15 January 2013

Some boring agility speak that you should probably pass on reading if you're not into that kind of thing.

Yesterday the ground was frozen when we practiced. Not frost dusted across the grass, just frozen. That's a new one for us. This little corner of the field had some sun, so this is where we practiced weaves in the sunshine. As many short 3-6 obstacle sequences, as I could find with hard pole entrances. I kicked back. I stayed away from those poles. I set sequences where I actually couldn't get up to the poles, and set robot out at the end of them.

Robot didn't want to work in the cold. So I just yelled, "BEEP!" and tried to throw a piece of cheese in it's dish for Gustavo. That fools him every time. Otterpop would rather go get her frisbee anyways.

That right angle turn to a left side weave entry at high speed is a hard one and that is me and Gustavo's goal right now. Make that weave entry one I never have to worry about. Rarely have to worry about. Even Otterpop has a tendency to race by that one if I don't get to just the right spot, and Gustavo frequently misses that one when he's flying out of tunnels or off a-frames.

His poles have been looking a million times better since I switched to only practicing on 24" poles. For him, it didn't make sense to switch from tight poles to wide poles. Otterpop could care less. Just run thru the damn plastic sticks when you see them lined up. Gustavo doesn't see things that way. I need to get my own set of 24" and plop them out somewhere at work.

Gustavo has been practicing and running in class like a champ again. His teeter totter is back, or at least his favorite teeter totters are his friends again. I don't know about unfamiliar ones. I'm going to assume not. He's entered this weekend, just in jumpers and steeplechase, and then on a special team, the kind you don't have to do a teeter totter on.

So yep. We're back at agility after our holiday hiatus. Couldn't stay away. Otterpop ended up Top Ten Numero Uno in USDAA 8" Gamblers and Standard for 2012. That was all I ran her in, with the occasional Grand Prix. I'll still run her in Gamblers, as long as she wants to. That's her thing. We'll still make up weird and horrible gamblers to practice out in our deer pasture. Just because it's fun.

Gustavo ended up Number Two in 12" Championship Jumpers for 2012. That was a bit of a surprise. I never check on his top ten stats. That's pretty much all he ran in last year, there were off and on attempts at other classes but with spookies and tables and everything that plagued him last year, Jumpers is just his thing. Things without teeter totters and tables are his thing. A field of just jumps, arranged just so, makes him happy.

I was happy both of them got a Top Ten placing. We usually only show on Sundays, I guess the few that we made it to for 2 days helped bump them up there. I think it helps Gustavo to settle in and focus as well. Maybe me too. Hello, Motel 6.

We'll drive up after work this weekend to Santa Rosa for possibly the last classes on Saturday. If it runs very late, Gustavo can do Jumpers and Steeplechase. If it doesn't, we'll just have a swell evening in a crappy motel. Gustavo is on a team with friends that is an ok team to be on when you're on a teeter totter break in life. He is guaranteed an E in Standard, and possibly in Relay, so that makes him not a very fun team mate for everyone that needs a Q. He's running with some friends that have similar yet different issues, and similar chances of bringing in an E. I think we'll have fun regardless, and do our best for good runs because, what else are we going to do? Might as well keep trying, and see if his inner champ can someday learn to shine through.


Terry A said...

wow, that is great and awesome news! and a great and awesome attitude to match.

Terry A said...

wow, that is great and awesome news! and a great and awesome attitude to match.

andrea said...

Congratulations superstarz!

Elf said...

Congratulations on the Top Tens! Those are in case you ever had any doubt about your skills as a trainer and handler. And great news about the teeter. And I'm intrigued that your dogs have a rough time with that weave entry, too--all my agility life I've heard that that's the easy entry for dogs, but Boost has always had a terrible time with it.