Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ditch 'em

Today we practiced a course that we found in the March clean run. It was the courses by Stewart Mah. Surprisingly it had several elements that were really good for the dogs and I to practice.

Tip's and my challenges lately have been dropped bars. In the last year we have really been working on switching her to a more handler focused dog. Now she has arrived, but my skills have not caught up. Several of her dropped bars are due to me stopping my movement in preparation for turning or ditching her to get to were I need to be. She is very responsive to my movements and when I stop mine, she drops her back feet if she is over a jump or worse she will miss judge her take off because she is looking to see what I am up too. Stewart's course had several places where I needed to ditch and run. The exercise gave me some practice is keeping my movement going at least a little, supporting Tip's activity and getting to where I need to go.

Split is progressing on his path of learning to drive forward and being more obstacle focused (yes, one dog obstacle focused, one dog handler focused). We had a really good practice earlier in the week, but today there was a little backward movement. Probably cause there was more distractions with my training partner being there. was EXCELLENT cause Split was keeping me completely honest. Keep my motion going, feet must support his motion, can't do my thing until he is commited to his. It is hard to keep all those priorities going all the time! Every handler should keep running green dogs. You really have to re-sharpen your skills again.

Side note in all of this agility. I was diagnosed with Graves last fall. I began to loose my thyroid in December and I began medication. All that being said, I have been low for about 2.5 months. It has been really hard to get out and work the dogs with the regularity that I should. I have been getting out, but the creativity that I need to solve the problems. Things are getting better and I am hopeful :)