Thursday, July 23, 2009
Class Course - July 22 & 23, 2009
This week I thought I'd do a course featuring contacts and a whole lot of other stuff going on.
I lulled my students into a sense of confidence by using the first 4 jumps from last week's opening sequence, but put the table out there as an appealing off-course option.
This is a good refresher for my advanced folks on the art of 'pulling' while still moving forward and it's a great opportunity to introduce the younger pups to multiple body language cues (i.e. the pull AND forward motion). I think this is a long lost skill not mentioned in the latest of handling systems that personally, I think is a fancy term for basics and allows the marketing wheels to churn and offers a place for cash to flow. But, that's just my opinion although I'm getting the sense that people are getting bored with the whole topic.
Back to the course...the contact obstacle placement and course flow gave handlers an opportunity to see whose dogs really knew their contact performance and whose dogs were dependent on their handlers for correct placement. It was an eye-opener to many and gave us a chance to work on 'the fix' and give each appropriate homework.
The superstar on Wednesday was Beth and Cassey. Beth semi-recently had 2 partial knee replacements so part of her lesson each week includes a reminder on how to appropriately use her body and how to run. Remember, she's spent the last decade compensating for knees that wouldn't bend and has really embraced the learning curve on body usage & placement. It showed on Wednesday when she kicked butt and had several absolutely gorgeous moves that I wish I would have been able to video. Kudos to this team for not only getting out there for the mental challenge, but for the physical one as well.