Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Training Venue: Shamrock Acres

Last week the Stump Kids and I ventured to a new place to take classes. There aren't any upper level classes for me to take to continue working with LaMesa in Lexington, so I'm trying some classes at Shamrock Acres in Louisville--about a 1 hour 20 minute drive (more like at least 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on the traffic).

I know a few people who train out at Shamrock Acres, and I'm always a fan of learning from different people and getting as many different ideas about working LaMesa as possible. The facility has a decent-sized building with dirt flooring and nice equipment (rubber-coated contacts) that they use in the winter and inclement weather, plus a larger, fenced in outdoor field. For our first class it was raining, so we stayed inside, but Georgette, the instructor, told me she likes to set up courses both inside and out and then will split the class up so you're always working throughout the hour-long (maybe closer to 1.5 hours) session.

Sorry for the poor picture quality--I left my camera in Indiana, so you'll have to be happy
with iPhone photos until I get it back in mid-May. 

It was nice to work with another diverse group of dogs: Weimaraner, Giant Schnauser, Long Haired Chihuahua, King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Pinscher, Australian Shepherd, and, of course my Swedish Vallhund. Dally came along to work on the courses after class and be LaMesa's cheerleader. 

But, I have to admit I missed my Small Dog Posse, but it's OK to venture on your own every once in a while. ;-)

Dally enjoyed digging around in the dirt. I should have gotten a photo of the two of them
after the class--they were caked in mud, which meant so was I. Rain outside and low-riders
means for dirty bellies and paws!

The courses weren't too difficult, though the last one had a tight threadle and a wrap, but LaMesa handled everything perfectly, including nailing every single set of weaves! I was so proud of her! Georgette wants me to push her for more speed, saying she flattens out and jumps better when she's running faster. Maybe that's what we've been missing with her jump form? She says she sees too much hang time when I'm not pushing her. She also recommended trying to stay away from rear crosses--she said I was fast enough, I can get in front of her for my front crosses to push her forward more. This worries me because some times I don't feel like I can beat her to get in a front cross without causing her to knock a bar. But, I'm willing to try and to push myself, if it'll help LaMesa run cleaner, which means Qs!

Our class payment paid for 7 sessions, which is really nice for $75. I'm giving it the first session to see how I feel about the facility, instructor, and how I see us coming together more like a team. The one kicker will be the time spent traveling--I didn't get home until after 10 pm that night, and that was a shorter class. It might be a little too much driving for the pocketbook and physically. But, we'll see.

Have you experimented with new training facilities and new instructors? 


  1. When it comes to agility, I am lucky on several levels living here in Northern Virgina. Not only are there several facilities in the area, but we have lots of top trainers (World teamers and Nat'l champs) to choose from. Of course we also have the nation's worst traffic, so even a close location can be painful to get to! For my weekly class (about 8 miles from home!), I train with Paulena Simpson. I like to stick with one primary trainer because I find the handling styles can vary a lot from trainer to trainer. So what one person has you do, the next one doesn't like. Jimmy needs consistent handling in order to avoid frustration. I also do private lessons with another trainer, but fortunately her style is very complementary to Paulena's. The facility I use also offers quite a few "big name" seminars through out the year. Of those, I probably like Jen Pinder's the best. Although hard to find, I do look for run-thrus so Jimmy can train someplace other than the same old, same old. All in all, I train once a week in a group, running maybe 3 courses, and then a private every other friday or so for 30 minutes. Jimmy is cooked at the end of 30 min to himself! I have to confess I an not good about training at home. It always seems like the grass is too wet in the AM and by the time I am home from work it's either dark or too hot when the days do get longer....Looks like I wrote a short book here. Sorry!

    1. No apologies needed! I love reading what others do!