Jake and Lil’s first trial after a 2 month break from agility practice

Last Monday,  I decided that I might be able to do a day of NADAC the following weekend since my foot injury  did not feel worse after the EGC workshop.   So for the first time in months, I set up a few jumps in my backyard at NADAC distance and did a couple of reps with ground bars.  Both dogs ran confidently and fast over the bars.  I then added 4″ bars and both dogs looked a bit baffled by them.  So after a couple of reps each, I switched gears and set up a fun HGR game and did a few quick sessions, separately by about half hour in between, while I got back to work!  By the third  session, they were both jumping well, and continued to look good when I set up the jumps with NADAC spacing at the end of the day.  I thought taking a break would be a good thing but WOW did I question that decision after the first few reps! WHEW! 🙂

After watching my dogs run through hoops for a few months (vs. jumping), I was able to see how much they need to adjust their running strides when jumping… even with  4″ jumps.  It didn’t take too long for both dogs to get back into nice, easy jumping but since I had not seen them jump for a few months,  the change in their running stride lengths was very apparent.   It was great to see that they were adjusting all strides vs. just the last one and that they looked confident after those first few quick sessions and HGR games.

I really need to start practicing handling again!  In Lil’s first run of the day, Hoopers, I slipped into my old mode of handling mid-course and threw in an impromptu blind cross. As a result, I got out of position afterwards and really slowed her down, which is visible on the video and also by her YPS which were 4.19 in Hoopers and 4:35 in Standard which had 12 weave poles and 2 contacts.

And in Jake’s Tunneler’s run, when I pre-cued turns before he ducked into tunnels, he came out with full confidence and speed, but when I didn’t he came out not knowing where he was going so his turns were wider.  I am loving “working on” pre-cuing but definitely need to practice more so I do it automatically vs.  needing to think about it, when running courses.

Both dogs had 100% brilliant running dog walks.  Lil’s first A-Frame was barely in, but that was due to my lack of clear handling/ showing her the path.  In the video, you can’t see that the A-frame was facing a vast sea of nothingness so my GO ON meant nothing to her.  I had walked the course thinking I’d rear cross the front side of the A-Frame but after seeing teams crash and burn, I ran on the other side, and did not think that I should have cued GO LEFT vs. GO ON.  But in her next run,  her A-Frame  looked and felt really good.  RE: Lil’s 2 off course tunnels, she has done this type of thing in the past so I know that I just need to practice turns in front of tunnels more often than never. HA HA.

Jake and Lil both appeared to have a great time at the trial.  I know I did.  🙂  Most of the participants from the EGC workshop were there too so it was really great to hang out and cheer on both new and old friends.

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