Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Heat Wave Agility

We had a rather hot agility class last night.  The summer wouldn't let us escape without one more heat wave.  Even at 8:30 at night, the heat and humidity were still affecting us substantially.  There were only three of us in class, so we got to do two short courses each.

Light Circles (course starting with Dog Walk)

Tough little course!  Started out with Marge on my left, rear crossed between 2 and 3 so she was on my right for the pinwheel.

Had to push out to the tunnel (which, of course, took me a few tries, since I much preferred watching Marge hop over 5 and 6 rather than leaving her back there and moving diagonally forward!  The weave entrance was tough, but she got it.

Did the "backy-uppy" thing between 9 and 10, and front crossed to the table.  Marge on my left up to the tire, then I front crossed to get her over the last jump.

Dark Circles (starting with Jump - Tire)

Louie came along tonight, so for the first time in a long time, I have some video.

We ran this course once before this video was taken (with the bars accidentally at 24", too.. and she didn't knock a single one). She (and I) was pretty tired, but we squeezed out another speedy little run.

I muted the sound because I am just so amazed at how terrible my front cross is after the table.  We practiced a few times, and each time I think I got a tiny bit better. Watching it without the sound really is telling.. body cues are everything.  My arm is not coming up soon enough at all, and Marge doesn't know where to go!  It's definitely my biggest handling issue.

We had a good night, agility wise, but it was kind of a weird night for me, personally.  My handling in my first two runs was really poor, and I almost felt like I wasn't enjoying it.  I think it was a combination of the heat and the stress and fatigue from going back to school.  I also think I'm anxious to start trialing again...


LauraK September 1, 2010 at 12:30 PM  

Sometimes we all have weird feeling handling days. I feel sorry for Riley sometimes- she puts up with a lot of crappy handling!

Your video was great- especially that awesome dog walk contact, Marge sure knows her job!

Hopefully it cools down for you all and you get back into your school routine!

Granite State Pet Sitting September 1, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

We sure hope it cools off very soon. This is much to hot for Sept 1. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun even with the heat!

AC September 1, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

Heat alone does a number to me. Throwing in the back-to-school would just add to it. Kudos for just getting out there and it looks like Marge was enjoying herself!

I hope you get settled into your new school routine soon.

Kari in Alaska September 1, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

Marge really looks like she is having fun. The heat on the east coast has been killer this summer so I hope it cools down for you soon.

Don't forget, we moved to

Kathy Mocharnuk September 1, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

You guys are doing so good. That looked like a course with a lot of collection and pulling and it is always harder to make that keep flowing, maybe that is why it felt less flowing then you usually feel? It is hard to be running fast when you want to melt, LOL.

Sara September 1, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

Yea, I'm skipping class tonight. I can't do another hot/humid class. I'll wait for the cold front!

That was a tricky course, I thought you handles it well.

Maggie Mae and Max September 1, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

Dis heat has got to go and soon! :)
Marge looks good in da video.

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! September 1, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

We are SOOOOOO ready fur a khool Fall!

We thought we walked into a haze khurtain earlier today -

PeeEssWoo: Great video!

Amy / Layla the Malamute September 2, 2010 at 3:38 AM  

You guys looked great! I know how frustrating it is to not be doing something as well as you feel you should, handling-wise. At least front crosses are something you can practice without obstacles, and even without Marge. I don't think the timing was very off - it's much better than a lot of handlers you see.

I tend to bring my arm up too early - as soon as Layla's committed to an obstacle, I bring it up to make sure she focuses on (or at least sees) my hand. If I was running her on your course, I would've had my right hand up before she even got off the table. It's such a precise area that you have to get the cue in, it's too easy to make mistakes.

But like I said, at least it's something you can practice at home and without Marge. I tried front and rear crosses in a crowd of people at a mall and walking to class. Sure people probably thought I was crazy, but too bad, and I think it helped a little bit.

George The Lad September 2, 2010 at 4:41 AM  

Thanks for your kind comments.
You did well in that video, I have to say I've had a good look at that route you have to follow!!!
Anybody that can follow that course gets the hands up from me.
See Yea George xxx

The Army of Four September 2, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

It's so cool to watch your progress! We're really proud of you both!
Tail wags,
PS: Did you see the vid on Mango the Relentlessly Huge's blog? Bunnies doing agility. Ha roo roo roo!

KB September 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM  

I thought that you and Marge looked pretty darn good - fast and precise. I can see that the front cross doesn't come naturally yet but it looks like you came a long way in a short time during your class.

Isn't it funny how we all have off days, us and our dogs. For me, it's become really obvious how much my off days are related to how I feel physically because my back pain is so overwhelming sometimes. I bet that the heat and fatigue just slowed you down a step that night.

K and I are a funny combo in our backyard agility when my back hurts. She is SO much faster than me that she ends up standing around waiting to find out what I want next. It would look kind of amusing in a video, I think! I need more pause tables for those days!

Be careful what you ask for! It's downright COLD here today. I'm not ready for COLD!

BRUTUS September 3, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

That is SO similar to the course we ran this past Weds night, also in yucky hot temps. We can't WAIT for it to cool off here! You think you had handler issues? You should have seen us! Botched the AF/tunnel discrimination more times than I care to remember, plus I kept ending up having to spin in little circles because I'd get on the wrong side of Brutus. Notice, no videos from our lesson, LOL!

So excited to go to our national specialty, just 10 days away, where we have to do agility OUTSIDE for the first time in competition. Hoping Mother Nature is less cruel in Wisconsin than she is here (and there in NY).


Golden Samantha September 3, 2010 at 6:26 PM  

Incredible! And I like your idea of muting a video - sounds like something I think I'll do - timing with Sammie is my hugest problem - thanks for thinking that up! Still... Marge looks totally awesome and so do you. I may be doing some agility with Avalon, because she seems to be the right sort of personality for it. (But I may be too old to do all that running!) Great work and I do think you must be tired, stressed and exhausted from the heat back there - awful!
Sammie and crew

Carolyn September 4, 2010 at 8:24 PM  

It's the heat! Last week it was in the 90's (even with a delay to start class) and Cooper and I were melting.

Those are two tough courses. Wow! Very, very tight! Looking at them, I'm reminded of the difference between NADAC and other organizations. NADAC is just fine for a dog Cooper's size. ;)

How cool is it that you have lights at night? Awesome!



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