Friday, April 18, 2008

Agility practice on Wednesday!

The weather this week has been just amazing! 70s and sunny. 'Bout time!

So what did we do? On Wednesday, we went to agility practice at our trainers house in the country. It was kind of windy at the start of our practice so we kept off the dog walk.

Gracie started first and worked on some serpentines, and a kind of nasty weave entrance. She did pretty well. She was even in the jumpers ring, which we don't practice in very much and it can be kind of a distraction, but Mum was happy with her enthusiasm, attention, and focus.

Gracie and Mum worked on a longer sequence with Gracie, and Mum was super happy she focused on the entire run, even with weaves at the end (which she made by the way). Good girl, Gracie!

Gracie only worked about 15 minutes of our hour private. Because our trainer wanted me to work on some Gambles. For those of you who don't know about gambles, it is an event that we will face in our USDAA trial this coming weekend.

Gambles are fun, and challenging. Mum has to plot a course for the alloted time (it's all about strategy and accumulating points for certain obstacles), then when the buzzer sounds, Mum directs me into a set part of the course from a distance. She can't cross a line, but still has to direct me through a small numbered part of the course. Sometimes the obstacles in the gamble part can be 20 or so feet away, which is where the big challenge comes in.

We worked on four or five gambles. Two of them included going into a tunnel and then Mum directing me to the next obstacles after - we find this to be the most difficult, because I can't see Mum until I get out of the tunnel. So knowing where to go is even more difficult. But I did pretty well. Got all of the gambles right (even one with a difficult weave entrance, 15 feet away from Mum), except one. But we practiced it a few times until I got it.

A lot of people dread the gamble, but Mum and I kind of like it, especially now that I'm getting better at them, BOL!

We also practiced on tighter turns on jumps, trusting me on certain obstacles, and Mum cueing me earlier. All things we needed.

So we head off tomorrow morning for the first USDAA trial of the year for us. I had to miss the one in January because of my injury. We're entered in everything, including Steeplechase and Grand Prix. Mum's goal for me this weekend is for me not to be so cautious, which is slowing me down. We're just gonna go for it! We do hope that we get at least one standard Q, that will get us our Masters Agility Dog title. Wish us luck!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck - hope you get your title! A Q is a clear round, right? We'll cross our paws for you. We're going to our first KC trial this weekend... maybe we'll manage a clear round ourselves. But don't bet on it. :-) Gus n Jake


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