t do it very well yet – as I found out. Although she’s moving pretty well here I still know it’s not as fast as she can go, and so to me it feels like with her I’m driving this big clunky bus or SUV, and with Loki, he’s like a little sportscar. He whips around the corners and charges down the straights and if you get in the way, look out!
It was actually really fun walking this course and thinking really hard about my handling options and how I would show him where I wanted him going ahead of time. In the end I would have done 11-12 as a front cross instead of blind like I did, and I probably would have made 10 more of a wrap so he didn’t crash on his face. It’s certainly not perfect but it’s really the first time I’ve done a sequence that hasn’t had the ‘instructions’ like the sequences in Silvia’s foundations class, and that have a number of different handling options that I could have tried. You’re only getting the finished product here, not all the stuff-ups with Loki before this attempt. And Lu – I ended up doing it twice with her but both were pretty similar in terms of what went wrong. Of course the 2nd half of the course after we repeated the tunnel was a bit of a write-off because I was out of position so was turning too late and trying to remember where I was going.
There’s a bunch of these little courses so I’m looking forward to trying some more.
Shape up Dogs seminar is this weekend, so I’ll try and squeeze in a few more weave sessions, a few more RC sessions (even though it’s low), and a few more backside & threadle sessions. Oh, and wraps. Gotta keep working on the wraps. Plenty to do.