Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Work

This weekend was full of work for the Stump Kids--a beautiful weekend tends to do that when we're not at an agility trial. Saturday saw the girls in action at the BFO practice field working on weave pole entries at full speed (which is hard to get for Mesa when we work in the back yard or in the park, even) and different jump sequences with more than two jumps.

Mesa has been having some issues with her weave entries lately, once again, so I've been trying to work on those when she's coming off of tunnels or jumps, just like she would at a trial. I'm tempted to go back to the first couple of parts of the 2x2 weave pole training series to help with that, and might in April, when we're not scheduled for any trials and we can just concentrate on the basics and prepare to hit the summer trials. (I've heard it's best to not trial when you have to go back to the basics on certain manuevers like contacts, etc.)

So we worked on some weaves, which Mesa handled wonderfully! I also got to work her on a few jump sequences that I've seen at trials lately--she's in Excellent Standard now, so we need to work on harder sequences and accuracy. She handled everything like a pro, only running and barking at other dogs at the field a couple of times. (Note: I don't really work at the BFO field that much any more for personal reasons, however I appreciate having the ability to train my dogs in a different location than normal--Mesa needs that right now, Dally's past worrying about that. The distractions at the field is great for working with novice dogs because they need to learn to focus on you and not the distractions.)

Dally got some work in, too, with some weave poles and some short sequences just to have some fun. While we're preparing for Nationals in a couple of weeks (can you believe that!?), I need to focus on her drive and her fun with agility, so we don't need to work on sequence after sequence after sequence--that's not fun for her, so right now we aren't doing it.

Sunday we enjoyed a gorgeous March day and took a walk around The Arboretum on UK's campus. It's nice to be able to take the girls some place different to walk so we have a different view and different smells. We also took the opportunity for some photos, as you'll see below.

After some yard work (with and without the girls' help), Mesa and I set up the two jumps in the back yard to work on our homework from class on Wednesday--the letter "T" from the "Alphabet Drills" book. After working on her coming in parallel to my leg on a tight front cross, we worked on sends over the two jumps (in a straight line and in curves). I also worked on some gymnastics with Mesa--setting up the two jumps so she had to do a bounce (jump, land, jump) to work on her form towards the end of our work. She tends to lose her form when she tires during trials, so I need to work on that a lot.

So, all in all, a great weekend and we got a lot accomplished!

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