12 February 2012

contacts

That's what I'll be practicing this week. First Trig released herself off a couple of them, then Strafe missed a dogwalk (OK, he actually missed 2!), and then Kiba missed an aframe. Since I've been quick releasing Trig's contacts a lot, I can undestand her doing that, so we'll proof that a bit this week. And poor Kiba is going through running aframe retraining rehash #4 or 5, so again understandable, although we threw away a Standard Q and 1st place by missing the aframe contact by about a toenail today. Strafe's issues this weekend were entirely due to his lack of dogwalk training on more complicated courses. Because we've been trialing and travelling and I was working on other skills, I really haven't "trained" the dogwalk since about October. We've run it in sequence a few times here and there, but I haven't actually worked on anything with it since then. So we need to work on discriminations with the tunnel on the up side - namely pulling in with a short verbal and dropped shoulder while I take off running, rather than me needing to slow down to pull in. Also need to work on a discriminations off the down ramp - today we had a U-shaped tunnel very close to the downramp and he skittered off the ramp and into the wrong end very quickly. Back when I was working on it a few times a week he was pretty good at pulling in, but I think the energy of a trial had him a little too excited and off he went. So we have some homework. It's not the end of the world - overall I think he's running the boards nicely and up until this weekend he didn't miss a single one - but those were Novice and Open courses, more simple layouts.

I am teaching for the next 2 weekeneds, so I'll be working on contacts every few days at home and away when I can. I'd like to give Kiba's aframe one more trial to see if she can even out a little. She's actually pretty consistent at home - last training session we did, I ran 8 aframes from different directions and on different sides of me, and she hit all 8 and was only really high on 2 of them. At the trial she is remembering me making her stop which changes her weight shift over the top, so hopefully by running past this weekend I opened her up a bit more. If not, I will throw a last minute check back into place before the latter March trials so we will not miss them at Nationals... hopefully!

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