Friday, September 21, 2012

Summer Recap: Dally

Last week I updated you on LaMesa's summer, so this time I'll update you on Dally and her Corgi adventures. Then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled program and bring you back up to speed with some exciting news!

Dally's been a very consistent Corg in the agility ring lately, and I couldn't be more proud! We've whittled away at our points and our QQs. I've found that she has been excelling lately without much training--I took her to class, but she mostly laid there while I work LaMesa. Then, when class is over, I run the same sequences I trained LaMesa over with Dally. There's no stress, no repetition of the same training, but just running a course to get the practice in. Sure I'll work on a couple parts if I see she took a jump wide or I know she can do something better, but I don't have to repeat the same thing over. When I do that with her, agility starts to not be so fun for her and she shuts down.

I got caught up one morning watching videos from my YouTube channel, which span from our Excellent days jumping 8-inches, to dropping down to 4-inches, to now, and what an improvement she's made! I can tell she wasn't happy jumping 8-inches. I remember having to take her to the chiropractor after every trial to get her back together. She was running slow and unmotivated. Even when we dropped down to 4-inches there were runs where she crept along the course--you can hear my friends urging her on "Come on, Dally..." And now, to think she's blasting through courses!

At one trial at Queen City in August we even had an instance when she was running so fast, I took off after sending her through a tunnel and she came out blazing to catch up, knocking down a bar. (Yes, she knocked a bar at 4 inches...) I was bummed and surprised to have knocked a bar, but then when I watched the video, I couldn't complain because she was runn-nning! I can't fault her for that! (Unfortunately the video won't load onto YouTube, but if it does, I'll edit this post and add it later.)

For now, Dally's enjoying her "cross-training" as I like to call it--since we don't do much agility training, she goes for long walks and I take her through the park and make her work on her back/core muscles by hopping though the tall grass. Then, of course, we work on our "sprints" by chasing the tennis ball in the back yard or at the park.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer Recap: LaMesa

Wow! I hate how much time I've let slip by since our last blog post! But things have been incredibly busy for me lately, with agility trials, work (3 jobs), and getting things ready for my upcoming wedding, the Stump Kids' blog was put to the side for a short bit.

This summer has been a long, hot one! My last post left off at the June Buckner AKC trial, and, ironically, our last trial was the September Buckner AKC trial. So let's do a brief recap of the summer, starting with LaMesa.

We're still in a Q drought with the Vallhund. This summer I was actually afraid that we were now going backwards and instead of progressing forward. Remember how excited I was after our near-miss Qs at Buckner in June? Well, things started unravelling at trials (or so it seemed to me) and we had some issues: missed weave entrances, weave pop-outs, jump run-bys, knocked bars, etc. I was constantly reminded by my friends that I just needed to keep the patience and remember that LaMesa was only 2 years old and we would soon get things together.

Our classes have been very helpful with the sessions working on letters and me working on my timing with her. The frustrating thing is to change my mindset from running Dally (who knows what I'm thinking..most of the time) to running LaMesa (who still gets overwhelmed at trials and just wants to run and please me). We've stopped doing start-line-stays, and I'm treating her a little like Dally, with a little push-off at the beginning. That's a little harder for me with her because I have to be moving a lot faster to get where I need to be with LaMesa than I usually do with Dally. But, she seems to be handling this new start-line approach easier, with less stress (and that's what we're going for, right??).

I'm looking forward to an upcoming seminar, which I'm hoping to get a working spot in, so LaMesa and I can work towards becoming more of a team with more insight from others.

I pulled LaMesa from one day of a Queen City trial at the end of August to help save some money and to help a friend out who was on the waiting list. A week later I ran her one day at the Buckner September trial and she was back to her old self! We had a solid standard run, marred by just two knocked bars, but she nailed her weaves and listened to me (I had a great call-off at the beginning). However, in Jumpers, she refused to do the 180 (a recurring theme) and we missed a couple of things because she was moving so fast and I wasn't keeping up. Some times I'm too fast with her and some times I'm too slow... I can't win right now.

Here's our stellar Excellent A Standard run. (She clocked in at 47 seconds, with standard course time being 67...the next fastest dog in Excellent A 12" clocked in at 63 seconds! If only I can harness that speed for good!)

This weekend we're heading to our last trial for a little while--back up to Queen City for two days. I'm hoping we can go into our trial-break on a high note.
Next post I'll update Dally's progress....