Every year we rent a horse arena to train in during the winter. Last night was the first night, and I had a great time.
It was hard to leave Wicca at home, but I want to give her at least another week before I do anything with her. I ended up taking Boone and Pixel instead.
Boone was so excited- he was barking, spinning and shaking he was so excited to be there. I had to spend the first few minutes doing some focus and obedience work to get his brain turned on.
My goals last night were to work on Discrimination, Turn, Weave entries, and Rear Crosses.
He nailed the discrimination- which surprised me as it is a weak point with him. Even when I made it more difficult he was still successful.
"Turn" is coming- he is doing it on the flat pretty reliably now, but is now at the awkward stage of putting it to use on equipment. He doesn't want to leave the frame contact on just "TURN" and still needs my help. I am happy with the progress though, and we'll keep plugging away.
His weaves were great- I even uncovered the bases and made them a little wobbly to see if he'd jump the middle like he has done at trials. No issue. He is a great weaver now and was able to do some pretty difficult entries.
Rear crosses. I suck. And these used to be a really good thing for me. At the trial a few weeks ago we bobbled every rear cross- any sign of pressure from me and he'd push away a mile. Last night he had a hard time, but only with a rear cross to the right. Strange eh? I ended up having to just do one jump rear crosses- the first few times I was in the wrong spot, but even when I was in the right position he still had a heck of a time. I need to work on this big time at home.
Pixel came along as a "filler" - I knew Boone wouldn't last the whole night, and so came up with a plan for Pixel. She wasn't distracted at all by the other dogs and the horse poop. I am pretty happy with how she is progressing.
We did restrained recalls- which she thinks is super fun. And then I did some lead outs with her- I am in the process of proofing right now- she was releasing on my movement so I have been careful to not pair my verbal release with movement.
One jump games- wraps, front crosses, and rear crosses. At home we've been playing around and doing quite a lot of one jump exercises so I was happy to see that this is transferring to a new place.
Teeter Games- she is a surfer queen :o) She can handle a fairly high drop now, and I don't think it will be long until she is doing the full thing. I do need to make sure that I am calling it the right thing- Julia pointed out that I didn't really call it anything.....
Back chaining on the A-frame. I did six reps, starting one step off, and getting half way up the board. She was successful five out of the six times. This is quite a lot better than before, the stuff I am doing at home is totally paying off so I will be sure to continue with that.
And I ended on a small speed circle with a tunnel (okay, it was really a pinwheel) She did great- I made sure to keep my arms pumping- not out like a mad woman, and used my motion to propel her. I randomly rewarded with her toy, and she was having a pretty great time.
It was a really fun night, and it was nice to get back in the teaching mode as well. Our students rock, and everyone did really well last night. Some of them had never been to the arena before but it didn't phase anyone. Tonite is Pixel's "official" class- I am so glad that I have the opportunity to be in a class with her. It is nice to work on your own- but the feedback you get from a class setting can't be beat.