On Sunday we trekked off to Gloucestershire for our final official WAO training session. I have found these sessions really helpful as they have pushed me but also highlighted things I really need to work on.
Now all I need is for the weather to be a little kinder so that we can get outside and practise some of these things: sending Zeki onto an obstacle with me starting to pull away ready to run off in another direction; weaves into a solid obstacle e.g. side of a tunnel and more important that anything jumping courses period. I always do better on agility courses and really need to find a way of getting the right focus for jumping courses. My mind set is poor where jumping classes are concerned and I really need to work hard to change this attitude. Possibly this is because jumping classes have never really had much importance in British agility, even with our current championship class it isn't always critical to do a first class jumping run and so I tend not to take attack jumping courses the same as I do agility courses. Also, we rarely train over jumping courses because people want to train contacts and we tend to set up what the majority wants. Perhaps we need to change this practise and once a month set up a tricky jumping course. Anyway, all I know is that I have to change my attitude and fast.
So far I have used my new rubberised contacts just once, they have been wrapped up under their new covers since the day after I got them as we've had quite a lot of rain. Typical April weather really but after the very warm, dry March I think we all thought summer had arrived! Sadly not, although I am not truly sorry for all the rain because here in the south of England it is badly needed.
Colin Knight very kindly did some videoing at the weekend and here are a couple of Zeki's rounds as a result. Thank you Colin.
We picked up our WAO clothing on Sunday. Love the jacket but it was hilarious when I tried on my polo shirts. They were like dresses on me. Not far off knee length and miles too big in the body! Oops. Luckily Marilyn came to the rescue and took the shirts with her for her Mum to alter. What a super star. I honestly couldn't have run in those shirts as they were so huge. It provided a good laugh and I wasn't the only one, was I Bernadette LOL!
Last night at training we set up this course which is a take on Greg Derrett's UKA Masters agility course from Easter Monday. We had to adapt it because our school is rectangular whereas Greg's course was designed to a square. I expect some things were made easier and others more difficult as a result. All I know is that it was certainly testing but that I loved running it with both Niamh and Zeki.
It certainly tested two of the things I need to work on with La Beek: #4 to #5 where you had to commit the dog to #4 but be starting your move to get up the line and get into position for #6 and #17 weaves into the back of a rigid tunnel. Niamh popped out at the tenth pole but did it after rewarding with her ball, Zeki was foot perfect, clever girl. I also found I needed to handle the run up to the A-Frame differently for my two dogs. With Niamh (who has a stopped A-Frame) I layered #9-10 to the seesaw, got right up beyond the seesaw to recall over #12 so I could push to the rigid tunnel and then peel away from the A-Frame, recalling over #16 and scooping to the weaves. I did this with Zeki also and it worked well but I got a better running A-Frame if I didn't layer and actually worked the sequence slightly from behind. This meant I had more acceleration approaching the A-Frame and the pull away wasn't so obvious to Zeki. I love how this course made me think and how there were lots of ways of handling the various sequences within it. In my view a perfect course and I just wish we saw more like this at our shows in G7. Well done Mr Derrett I think you should judge more often .........
Exhausted by the end of the evening but really happy with how my girls ran this course.