Wednesday, August 5, 2015

More Anne

Kraft's been mostly on a break from agility for the past three weeks since Regionals. I wanted to give him a full month off, but there was a seminar I wanted to do with Anne Andrle this past weekend, so he got three weeks off since Regionals, now will have two weeks off until we trial again. At this point, I don't worry about him losing skills if we go several weeks without training. He's a good boy, with good foundations. He understands this game and it's mostly me that needs the work anyway. When he does come back, it's going to be back to RDW boot camp, but that skill can wait a few more weeks. And since we're focusing on conditioning during the break, he shouldn't lose any fitness, so I'm not worried about trialing him at all. 

So back to the seminar. I could totally use more training with Anne! Might be one of my favorites to train with. Out of the three seminars I've done this year, I think I was pushed harder in this one than any of the others. She also knows me and Kraft the best, so that might be part of it. She knows the goals I've had, the skills we possess, and is very aware of my struggles recently since she's been at several of the trials where I was at my wits end. This was also the first seminar that I've ever been to where Kraft was the most experienced dog there, which was quite exciting for me. 

This was the course:
The focus was on jumps 4 and 11, and being able to execute them with blind crosses. The tunnel and A-frame were quite far apart, so you had to be quite far off the dog's path, but with the blind, the line was set so efficiently that the discrimination was a no brainer. Everyone was stuck trying to front cross which put you behind since it was too slow or reverse spin which put you on the wrong side. I didn't have as much of a problem with the blind as everyone else since I've been doing them in these situations with the girls ever since I learned to do a blind cross. And when we walked it, I wasn't sure I could get up to push his A-frame, so Anne said I could reverse spin 4, keep him on my right for the A-frame, then tandem turn at 6. With just a regular rear, his line was way wide after the jump and he wound up heading towards the tunnel, so the tandem was used to change his line and make it clearer to turn right over the jump. That needed a lot more work than the blinds, so I'm glad I did it that way. 

Another challenge was trusting their commitment to the tunnel at 12 and 25 enough to leave in time to blind after the tunnel. I made it all but one time. This was another place Anne said lets really push and see how soon you can see commitment and leave. And I really could leave sooner than I thought. He didn't pull off even once. Another step towards fully trusting each other out there, I was very pleased with that part. 

Here's the edited video with music and meaningless slow mo for dramatic effect:

Mary left this course set up in the barn for class Tuesday night so Spy got to try. Obstacle commitment has been our project the past month or so and she really impressed me by nailing the discrimination both times, and this is one that in the past I would have thought impossible for her, even with the line being obviously set to guide her to the right obstacle. I am so loving all that I'm learning through OMD! I really am seeing the entire game differently, I feel like I'm seeing it more like the dog does. 

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