Ugh, it's a Saturday, I should really not be thinking. Better try and make this quick then so I can cram in some slovenly, bad behaviors while I still can.
After this weekend, the event storm is a-comin'. We have an AKC show next weekend, then THE SEMINAR, then a USDAA show in Bartlett, IL, then MAC, then another AKC show... you get the picture. We are going to be busy for a few months.
And in spite of that demanding show schedule we are starting the P90X regime on Monday. ("We" being the boyfriend and me, not me and The Dog- she is already ripped.) It came in the mail yesterday and is sitting on the coffee table looking intimidating. For the last week, when the impending DOOM was still in UPS transit, we determined we had better make the most of our last week. Therefore we have been quite slothy and have tried to eat every thing we love that has been slowly killing us one last time. We still need to eat pizza and Mexican and then I think we will feel so awful that the Regime will be a welcome change. Finger's crossed!!
And somehow, between showing and the Regime I will also need to fit in some supplemental training for The Dog. Which brings me back to the fact that I have been thinking on a Saturday. Before I can do anything else I need to make two decisions:
1.) Dogwalk. It's time to decide if I am going to really pursue training the running contact or to leave it as is. If I am going to train it, I need to clear a space in the show schedule to do so. I think that could happen after MAC in the spring? So in case, I have stacked up a lot of shows in hopes of getting Q'd for the Nationals early. I want her to have a true running contact. I really do. But doing the retrain work all last summer yielded only the current performance. She does not "get" not leaping. WEEKS on a flat plank and still, two back feet leave the plank at the same time every time she tries to go faster than a trot. But is that because I never stopped showing??
And I don't hate the current performance. My whole goal was to speed up the obstacle, and I can see it has gone from a 3.5-over 5 second obstacle to around 2.1 typically. And with a quick release at least she is hitting the zone. She sort of gets what she's doing now.
So here it is- if I can get some fantastic revelation on retrains at THE SEMINAR I will do it. If not, then quick release it is. And then I shall never speak of a running DW for The Dog again.
2.) Toying with the idea of the 'cik/cap' turns. I think The Dog could get this, no problem. I was working on bending in the air around the post while jumping last night and noted that this was amazing. Problem: I use lefts and rights for 'turn tight' and for 'just turn this way please.' I have to use other (mostly visual) cues for decel in conjunction with the left/right to get a tight turn/wrap. So do I train that 'left/right' are the cues for wrapping back to me? Or do I leave left/right to be the general directionals and pick new words? Part of me knows the first option is confusing for her and the other part say it is a waste since her 'left/rights' are already so developed that it would be easy to mutate them into wrap only situations. Unless she gets confused? Then it's a disaster and the first part of me will shake it's head in dismay at the second part.
My reasoning for wanting to do it is that I would like a verbal cue for the wrap action that I can give in advance of the obstacle that is also directional. Right now she relies on what I say and do and we have seen that not work one bit when I get out of sight. Her current 'left/right' interpretation is pretty open so I think I want something for a hard turn, specifically. Sigh. I can't work out what to do here.
Maybe someone will save me from thinking and decide this for me. And heck, even if I sound like I am 100% on my DW decision? Yeah, that is still up for discussion too. Can't you see how ambiguously I left that one?
Poor Dog. Let's just go eat some pizza for now.