Holes in Training

Trials are an excellent way to discover whatever holes you have in training. I’ve been working hard on Gel’s weaving and in the trial this past weekend, his weave pole entrances and performance were almost perfect.

This morning I worked him on weaves and he did well, until I decided to put him in a wait and then recalled him through the weaves. It was as if he didn’t know how to weave. Interesting. I’ll have to work through that. Not entirely sure I’ll ever need to recall him through weaves in a trial setting, but best to be prepared just in case.

I’m glad his contact obstacles have remained solid. I rarely train contact obstacles at home. I trained Gel using Linda Mecklenburg’s one-rear-toe-on (1RTO) method and I love it. I’ll train Fern in the same manner. I didn’t like how Gel looked in the so-called two on, two off (2O2O) position, he’s too long and tall. If performed correctly, there should not be undue stress in the front end when doing 2O2O, but his back was bent in an odd angle with his two rear feet still on the obstacle and the two front on the grass. With 1RTO, he’s usually stopped with all but one foot on the grass. Gel understands he’s supposed to stop at the end of each contact obstacle with at least one foot still in contact with the wood. That criteria has never deteriorated, which is wonderful. One thing I did right.

I was lucky, I didn’t train Gel to jump correctly, he just did it. Now that his weaving has been highly reinforced (something I wasn’t doing previously), his weaves are good. Now if we can just get this human to handle him better through tough sequences, we’ll be golden.

Fern seems quite agile for her age. Pyro and Monty (the two puppies I still see regularly) are quite clunky compared to Fern. Hopefully she’ll remain agile as she matures. The other morning while we were out walking, she was running and leaping through tall grass. I was amazed at how graceful she was.