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Monday, January 21, 2008
Agility Outreach Seminar Weekend
Maggie and I spent the weekend at an agility seminar so today I am very tired and I am still trying to wrap my thoughts around everything that I learned and what I need to work on. My "need to work on" list seems never-ending. Everything from basic handling, to teaching contacts, to jump work and teeter games. Yikes!!!! Where do I start. Maggie has come such a far way in agility in the past year, and I have been so happy with that, but this seminar made me realize that we still have a long way to go. For Maggie, it seems that the most important thing I need to work on with her is "rear-end work". She does have some structural issues (bowed back legs), that cause her jumping to be less effortless than it should be, so I need to work on building up strength in her rear. I also need to decide what my criteria for her contact behaviour is. I have never really done a "2 on 2 off" with her; she is usually very careful on the contacts and does not often miss a contact (although it has happened). I will need to decide if I want to re-train a strict "2 on 2 off" or continue with the running contact, even though I have been doing that wrong too. For myself - I have a lot of handling issues. We did a handling exercise, and I pretty much did everything wrong that there was to do wrong. I did learn that Maggie can read a serpentine cue, even though I did not mean to cue it (I was really just trying to layer a jump-just one of many of my errors- which is a big no no). Yesterday, after the seminar was over, I was pretty discouraged thinking about all the negative feedback on my comment sheet. Today I realize that I learned a lot and I am excited to get out and start practicing some of the things that I have to work on. There is really only one thing that still bothers me a bit. The seminar instructor said "Bernese are really good at pulling carts, but were not bred to be jumpers" . . . . Hmmmm.