04 October 2009

exercise, exercise, and more exercise

That's what my dogs have been doing lately. Now that it's cool enough to hike again, we've been getting to the park 3-5 times a week, and either doing a 40 minutes off leash trot/canter on the wider grassy hilly trails, or a 60-90 minute girls-on-leash walk/trot on the really hilly, full of roots and rocks and streams trail. We also work on our Theraball 3x a week, we've increased our "beg" work to 10-15 seconds, 3-5 reps, 3-5 times a week, PLUS Seri can FINALLY stand up on her back legs from that position without falling over sideways! Progress! We've also been working short jumping sequences or bouncework in the yard a few times a week, aframes for the girls (Seri's getting a lot better, Kiba is still questionable) a few times a week, and courses at the field Tuesdays and sometimes Sat or Sunday. Yes, that IS a lot of stuff! And I can see it paying off! Muscles are growing. They've been increasing exercise pretty strongly since mid-September. That in addition to a good organic probiotic/vitamin supplement, and Glycoflex, and oil, and the ceramic blankets to help their muscles heal quickly. . . well they should be MACHINES by the time Arizona rolls around!

In other news, Drifter continues to have a weird mental block about doing the dogwalk in the backyard. It feels to me like maybe we've just done so many weird training things on that dogwalk, that he's never sure exactly what the hell to do, and it makes him suck back a little bit. That added to his dopey fall off it a couple weeks ago, and the fact that it's a 10" wide board (12" wide is standard in all organizations now), has led to me to just shelf that obstacle at home for now. I took the end ramps off and set up all my jumps and weaves and the frame instead. Gives me a lot more space to work with. Because while mentally I get caught up in "ohmygodmydogwalksbroken", realistically, most of our faults are "a bar". The dogwalk is now a "run in courses at the field only" obstacle for Drifter.

My lower back has been really, really tight and sore the last 10 days or so. I don't think I did anything to it, and it's never a shooting pain like a disc or something, but regardless, it is not fun to wake up and feel like you can't bend over. Last night I took the fluffy matteress pad off the bed and flipped the mattress over. I do feel a bit better this morning, still a bit sore but not quite as locked-up stiff, so we'll see if maybe the pad bunching up and moving around was the problem. Instead, today my neck is locked up. I am a wreck for 27 years old! At least my shoulder tendonitis has been behaving lately!

The final 4-star event was this weekend. Point totals aren't up but I know at least one other dog passed me. It was a dog i knew would pass me, so no surprise there. I'm hoping the other dog I thought might pass me at least didn't get tons of points ahead. Either way, I've got work to do at Nationals.

And if we don't make that team, I've got some work to do in AKC over the winter! I have been doing short sequences at 26" with Kiba in the yard and she's doing alright. She even powers over sometimes, and I don't see any stuttering. When I ran a course at 26" at the field Tuesday she stuttered a bit, but I hadn't done a lot at that height yet so I will continue to work it at home, then maybe do courses at 24" this week, and then the following week try 26" and see if I still get the "holy crap that jump looks big!" behavior from her. While I would not LOVE the idea of jumping her 26", if she can do it without hurting herself, I would maybe at least try to get her Tryouts this year (2010). And I'd only do 26" until she was qualified. We'll see. If she can't do it without stuttering or getting sore, I won't try at all. it's just that she's SO easy to handle and steer, she listens really well, and she tries HARD to avoid knocking bars down (unlike certain DRIFTERs I know). Anyhow, like I said, I'm on a "we'll see how it goes" page for that idea. Seri certainly isn't ready yet. I'm happy she got to Excellent A for now!

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