Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mid season review

I am soooo pleased for Karen. To win with two dogs so quickly , one of which was a 'thrown away dog,' a rescue, most certainly highlights that the driving force behind the success is the trainer and handler. Way to go! And keep up the good work (Don't worry Karen, once we are partied-out, you can trust us to keep your feet on the ground, lol!)

I am really pleased with Zazzy. She is really enjoying her agility, and I love running her. Last night I noticed how much she has tuned into me, I only have to think about what is coming next and it happens. Good thing really, although I haven't noticed her run faster, I have noticed that she is taking less strides between obstacles, so it's getting more and more important that my handling is clear and that the timing is right! Last weekend we met a tough running A-frame sequence in the KC Olympia course ( I love Dave Jolly's courses, they are always clever, interesting and testing, well more testing for the handler than for the dog, as long as the handler does his/her job properly!). Coming out of the weaves Zazzy had a 180 degree turn and space for just one stride before the AF. I knew she would find it hard to get the impulsion to hurdle the top of the AF and get her striding long enough to hit the contact on the down side. Zazzy naturally has a long stride, the drawback of this is that it takes her a while to build up momentum. Like Becky, her best runs have been when I can keep her flowing without too much stopping and starting. I have began to work more on training acceleration, and I can see her gradually getting stronger, but I must admit Kaydee had it naturally, she can go from stationary to flat out, and flat out to stationary in the blink of an eye! Anyway I had about a 5 minute opportunity to do some proofing on the AF this week, and the course at Bookham turned out to be a perfect opportunity to test it. The tunnel was under the AF, so no run up at all! Whereas I really struggled with such things when she was first learning the AF, I was really happy to find her much more successful last night. Just a couple of instances of being higher than I would like. She is such good fun and so lovely to have around. I am also over the moon with Becky, she is really enjoying herself and is really impressing me with hard she is trying. Of course, I am still sad for poor Kaydee, but I am still looking for ways to get her looking and feeling on top form.

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