I have got to say that here in the Bordergirls agility world the music for agility this week has been mostly the Pink album, Funhouse. On the recommendation of the Target employee....LOL, who said the album is great, I gave it a shot and I love it. Of course some of my favorite songs are So What, Sober, Funhouse-that song includes the verse --"this used to be a funhouse, but now its full of evil clowns"--that makes me smile every time I hear it. That line just brings up great mental images!
Tuesday is class day. This is the class I just started here close to home. The reason I am taking this class is of course any day doing any agility is a good day, they usually set up some pretty good sequences, it is a group of people that I started agility with and since I was rarely there I have lost touch and not having a training partner it was starting to feel a little lonely doing agility at times feeling like I am working all by sometimes lately and since I am getting ready to start trialing more it would be fun to connect more with people that are trialing so .......It is also the time of year when we miss a lot of classes/lessons in Acton so it is a good time to take another class. It sure doesn't hurt that this class is the best deal in town, I don't think there is anywhere else in the world that classes are so economical.
So last week-I was all discombobulated because we were only supposed to use front crosses. I could see how to run the course so well AFTER Deanna the instructor showed us how to do it, but gosh I sure didn't see it before. In my private in Acton a few days later, Alicia set up a nice sequence where I had no idea there should have been a cross and she had to walk me by the hand to see what looked like it made such sense once she showed me. This week was REAR CROSSES, yippie-right up Chloe's alley. What helped even more was that Alicia had just went over looking at and thinking about the lead the dog is on and what lead we need them to be on, so that was invaluable, and Alicia was really stressing making sure you are always showing the movement by your position and what you are doing for your dog. So we were all ready for this class. ANYWAY, Chloe was a Rockstar! Last week was a mess, but this week...we looked good. We got all the sequences really pretty easily, if I say so myself. A couple of times someone in class was asking, "why does Kathy only have to run this one time?". Deanna said because she got it right! LOVE it the days it all goes so well-not that that happens all that often, so I savor it when it does!
The really funny part is that when I took this class a year or two ago.....this rear cross lesson was a nightmare. Chloe would never drive ahead of me-she has really come so far. Deanna was commenting on how much Chloe has changed and how much more confident she is and this lesson really made that obvious. Now days Chloe is usually telling me to GET OUT OF THE WAY, so we love rear crosses.
So....when I remember the first time I took this class-the class is called Handling 3-I was shocked at that time to find out there are different type of rear crosses but....apparently there are and we worked with four types today.
1. Full Stride Rear Cross: Done when you are running say down a line of jumps and then you are going to turn, done where there is a lot of speed and you want to keep that speed so you don't want to slow the dog down and you don't want the dog to do any collection. If you have a velcro dog you need to reward the dog away from you to encourage them to really drive ahead. With Chloe I had to make sure to cross the second she locked onto the obstacle before the turn, otherwise she figured out where she thought the course goes and I would lose that pretty full stride turn to the next obstacle.
2. Tandem Rear Cross, or a rear cross on the flat. Guess these are sometimes happen when you didn't get where you wanted to go- or they are done in some pretty tight places, you and the dog turn together.
3. Broken Strided Rear Crosses, rear crosses where you need some collection and control so you slow down your stride, maybe use the dogs name.
4. THIS ONE I really didn't even want to practice because I think it sets up bad things-and I am really trying to always show movement to my dogs so they can trust that, but it is the Stationary Front Cross. These definitely usually happen when you planned a front cross, or to move somewhere and you just messed up so you are stuck somewhere and you are stuck sort of standing and need to do a cross but have no where to go, so you send the dog ahead and cross behind, with little or no movement, so you should try to show some sort of movement and I guess I would definitely try not to get in that position that I have to do that is what I am guessing.
So next week in that class we have homework. It is to list in detail EXACTLY what our criteria is for contacts. Goodness Gracious that is a hot keg with Chloe because she thinks she is doing a 2020 and I know what her criteria was for that, but now I just have her run through, she is slow enough and most of the time I can get there and it is so much more comfortable for her. So I really haven't trained the new criteria, we are just sort of feeling the whole thing out for what works because Chloe doesn't want to run through but after a few Aframes she will just sit at the top to avoid the shoulder discomfort.
Anyway, that is always a funny class because someone always gets mad. LOL. We take the criteria we bring from home and have to read it to the class, and then we run the contacts, and everyone sees if you are sticking to your criteria. Hey, I never get mad because I know mine are sort of out there, on the Aframe with Chloe at least, the dog walk and teeter are pretty clear, although we have had some teeter problems, so next week I already know I will look like I need a good talking too about contacts, and really Deanna will just say, hey if that is ok with you as long as you know what you have and don't have,...no big deal as long as you are happy with it!.