I’ve taken the plunge and enrolled in some online agility classes. I’ve never had any in-built aversion to this way of learning but I have always possessed a healthy sense of cynicism about the veritable explosion of online classes that have hit the agility scene. This plus my definitely in-built aversion to deadlines and scarily consistent capacity to leave things to the last minute has delayed this moment for me. I’ve enrolled in Daisy Peel‘s Online Classroom courses – Clear Mind (participant), AP Skills Drills (Auditor) and Blind Cross Skills and Drills (auditor). I hope to get some clarity with the mental approach and achieving goals plus some good exercises to work on with the dogs in the course handling skills area.
The first week is looking at Goal Setting and the reasons behind that process, my first assignment for the Clear Mind course was given out:
We had to imagine a time when our current canine partner is retired from competition:
- What do you want to have achieved together? Is it an award, a title, or perhaps a certain level of competition?
- What kinds of skills do you want to have obtained?
- What types of experiences have you shared?
- How do you want to be remembered by your fellow competitors and club members?
My current main competition partner is Spryte – a 6 year old female BC who measures into the 16 inch class.
WHAT I WANT US TO HAVE ACHIEVED TOGETHER:
Competed successfully across the country, in the Eastern States.
Consistent clear connected performances in bigger events
National Agility Champion
Australian Agility Champion
WHAT SKILLS I HAVE GAINED:
Better mastery of handling skills needed to handle with optimum success
Better choice making in course walking
Improved dog training knowledge
Ability to ‘read’ my dog in a consistently accurate manner
Developed a successful mental approach
WHAT SKILLS MY DOG HAS GAINED:
Fast contact behaviours
Complex weave entry mastery
Demanding jumping skills
Resilience in potentially stressful competition environments
WHAT SKILLS WE HAVE GAINED TOGETHER:
To work smoothly as a team on course and in training.
To be able to go out and have fun no matter what run and where or what significance I may have attached to it.
To be able to focus with intensity on the challenges a course presents.
WHAT TYPE OF EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU SHARED?
The training and learning about how to execute the right movements/actions/cues/behaviours
Moments of shared exhilaration when we get that ‘perfect’ run of connection on a course
All manner of exercises that lead to the conditioning of each of us (swimming, hiking, bush walking, walking, biking) which whilst they have purpose also develop our relationship
Met new friends both Canine and Human
HOW DO I WANT US TO BE REMEMBERED BY OTHERS?
As a positive and speedy pair!
I would like us to be recognised as a partnership that clearly enjoys each others’ company and loves the challenge of the game.
As a competitive team that can place across all heights not just our own.
As a pair that handles proactively and attacks courses with gusto.
As a person who is a good sport and encourages others in the sport.
A person who is happy to share knowledge and receive knowledge.
As someone who never shirks from making mistakes.
And that is my Assignment One. Complete. And early! 🙂
I am now on school holidays so I hope to be able to stay ahead of the game when it comes to these classes but we shall see. My TO DO Holiday list just keeps growing and growing. I have two weeks off, then go back for three days before getting on a plane to go to Europe for the World Agility Open.
In the meantime Savvy and Colt had an outing at a show recently, Robyn handling, myself doing the grooming.
They did good with Savvy winning points both days with Best Of Breed and Open in Group one of the days and Colt going Reserve dog one day and Minor In Group. Savvy is looking really nice right now, in coat, so I should probably be looking at entering her into some more shows before she drops all her ‘clothes’. I have to say though – bathing and brushing and trimming is a lot more time consuming than I ever remember it!
The following weekend was Cloverdale and Savvy’s first debut in the Masters Jumping and to my surprised delight we managed to qualify and finish 6th amongst some great competition. And luckily for me my friend Karen was in the right place to video it too!
Spryte also did good winning Open Jumping overall and her Masters Agility class. We also had fun with Andrea’s girls to go clear in our respective Pairs courses. Tomorrow are our State Titles and with over 700 runs day 1 and nearly 400 on Sunday (if we’re lucky enough extra runs in the finals on Sunday afternoon) it will be a big weekend. I’m going to love not having to go to work on the Monday!