In only a few days, it will officially be autumn. Autumn means cooler weather, which the dogs love. Autumn also means that it will get dark earlier and that our outdoor agility training will end for the season. We only have another month or so before we move indoors to the horse arena.
This past weekend, a group of us met out at the training field to enjoy some outdoor training before the snow starts to fly. It is great when a few of us can get together outside of class time to train and to work on things that we really need to improve on. When we are training indoors, we don't have the luxury of being able to use their facilities on weekends - we can only use it during the rented class times.
Over the past couple months I have been concentrating on trying to improve Maggie's contacts, get more distance with her, and get faster weaves with better entrances.
I am starting to feel better about her contacts. They are not always great when I try to get more distance, but they are better than they were at the beginning of the summer.
Our distance work is slowly starting to improve too. Maggie will now take a series of obstacles that are ahead of her, without always waiting for me. I can now get more distance in the weaves, over jumps and over contact obstacles. I still need to learn to trust her a bit more and to not always baby her on things that I think she might not succeed at.
Maggie's weaving has got faster, but this does not always reflect when we go to trials. I know this is one of the things that I baby her on and I just have to let her weave without me hovering and worrying that she will make a mistake. I know that she can weave well (and fast when she sets her mind to it).
Our training goals for the winter months are to continue working on contacts and difficult weave entrances and of course the rear crosses (that are finally starting to make sense to me). I also really want Maggie to understand an "out" command. That will really help our distance work and gambles. I am sure there will be other things that creep up that I will add to my list of goals as we continue to train and trial.
Thanks to Wendy for taking all the great pictures (some which are posted above) at our practice session on the weekend.