Sunday, January 29, 2012

Well the razzmatazz, glitz and noise of Olympia has faded into a distant memory, and it is time to look forward to the summer season. Time to get back to training! I feel very lucky to have such a lot of good trainers available down here in south east England, although venues are hard to come by and very expensive (I really do wish I could afford to have some space and equipment of my own for training). December and January have both been incredibly hectic months, I have a lot of change going on at work (yes, I’m now even more over-worked and under-paid!), plus new ventures in other parts of my life (all very good and exciting!). We had quite a long break from training over Christmas, and only started back in the second half of January. I would like to thank Shaun Young, Amanda Rogers and Matthew Goodliffe who are my main trainers at North Downs DTC (and also to congratulate all North Downs members for winning the premier league in the Agility Club points league. How fantastic is that?!) I also feel very lucky to have got some training with Toni Dawkins and Natasha Wise this winter. Thanks to them and all my friends for all your help! I really appreciate it. I have been hoping to get some video of how the training is going but have not yet found a willing volunteer to hold the camera! Now is the time to really have a think about what I can improve, in readiness for the start of the season. I have a very long list! But I find it all exciting and am feeling very motivated. We have had a very kind winter (weather wise) so far, I hope it continues long enough to work through my list! (Our first deadline is Crufts....)
I have started with some weave training. The new weave width, standardising the gaps between poles to 600mm, came into force Jan 1st 2012. I am really pleased about this, the wider weave spacing seems much kinder to our dogs, especially when they are trying to get those difficult flat weave entries. However, the weaves are noticeably longer as a piece of equipment now, both for transportation and as part of a course! I have agreed to a number of judging appointments this year, and am getting down to some serious course designing. I hate watching dogs stutter round tight, cramped courses, especially the younger dogs, and want to design courses that are a pleasure to watch dogs run round, as well as courses that are interesting for the handler to work. I do have one short bit of video of Zazzy doing some weave training, here it is.
video

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For a bit about what I do for a living, see: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AeEKryTUo-Q