Friday, 6 November 2009

Scandal's first lesson

This week me and Laura with Be went all the way to Kent for a lesson with Dave Munnings. Laura drove, so I got to chill all the way there, thanks Laura :o)

The lesson was fantastic, it was the best agility lesson I have ever had, I learnt SO much, me and Laura filmed each other, and we are going to watch it all back and make notes (geeks :)) as there was so much to take in I am sure my brain has only remembered a tiny bit of it. Scandal was so good, there were only a couple of times I thought she was slow, and Dave said she isn't sluggy, so that's good too :o) I do have to work on getting her to drive forward away from me and I have done too much of running with her, so a bit like Tia she will only get into 5th gear coming down the last couple of jumps. I love training her and just find that I click with her, she doesn't have masses of drive, but it is coming, I find her very easy as she doesn't everything I say like Rix did, but she wants to do it more than Tia did. I now understand properly how to train her rights and lefts, as well as a few other things such as Scandal learning to stay on the line I am running, not cutting behind or infront/to the side. Oh and how to front cross properly so Scandal actually gets to see the jump before she jumps it, poor girl.

I think the 18 months or so I have been out of competing has done me the world of bad!! I feel absolutely hopeless handling, I have no idea where to be, my timing is out, I release Scandal from the start, and by the time she has come to me I have forgotton what I'm meant to say to her!! I could remember the (very easy) sequences Dave had set, but kept forgetting when to move across to do a front cross, etc, all things I was able to do at the age of 12 but it seems that in my old age it's gone from my brain now! Luckily Scandal is very forgiving and gets her bally anyway while her silly mum tries again to get it right in her head before giving Scandal another go!

I can't wait for our next lesson, I feel like I know where I am going with our training now, have lots to practise, and hopefully by the next time we have a lesson with Dave, we will see some improvement. It took ages to get home as some idiot (a.k.a me) booked it so it meant by the time we finished and got on the M25, we hit rush hour pm traffic, ahhhhhh! However as we were both on such a high, it didn't matter quite so much (esp for me, as I had a lie in the next day :))

Was hoping to go to Sharon's today and train with Toni, which I was so excited about, both at having a lesson with Toni as I have never trained with her before, and seeing Sharon's Diesel, however unfortunately as my car broke earlier in the week and I had to have it fixed (altho they didn't, it just cost loads and it is still broke) I couldn't justify more expense at travelling to Sharon's as she's soooo far away. Why do so many great people live in the South/South East?? Hopefully we will be able to meet up in the new year, although it makes me nervous already as it will be Scandal's first time training with another dog! 

After Helen's advice in earlier blog post re: chase drive, it got me thinking as to how I could set up more challenging areas to work in where Scandal would find it harder to concentrate. We have been working on our waits with the chickens as the 'chase'. Scandal lurrrrves the chickens, I bring her in to the field which has the chickens hen house in, it took several goes before Scandal was able to sit calmly enough to open the hen house door, she was squeaking and shuffling around JUST like she does watching agility. She gets so excited when the chickens all come out, her head bobs up and down and she is shuffling her feet around, but she isn't going into a down and even when the chickens have flapped their wings she didn't break her wait. So we are now going to work on improving her sit position, holding a nice upright sit rather than getting lower and lower. Then we will move on to practising on the cows, if I could rank in terms of excitement, the ferret is a 7/10, the chickens a 8/10 and I think the cows a 9/10. And watching anything that is running at speed is a 10/10! But I hope if we can work on Scandal's behaviour and control around chickens and cows, and I can recall her away from them, and ask her to perform her tricks when they are near, then I will be on my way to getting improved behaviour watching agility, and her recall when she is off lead on a walk. Thanks Helen :)

1 comment:

I'm Helen said...

Yeah, Nellie loves herding our chickens.....until she gets fed up with the fact that they will peck her nose and NOT FLOCK...then she goes inside in a huff! :):)I have an a frame in the garden at mo and she can be spotted lurking underneath, nose poking round the edge, watching the little blighters, trying to avoid being told 'what for' by Bert the cockerel...She's cool about cows (there are whole load right next to my agility field and they stick their heads through the fence to watch! But she has never seen a ferret!!!
Thankx for the Thankx - you'll sort it.Hx