Mum was so excited, now she doesn't have to babysit Gracie, or even cheer lead her through the weaves. She doesn't have to bend over to keep Gracie driving through without looking up. How nice! Now, she can save her breath for the rest of the course, BOL!!
So we got to thinking. We thought that Gracie looked faster in the weaves with the target out about five feet from the last pole, but we weren't certain. So we decided to do a video and time comparison. Yep, she's faster! Another great benefit :)
We decided to compared her weaves from last week with the nice weaving she was doing last November, since they were her best before her targeting. (You'll remember those weaves from our obstacle time comparison post last December, where her avg. weave time was around 3.328). Mum felt like she needed industrial handles to cheer and motivate Gracie.
Gracie has shaved off nearly a quarter of a second on her weaves on average, and consistently over the past few weeks. One of her weaves we got on video was timed at 2.96 seconds, a big change from her fairly consistent 3.25-3.32 seconds before targeting. Good going Gracie!
We've been using open food targets for a long time (well, as long as the 3 (or is it 4) years we've been doing agility :). Mum, Gracie and I like them. And they work well for us. We've learned that we have to do the obstacles before we get the target, and learning that wasn't too difficult. Gracie and I may have had just a couple of run arounds to the target when we were learning the weave targeting, but we moved on and have never done it since.
The thing we like the most about open food targeting for us is the independence it creates - independent weaves, working from a distance, independent contacts and more. And it creates drive, something Gracie needs to work through because of her lack of confidence, and something I needed after my iliopsoas pull to regain my confidence, and my speed.
There's a nice interview with Stuart Mah in Clean Run's June 2009 issue about targeting. He's a big subscriber to targeting, even though it has fallen out of favor by many.
Here's the vid of Gracie's weave comparisons, before targeting and after targeting. Hope you enjoy!