Friday, July 25, 2008

Back to basics

Well it's no secret that I've been floundering for motivation on what to work on with Icon. I went through a phase of not even really wanting to practice agility, although I guess during that time I did set up a few things in my back yard with weaves and the *new* triple but I really wasn't into it so it made for less-than-productive training sessions.

So last night I decided that if I can't decide what to work on, we'll just go back to basics and see what happens from there. After all, you're only as good as your foundation skills and it never hurts to make sure they're still intact. It's so easy to lose them once you start competing!

So I started with going back to the teeter. I decided that my final goal (see? it only took me about 5 minutes from deciding to go back basics to formulating a formal goal) I wanted to have him driving to the end of the teeter when it's facing a wall (or probably hedges in my back yard) . Since I knew we weren't there yet in this session I wanted go back and work the teeter with me in all positions again (send, recall, run with on each side, front cross after, rear cross before, move away lateral, and parallel lateral distance). We were fine so long as I was running with him, but the send/recall and lateral distance (where I didn't pass the end of the teeter) SUCKED. He didn't even go as far as the end.

So, back a step!

I got our target out. It became obvious right away that we had forgotten that a nose touch is supposed to be part of the performance! Not that I'm surprised or really expected it at all because the last time I asked for a nose touch on any equipment was....ooooooh... probably about a year ago.

It didn't take us long to figure it out again, although it seems that he was just humoring me at first. But finally we started getting the drive I remember from all positions. I will continue with this a bit before I start moving it towards the hedges.

I would also like to start a similar process with the weaves and dogwalk. But I haven't yet.

I did spend some time going 'back to basics' with one jump work for tight turns a la Nancy Gyes. But it hasn't been so long since we stopped doing that so he was pretty good.

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