Monday, February 25, 2008

Rhonda Carter seminar

The dogs and I participated in a Rhonda Carter seminar Friday and Saturday. Summit's session was on Friday (Advanced handling) and Sage's session was on Saturday (Master's Coursework with distance).

As usual, I learned a ton from Rhonda. She had a lot of really good insights about Summit and some great training drills to teach him collection. This also came up in the Joan Meyer seminar last month - teaching Summit to collect.

We've had a lot of snow and ice this Winter in Colorado and so I've only been able to train 1-2 jump drills and box work with Summit. Naturally, he was collected while doing these close exercises. So now we are working on jump drills and grids incorporating extension and collection.

Saturday was Sage's turn. It was a very fun class with only six participants. Rhonda showed us how much time we can save on the course by knowing where we can send our dogs out to perform independently which leaves us free to meet them at another part of the course. I wasn't sure I could just throw Sage out there to perform independently while I left for another part of the course. Sage did amazing! Rhonda said, "Trust the training and the dog." It's hard though. Since I'm a fast runner, I am used to running at Sage's head throughout most of a course. But I could see how much faster she was by my sending her out and getting ahead of her. Rhonda also helped me with setting a LOM for Sage. Since she is a uni, I don't tend to use verbal directionals since she doesn't triangulate well while we are running a course (she does have a verbal release from the startline and table). Rhonds said this will let Sage know where she is going several obstacles ahead.

No more seminars for awhile but these last two gave me a lot to work on. Our next seminar is with Susan Garrett in June.

Here is my favorite picture of Summit from last weeks CKC trial.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sage's Jumpers run

Sage also did well at CKC and although she didn't qualify in any of her Standard runs, she Q'd in all her Jumpers and earned two legs in Excellent A FAST. Her Sunday JWW run was beautiful and fast and earned her a 1st place in the Ex B 20" class (out of 72 dogs).

Here is a video of her Jumpers run.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Summit's Debut

Summit, my 20-month-old Border Collie debuted at the big CKC AKC trial this past weekend. CKC is a very large show with conformation, obedience, rally, and three rings of agility.

My only goal was to give him ring experience and hope for a solid startline stay, contacts, and weavepoles. My little guy did absolutely fabulous! He never broke his SLS and with two exceptions, nailed all his wp entries at speed. His contacts were solid too.

I also learned a lot about what we need to train. First on our list is the TABLE (table approaches at speed) and a faster down. A leadout from a chute or tunnel as the first obstacle would have been nice to have this weekend. Also need to work more on his driving ahead of me on a straight line of jumps.

He came home with a 1st place ribbon in Novice Jumpers, 2nd and 4th places in Standard, and a 2nd and 3rd place in FAST.