Sunday, 30 January 2011

Week of work

Well I am truly glad to get this week out of the way, all my time has been taken up with work this week, I did a 26hour shift (mad I know) on tuesday into wednesday as I had to go to Ireland, then on thursday I had a boring meeting that just seemed to go on for hours and then to finish the week on friday I had to go to another emergency meeting that took most of my day up. For this reason the dogs have been slightly neglected by me, it's a good job they go to my mum and dad's in the day.

So after the horrible week it was only fair that the dogs got spoilt this weekend with my attention. Yesterday we went to the field and did A-Frame training and pull-ins, this morning we went to club training and then this afternoon Emma came over as normal and we worked on our weave entries and see-saw. Emma's doggies Maisy and Rupert are looking great, Maisy was picking up some lovely weave entries and mastering some tough jumping sequences and Rupert is pretty much complete with all his basic skills and is well on his way completing some great sequences.

Tonight the doggies have just had sunday dinner and are now chilling out in front of the tv, tomorrow we will go on the castle walk for a couple of hours in the morning so they can get rid of any silly billy's they have saved up over the week.

Monday, 24 January 2011

BCC of GB Agility Show

The whole idea of this show was a progress check to see how training is going, ive come back with lots of things I want to work on. Ronny as ever, was his usual uncontrollable self, he managed no clears and two of the rounds we got a big fat E before we even got going, he did do a nice agility round, his contacts were incredibly good for him, he even held his see-saw before a tunnel so there is definite progress on that, unfortunately he knocked 2 poles in this round but on the whole I was pleased with him.

Keisha drives me insane, her training had been going so much better and I was hoping it would pay off today, sadly not the case, she ran all her rounds like a snail, her contacts were poor, although she got them it was like watching paint dry, she seems to have lost all her drive to go on, im not sure why, maybe because it was indoors or maybe because she is doing her girlie hormone thing or maybe it's because of me, whatever it is im just going to keep praising her and try and get her confidence back.

Zippy was just awesome today, I wanted to try out his running A-Frame and make sure we got solid stops on the other two contacts, mum managed to tape his first round and looking back I slowed him too early on the DW so in the next round I made sure I drove him right to the end. Anyway apart from my odd late handling command Zippy ran brilliantly, he had 6th in C1-4 Agility, 7th in C4-5 Jumping and then won G4 agility in his last round of the day. So my plans are now ruined as I wanted to keep Zippy in G4 until at least half way through the season, I guess we will just work hard on our contacts in shows and make sure we hold the DW and See-saw to confirm the position.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Busy busy busy

These past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy for me, time is just flying by and the problem is there is just not enough hours in the day especially at work, ive had to work over on quite a few occasions, it appears my clients are testing me !!!

On top of all that im having to work shifts again, still weekends off but just alternating my hours in the week, im not sure if it's a good or bad thing at the moment. Anyway, my main priority is the dogs, with the season fast approaching im trying to get lots of training in, my new club is brilliant, we are in the G6-7 class but I have been taking Zippy as I think we need to push ourselves as a team. Last night we worked on 90 and 180 degree turns and also concentrated on our handling, I was so pleased with how Zippy ran, looking so much more confident, he is so much fun to run.

This weekend is another busy one, im working tomorrow and then on sunday we are at the BC Show in Solihull, it will be a good progress check to see how our training has been going and what areas we still need to work on.

Friday, 14 January 2011

When it rains it pours .......

When it rains it pours ........ well what's new with the Great British weather, we finally get rid of the snow and in place of it we get rain, rain and more rain and this weekend it is forecast to ...... rain !!!

On the bright side training is still going ahead, last week we started back at Hinckley which was good, the only problem is it's an outdoor venue and if the weather is bad it usually gets cancelled. So for a little while I have been looking for another club, in addition to Hinckley, somewhere with an indoor venue which should allow us to continue training especially through these winter months.

Well last night we started that new club, it's a lovely brand new indoor venue at an equestrian centre, the surface is fantastic with the floor space bigger than a normal outdoor competition ring. We worked on FCI type courses with the main focus on obstacle discrimination. I think this club is going to suit me and my doggies.

Tomorrow I am booked on to a weave and contact workshop, apparently they are going to test us with a series of exercises which are designed to highlight any weaknesses. I know my contacts and weaves have so much scope for impovement so im hoping I will come back with some new training techniques to improve these.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Club training start's again for us

So today was our first day back at club since the season finished last year, with it being at another venue it was good to proof the skills I had taught the dogs prior to Christmas, especially Zippy's A-Frame and pull in's. Well the training went well and I was really happy with Zippy's progress on all his skills, I had forgotten how wound up he gets when there are other doggies playing the same game as him.

Keisha had a great class, we learnt a brand new skill today, a new turn that is used frequently by the Europeans, I have posted a video I found on You Tube that has plenty of the turns in, it feels really strange at the minute, everything we were taught not to do, take your eyes off the dog, turn the other way etc etc, have a look you will understand what I mean. The advantage of this turn is to make the dog turn tighter and apparently we as handlers are facing the way we would be going. This afternoon I practiced it when Emma came to training, i think it might work but it will remain a training technique until we master it efficiently.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Review of 2010 and Aims of 2011

The idea of reviewing the year gone by is a good one, I think sometimes you need to sit down and reflect on what has gone well, I know I can be quite hard on myself and sometimes I miss the opportunity to actually see all the positives that have happened.

Well this year has actually been amazing, I guess the star shinning brightly was Keisha, what a great little (squeaky) dog she is, finally breaking free the chains of Grade 4, can you believe she was in it for a year and it took us 22 second places before we finally hit that winning out run, on her first class of her first G5 show she won straight into G6, how mad is that !!! We are currently sitting on 2 x wins towards G7. She qualified for the Dog Vegas Final, Olympia which was an amazing experience and we also competed at the BSD World Champs in May. To Top it all off she finished 2nd in The Agility Club League (G4) and she is currently the regional winner for the Agility Eye (as it stands now, im sure there are still points to count).

Zippy, my little super star, I absolutely love this dog, he is everything and more what I hoped for, a proper little Ronny in the making. He started his agility career at the end of April and by the 10th Show he had won into G4, he finished 14th in the Agility Club league (G3) and is currently sitting in 5th Place in the regional of Agility Eye. At the last Christmas Show I finally started to see his confidence grow and he beat Keisha in two classes, hopefully he will start to put his foot down a bit more next season.

Ronny..... he didn't qualify for any finals or get any great results in the leagues, but in my eyes we had the best year ever, I finally got that start line WAIT back which I had lost for over two years, we had some amazing clear rounds and at times we even had controlled contacts before those bl**dy tunnels, my boy finally made it to G6 and has got 1 x win to G7. What makes him extra special, is he is such a good daddy to Zippy, they are like two peas in a pod.

So my AIM this year ........ To have super solid START LINE WAIT's and fantastic contacts. If I can achieve both of these I will be the happiest mummy in the world.

Training has been going very well, all the doggies have been working really hard on their waits, there is still plenty of room for improvement but it is starting to take shape. Today we were at the field and worked mainly on weave entries and the A-Frame contact.

Last year I was trying to get Keisha to do a running A-Frame but decided in the end to sack it as it just didn't suit her, I was a bit disappointed that we couldn't get it to work but it's true, different things suit different dogs.

Well .......... I didn't give it completely up and Zippy is now in training with his running A-Frame, it seems to be really suiting him, we tried it out at the Christmas Show and on both occasions he got it so I was proper chuffed. Mum was at the field this morning to video his training footage along with some jumping sequences from all the doggies.

I finally want to say, good luck to everyone for the new year, I hope it's an enjoyable and prosperous one !!!