So I'm online so much lately with the blackberry and laptop that sometimes I forget to post on here. This is more of a musings and training journal than anything. I almost had video the other weekend but forgot to charge my battery. I do think one of Kiba's runs is on there.
Sunday went "OK" last weekend. No Q's with my mom's dogs. We had a pretty tough Exc JWW course that involved a bunch of front crosses, a long serpentine across the ring, and a 270. Drifter just nailed it, it IS super nice running him at 20" and not needing to worry about giving him lots of space to judge takeoff on every jump. I can handle him pretty aggressively. I am not sure whether or not i'd like to do Tryouts again with him or not, if I don't make the IFCS team. I would love to just make that team, make that our one European "Hurrah" and then let him do 20/22. But if we don't make the team, I'd like to be able to give FCI one more shot. He's still really sound and doing well. And while 26 is certainly harder for him, that is true of every dog to some degree. Is it harder for him than some dogs? Yes, I'm sure. But it's not as hard for him as it is for others. So we'll see. I am entering a few at 26" since as of right now I don't know if I'll make IFCS or not.
Anyhow to finish the beginning of that thought, he nailed that JWW but then had several brain farts in standard so didn't double Q. (broke his stay, jumped on/off the table, then popped his weaves on a slightly early front cross - I walked out at that point, 3 strikes of goofiness is just enough)
The last 2 weeks I've been working on the girls' aframes in the yard. I'm trying to get Seri's more consistent, and giving Kiba one more shot at a running frame. They're actually doing pretty well. I'm starting to see some consistency from Seri, and with the core strength work we've been doing she is showing a bit of improvement in body control over the apex. Kiba is doing well at not popping off ("popcorn dog" I call her!). I've just been using a jump about 10-12' following the frame to get them to focus forward, along with a pvc bar placed on whatever slat I'm using to help each particular dog control their striding. It's not always in the same place. Sometimes I have it up high to work on Kiba's stride over the top being longer, sometimes it's down low in the spot where Seri lands when she 2-strides so I can discourage that. sometimes with Seri it's on the UP ramp near the top to back her off so she doesn't get so close that she shaves chest hair off! I don't ever actually "train" them to step over the stride regulator - in fact I don't really use it to "train" them to "regulate" their stride. I use it to "encourage" them to shift their behavior slightly, and I never leave it in the same spot more than 5-1o reps before moving it again. I like to get rid of it as soon as possible and I try to use the jump to focus them forward. I've found that once they can stop thinking about what they're doing and just thoughtlessly drive down and forward, while balancing for something else and taking cues from me, it all usually comes together just fine.
It's pretty warm today, after a stretch of very autumnal weather. I'd just been starting to take them to the park again but it's too warm today so maybe tomorrow. No trial this weekend.