Thursday, April 21, 2011

When easy is hard

Last night at PowerPaws class it was breezy, cold, but just amazingly beautiful.  The sky was full of angry clouds making their way across the valley towards us, but it never rained.  The first course looked to me to be quite difficult.  Not from a technical point of view, but from a "I can't run that fast and get were I need to be" point of view.

I mentioned this and received some great advice.  If you can't get to where you need, you need to look back on the course and find where the difficulty lies.  In other words, what obstacle are you babysitting and not able to move to get to where you need to be.  In my case, it was the weaves.  If I could have left her in the weaves, I could have easily gotten to the position to serp.  If I babysit the weaves I'm stuck and not going to make it.  

We come back to the theme of my life lately, I don't have confidence that she'll do the obstacle so I hang out waiting for it to be done and find myself behind.  Two things for me to work on:
  • independent obstacle performance for Fin
  • my confidence in her doing her job and me "handling" rather than babysitting 

For another exercise, we were running through a set of complex jumps that required decell.  We were having trouble getting to position and all our dogs were going wide.

Nancy decided to make it simple and set up a short 3 obstacle drill.

Before we did the drill we worked one jump to ensure our dogs understood the idea of a decell cue.  Fin is good at this.  I've worked on it alot.  Where we fail is "me" getting to the decell position when motion is involved before she is committed to the jump.

So we broke it down. Used three obstacles and worked on decell, wrap, and front cross.

The first one was just send to the tunnel, get to position and hold it.  Reward for tight.  If the dog doesn't turn as tight as you want, drop the jump bar and try without any jumping.  Slowly raise the jump bar until dog is jumping over and turning while jumping.

Second was the wrap.  As soon as dog is committed to 3, start the turn to 4 (should be turning as dog is turning), and take off toward 4.  The dog should turn really tight..same as the first exercise.

Third was the front cross.  Begin the FC to 4 as commitment (you should be turning as dog is turning) and then go!

Very fun exercises (I've got to set it up in the back yard and work on both sides as we only did the one side turn last night.


Kathy said...

Looks like a GREAT exercise, I am going to set that up this weekend, thanks!

Celeste said...

Nice! It's so great to be able to pinpoint the problem area and break it down into a simple exericse. Good for confidence, good for long-run. :-)