Monday, April 9, 2012

The Letter M

Now that the craziness of AKC Nationals is over, it's back to focusing on training and preparing for the summer trials. We're in a second set of classes where we're working through the "Alphabet Drills" book. The past couple of weeks we've worked on the letter M, which has involved mostly serpentines.

I feel that Dally handles serpentines very well--she runs tight and quick through them. LaMesa, being young, still isn't as comfortable with serpentines as Dally, but she's starting to get the idea of them. I love serpentines because of the ease Dally handles them, so I like the letter M.

Because of Dally's travel during the past couple of weeks, LaMesa was the one I handled throughout the session, working on crisscrossing with rear and front crosses. We're still working on getting the hang of rear crosses, but we're getting there. I seem to have issues with my arms and being a little too dependent on using them to direct LaMesa in rear crosses, when it's really about moving my body and shoulders. So I've been trying to work on LaMesa recognizing my body movement and following that, rather than just my arms.

One key thing Melanie hammered into my head was that I have to wait for LaMesa to get in front of me and cross my path before I can have her switch--this is for both rears on the flat and over jumps. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is, when you think about it. So now I'm trying to remember that, and remember to decelerate when we get to a point so she can get in front of me and switch. I'm finding myself looking down at the ground more watching her to cross my path so we can switch. That's not very efficient, but I'm hoping that after a while both LaMesa and I will get more comfortable with rear crosses I can bring my eyes up and be more aware of the course and not watching the ground.

I purchased a new jump from Max200 at Nationals, so now I'm lucky enough to have three jumps right now to work with in the backyard, until Merinda needs her jump back (then I'll be back down to two). So I'm hoping to set up some more things like the letter "M" and serpentines for LaMesa, as well as some three-jump gymnastics to continue working on her jumping form--it's getting better, which is great!

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