A lot has been going on the past month! Work has been keeping me extremely busy and now that the weather has been nice the last four weeks, I've actually got in a lot of training with both the dogs.
Soleil is coming along nicely. She was entered in her second USDAA trial two weekends ago. Her baby dog DAM team ended up 7th place with a Q! She qualified in Steeplechase with a 3rd place which was her second Q. Other than running under the tire at the start, she had a nice GP run on a tough course. So Soleil is now qualified for USDAA Nationals in DAM team and Steeplechase. She just needs one more GP leg to finish nationals qualification.
Summit's team WON! He also won Steeplechase round one and Steeplechase Finals. He wasn't entered in GP since he has both the legs he needs for Nationals. He is now qualified for Nationals in all three events.
Tomorrow we have a three-day AKC trial. Soleil is now in Excellent B Jumpers and Excellent A Standard. Her teeter is looking good now and she drives at full speed on the dogwalk into 20/20 (the earlier confusion between the 4-on the teeter and 20/20 on the dogwalk resolved itself). All it took was mileage on different equipment in different locations. Her aframe isn't exactly where I want it yet. She is extending nicely on the aframe at home but in different locations, she doesn't get as much extension over the apex and although she does not miss the contact zone, she is leaving higher in the yellow than I would like. But this is a confidence issue and again, with mileage and experience, I think it will improve over time.
Soleil - focus is now on tightening up turns. Especially to the left. I watched ST's Cik & Cap video and have started training this with Soleil. I use "ZIP" and I have chosen just to use the single verbal to cue the wrap. I will rely on physical cues to tell her which direction. Interesting that even wrapping around a pole, her turns to the left are more challenging for her so we work left turns twice as much as right.
Summit - We've been practicing a lot of blind crosses and blind cross wraps. Which means I've also spent some time reinforcing side cues. I like how the blind crosses allow me to get out of there and downstream much quicker than if I had chosen to front cross. This week I focused on the different cue combinations for the blind cross wrap and the regular wrap.
Here is Soleil's Excellent A Jumpers with Weaves video from CKC (about three weeks ago). I love how she barks at me at the startline!
Distilling the Dream
1 week ago