Thursday, January 26, 2012
Masters Handling in the Rain, Day 2 of our Seminar ;-)
The Stacy Peardot Goudy seminar Masters Handling day ended up a rainy day...like from the time it started until about an hour and a half before it was done it rained without stopping. It rained harder for periods and rained a little less for some periods but it never stopped. Nothing like rain for a seminar, ;-). Poor Stacy was sopping, her pants were dripping water and everyones shoes were soaked. Luckily it was not too cold until the last hour when the wind started to pick up.
We had a world team member and a person who I have to believe will soon make the world team participating and some other really great dogs/handlers so Stacy really put out some challenging courses for everyone to work on. I was auditing with my baby dog(Cricket) who got to work during lunch and at the end of the day -that was problably good because the courses were full of European course type challenges. In the Foundation seminar when asked what is the difference in what Stacy says you would give a baby dog and an experienced dog Stacy said there was no difference. With a baby dog you just break down how many obstacles you do and you give clearer more distinct cues for inexperienced dogs.
I LOVED that Stacy pointed out that no matter how much experience you have, how high your skill level or how much you know when can never be totally sure how a course will run ;-), I suppose that is what keeps it all fun and exciting. Why did that make me happy? I am not sure, but I guess it takes the pressure off, you know there is not one perfect way to do things, and sometimes it is all going to work and sometimes not. But how boring would it be if we were all assured each time we stepped up to the line it would all be perfect--although some days that would be fun, LOL.
As we walked one particular course one participant was going to run one part of the sequence a certain way, she is VERY athletic and has a lot of experience but Stacy did not think her plan would work but said she should try it and see.... After a few people doing that sequence we all discovered that not only could people get to that spot and handle it the way that had looked impossible as we walked it, but it was really the easiest way to handle that sequence, and most people could do it. Like Stacy said until you actually run something you can never really know how it will go.
There was another section that a gal was going to run a particular way-when she ran it that way it was PERFECT. It was funny when Stacy was discussing that sequence she said she was sure the girl would not have been able to run that sequence as she did, but given that particular dog and handler it was beautiful. Not many people could have pulled running that sequence the way the gal had but given their team it was right for them.
None of that is huge info we can all use, TO ME THE THEME OF THE DAY WAS THAT it is a good reminder that agility is a sport- it is not life and death and it is challenge-some things will go well and some things will not but what the heck know your self and your team, your strengths and weaknesses and just go for it, try new things-that is how our skills just keep growing and keeps agility fresh and challenging.
Stacy did say that we should be a little more daring and when you practice new things in class or at seminars you should pull them out and try them in more places. I suppose if you are not putting those new skills to the test and working them out in trials the skills will not be perfected and comfortable if you really do need them for a big competition.
This was a real vacation weekend for me. I went to the Foundation seminar then out to dinner with a group from the seminar for dinner where we had some more great conversation. On Saturday was Masters Handling followed by a great practice with Cricket and some shopping before we headed home.