02 April 2008

Teaching Go-a primer

I took the dogs out to practice before work yesterday. Boy do I wish I had my own big grassy yard.

I am lucky enough though to rent a friend's field so I can practice alone at least once a week with a genuine a-frame, teeter and dogwalk. I am always in a rush because before I can practice I need to move her sheep to another pasture, drag stuff around to set my puppy sequences, lower the a-frame, put wires on the weaves, and drag tunnels everywhere. Then undo that, have the other dogs do some sequences without wires and low stuff, put everything away, including sheep, and somehow get to work on time. My riding students are used to it that I am probably going to come flying down the driveway of the ranch late because I had to "practice with the dogs." Or fly out some nights at the stroke of 5pm because I have to go teach agility. They are indulgent of me. They are, perhaps wisely, concerned their trainer spends a freakish amount of time playing with her dogs, but those who question too deeply may have to ride longer without stirrups.

Most of what I practice is for Gustavo, since he's at a crucial state of his dog agility development. Today we worked the a-frame and teeter into a sequence, poles into the endless loop frenzy with tunnels on both ends, and starting learning Go.

The field is about 80' long. I set up a staggered line of jumps and an empty chute barrel and let 'em at it. There was a magic blue tupperware at the end of the line. I was tired. I decided everyone could practice just racing down a line.

So everyone did this a bunch. It was actually a great exercise for bar knocking Ruby to jump Carefully at Speed. And for Otterpop's distance skills with me layering objects out on the side. Gustavo, just running his ass off, and me running too so he learns I run fast, he runs fast, we all run fast, obstacles straight in front mean run fast, and there's never any not fast at agility.

So each dog ran that thing at least 10 times. That would be up and down. So 20 times per dog. That is 60 times for me. Why I look more like a post-partum pre-rehab Britney Spears on a bad day in the photos and less like a super toned Icon For the Over Forty Set Madonna with all that running is besides me. Let's never, ever buy jeans at the Gap again, ok?


Urban Smoothie Read said...

60 times b4 work! salute u, lady

my dog will never do that 20 times for me in 1 session... after 5 times, she act 'auntie' n give me that look "what's d fun of repeating n repeating again with no one, but you, watching"....

maybe i shld get more dogs to make my dog feels competitive...

Elayne said...

I hate watching myself run on video. I swear I'm flying when I'm running the course then I see it on video and it looks like I'm wallowing in quicksand. It's obviously a universal flaw in the cameras covering up our athleticness.

Anonymous said...

Students that question too much should do 2-point with no stirrups for an extended amount of time... pure torture.