Saturday, October 29, 2005

What Was I Thinking?

Going to Target at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, 2 days before Halloween was not my brightest move ever. In my defense, I was out running another errand and was trying to save gas/pollution by making a quick stop to get some shampoo & soap since I was passing by anyway. I had no idea the consumer frenzy surrounding Halloween has reached such a fever pitch though the mayhem in the parking lot should have been some clue and I should have put 2 and 2 together and kept right on driving. The most disturbing aspect of the whole experience, aside from the shoppers' frantic feeding frenzy of useless crap, was the amount of guys in the panty hose aisle and how discriminating they were in choosing their stockings.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Guilt Trip #780392838

I decided to hit some trails near my work for a lunch time ride yesterday since the weather's been so fantabulous lately (60-70's, sunny). While bending over to put on my shoes I suddenly found myself face to face with an enormous brown head, foaming at the mouth. Oh no, I'm being attacked by Cujo!-not. It was an enormous, blubbery chocolate lab, more like a huge chocolate muffin with legs and a frantically wagging tail who was simultaneously trying to slime me with his slobbery, frothing mouth and jump into my car. At first I was just annoyed and ignored him. It's an off leash trail and people often let their dogs run loose in the parking lot while they get ready which drives me crazy. However I soon realize noone else is in the parking lot and there's a certain franticness to the way the dog is seeking my attention. I manage to get my bike out without him getting in my car (he's so fat that he can't quite get by me but that's the only thing stopping him) and start on my ride with muffindog in tow. He's following my wheel like he's been my dog for life. Horses right up next to one side of the trail, a prarie dog town on the other with plenty of chirping residents teasing him and all he wants to do is stay with me. I'm flabbergasted, neither of my dogs despite all their training would do this, esp. Lola who would be off like a shot, barking her head off at the horses and chasing the prairie dogs. I'm worried though because he's so overweight and he'd obviously been running before he found me, I don't want the poor guy to overheat or have a coronary. While trying to remember my canine CPR class that I took from the Red Cross, I pick up the pace to try to lose him-and I can't! I'm so out of condition that I can't outpedal an overweight dog. Finally I hit a downhill stretch and blubber boy just can't keep up. Phew! Then the guilt sets in. I feel terrible but what can I do? I have my bike in the car, where could I put the dog? But more selfishly, I don't want to sacrifice my ride. I missed riding yesterday due to work obligations and I've been itching to get out on my bike all week. How many more nice days will I have? Surely someone else on this busy trail will pick him up.

I make try some steep hills for the first time since my accident and I manage them no problem. Part of me is really happy and part of me feels like a heel. Poor dog, he needs water at the very least. What will happen to him? I see a beautiful great blue heron take flight right near me, his wingspan is unbelievable and he's such a bright shade of blue in the sunlight, he looks unreal. But it's only a minor distraction from my guilt. Finally I decide I've had enough and turn around.

And waiting for me right where I lost him on the way out is muffindog. He looks lost and confused but when he sees me he wags his whole body for joy and he's right back on my wheel again. Obviously he can smell a sucker a mile away. I slow down a bit so he doesn't have to run so fast but I'm kind of in a hurry to get back to work. He manages to make it back to the parking lot without any major medical incidents and I dig around the car for a stray water bottle. I didn't have any fresh water with me since my ride was so short and my mtn. bike doesn't have bottle holders but I found an old bottle (weeks, months, who knows?) about 1/3 full of water and I give it to him in a spare dog dish. He's so thirsty he practically inhales it. That's it, I can't leave him out here, so I manage to find some bungees to secure my bike and make room for muffinman.

I take him to the shelter just in case he really is legitimately lost and not dumped though in my heart of hearts I know he's been dumped. The shelter staff ask me if I want to be notified if noone claims him, I can have first dibs at adopting him. I blurt out a hurried no because I think Jonny will have an immediate aneurism if we take in such a huge dog on top of the big, strong, high maintenance, high strung dogs we already have. However when I tell him the story he immediately tells me I should have told them yes. So now I'm faced with the prospect of a third dog who's got a wonderful temperament and would be a great companion but also a huge burden on top of the dogs we already have. Picking up poop from this dog alone would be bad enough let alone 2 more. I can barely manage 2 at once on a walk and this dog needs months of conditioning and weight loss before he can go running with us. Nonetheless the first thought I had when I woke up this morning was possible ways to fit 3 crates in the car and I'm on the verge of calling the shelter to tell them I'll take first dibs on him. He's such a great guy, I'm sure someone will snatch him up but I really liked having a no maintenance dog that immediately bonded with me and wanted nothing more than to follow me down the trail on a beautiful sunny afternoon, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A New Low

You know you've reached a disturbing place in your dog training obsession when you're out for a nice bike ride on a Sunday afternoon, spot a dead squirrel in the road and think, ' Wow, that little guy's in mint condition, no blood, not flattened, o.k. he's got an eyeball hanging out but otherwise the perfect reward for Lola during agility training. If I lash him to my backpack can I make it home without barfing and do I know anyone who can competently gut and clean a squirrel?' Then you spend the next 20 minutes debating whether you should have him stuffed or just use the skin. And the worse part is that you finally do realize that you've lost all grips on the real world and put the idea out of your head but by the time you turn around and pass the squirrel on the way home you're eyeing him up again.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wrap it up, I'll take it

Lots of training this week on both the tri and agility fronts, so much in fact that I haven't been able to keep up with logging it.

Tri Training

Running is still going poorly so I cut down on it this week. Somehow though between Monday morning and Tuesday night I managed to squeeze in 5 workouts on top of the agility training.

1 1/2 mile run 1/2 mile walk in the a.m. with both dogs.
Bike ride at lunch time on the Teller Farm trail (about 40-45 minutes)
Circuit training class (first one)

2 mile walk around Wonderland Lake in the a.m. with both dogs.
Masters practice in the p.m. I managed almost the entire class with the exception of a final 100 yard kick. I was tired and don't like kicking anyway. Total yardage was around 2000-2100, time was 1:10 hours. We did some more butterfly drills but these weren't as helpful as last practice. I was able to keep up with the intervals though I had to pull (no paddles) on some of the sets to keep up but that's o.k. for now. I was pretty sore in the shoulders from the circuit training.

1 mile walk with both dogs. It was raining so I made it quick.

2 mile walk with a tiny bit of jogging around Wonderland Lake with both dogs in the a.m.
Masters in the pm. I only managed 45 minutes, approx. 1800-1900 yards because my back started hurting. This is from using my mouse at a bad angle at work. I'll have to get a new tray for my keyboard since my current one is broken and that's what's causing the problem.

1 mile run, 1 mile walk with Lola only in the a.m. (Wond. Lake again, yes I'm in a rut but it's such a beautiful trail. The deer were out again this morning)


Went to a fun match at Power Pups training center in Windsor last Sat. and had a great time all the way around. Fun matches, unlike trials, allow you to bring toys and treats into the ring so it's a wonderful training opportunity. On top of it, a guy who videotapes people's runs at trails (for a fee of course) was there to tape the runs and there was some kind of fancy software called Dartfish that he was using as well. It does a few things and I chose the option of having my runs side by side on one screen. I still haven't gotten my DVD yet and I'm interested in seeing how it'll turn out. All this taping and the facility were donated since all proceeds from the match went to a local group dealing with Katrina rescues animals. It was a bargain too, $20 for 3 runs which is good even without the taping. The facility was beautiful too, outdoors on grass, lots of room to crate and warm up and beautiful views of the Divide.

There were novice and masters (hardest level) courses to choose from and we went with the masters course. As luck would have it it started out with 3 jumps then a wrap to the teeter so we got to practice the moves we were working on last week in a sort of trial situation. Cody did great, not as tight of a wrap as he's capable of but much tighter than he'd done in his last trial where there was a wrap. In fact both Cody's runs (I opted to do only 2) were fantastic. He was a bit stressed at the start line as usual but once he realized he was getting treats he perked right up. I need to do more fun matches with him so I can reward that start line and try to destress it for him. Both runs were very focused, no missed contacts, one off course in the first run that was my fault and the second run was perfect. It'll be interesting to see the DVD to see if it looked as good as it felt. I ran into an agility friend who was at the match while on my bike ride on Tues. and she said Cody looked wonderful so I think he did as well as I thought.

Lola was still a bit stressed but she had only a few distracted moments, one at the wrap on the first run and again at the table on her second run but otherwise she was perfect, nice and focused no missed contacts, one off course at the same place I sent Cody off, again my fault. I was really pleased with both dogs.

I took Lola to Biscuit Eaters at lunch time. It was pretty warm, near 80 and sunny, so she really wasn't too keen. She ran off at first to look for bunnies along the fence line and it took me way too long to get her back interested in me. Joy (who teaches at B.E.) was setting up a course but she wasn't done yet so we just went over the dog walk and A-frame once (perfect contacts) and did some serpentines/threadles which Lola like and is very good at. I wanted to work more on her enthusiasm rather than skills since she wasn't into it at first. I got her barking and happy after a few serpentines/threadles and then we left.

Cody only at B.E. at lunch and after work. At lunch time I finally got to try to course Joy set up yesterday. It was tight and trappy so I was eager to see how Cody would do. I walked the course a few times, he ran it perfectly the first time through (with a few stops for rewards) and I ended the session while he was still excited and ready to do more.

We went back on the way home and ran the course again. This time he was a little more distracted since it was dusk and the bunnies were EVERYWHERE. But he still did a good job despite the distractions. We stopped after the one run.

I've yet to take Lola to agilty but we were working on heeling/not pulling on lead at lunch time. I'm teaching her to target (touch) my hand with her nose while in heel position. She seemed pretty excited by this game so I'm going to keep at it. We were doing this on our walk this a.m. too and she seemed to like it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Some Actual Training

I've finally recovered from being sick and the agility trial. Those stupid trials wipe me out for 3-4 days afterwards, esp. the ones that require me waking up at 4:30 a.m.

Tri Training

3/4 mile walk with Cody in the a.m.
1350 yards, 45 minutes swimming at masters (N. Bldr. Rec.) in the p.m. I didn't record the details of the workout, it didn't go well anyway. I couldn't keep up with the assigned intervals and had to improvise. Swimming always suffers the worst when I miss workouts.

1 3/4 - 2 mile run with Lola in the a.m.. My regular trail was too muddy so I had to make up a new route and I'm not sure of the mileage. The snow on the top of the mountains was magical. The pain I was in was not. Running is not coming along very well these days. I think it's because of the cold weather in the mornings. In any case I'm not seeing any improvement and feel like things are getting worse. I've not been writing too much about it because I don't want my blog to turn into a big oh woe is me bitchfest but it's effecting my training so I want to make some mention of it so I can keep track.

1 1/2 mile run in the a.m. around Wonderland Lake with both dogs. Surprisingly they behaved fairly well except for an outburst at a deer. Run was not great.

1 1/2 mile run in the a.m. around Wonderland Lake with Cody. Didn't go well, hobbling around for a few hours afterwards.

2050 yards swimming at masters (S. Bldr. Rec., Jane coaching)
This workout went much better than Monday's, primarily because we did a lot of drills so I had a lot of time to rest and recover in between sets. I was able to keep up with the intervals anyway. At the end of the butterfly drills I could really feel an improvement but my butterfly is so atrocious that just about anything is an improvement. I wasn't having as much luck with the freestyle drills. We were working on not letting the leading arm sink and having a quick powerful catch which is the main problem with my stroke so it was good to work on it but I didn't have much improvement.
150 yards warm up on my own
Warm Up Set:
200 yards freestyle as follows:
50 yards breathing every 5th stroke, 50 yards breathing every 3rd stroke, 50 yards breathing to the off side, 50 yards breathing a lot
then 50 yards non-free
then 50 yards kick
Do this set twice straight through, no rest

4x75 yards on 1:30

Then we did a bunch of free style and butterfly drills, around 400 yards total

4x150 yards on 2:45, pulling w/ paddles

Cody only, Wednesday, lunch time, Biscuit Eaters, sunny & 50's
This was an excellent practice all the way around. There was a course set up already, probably from a class, so I decided to give it a go. There were some tight turns with traps which is exactly the thing I need to work on with Cody. I had some treats in my hand and everytime he made a nice turn avoiding a trap I stopped, made a big fuss and gave him a treat. This worked out to be every 3-4 obstacles and he managed to get around the whole course perfectly so he got a lot of treats and was really excited. At the end I tossed his tennis ball for him and let him play for a bit. After a little rest I took the clicker in one hand and treats in another and ran around the field calling 'here'. Every time he came to my hand I clicked and gave him a treat. We ran around the whole field with him glued to my side and he didn't take a single obstacle unless I told him to. He was really excited about this game too. Then I set him up in front of a jump, sent him over and called 'here' while turning my shoulders the direction I wanted him to go and pointing my hand nearest to him. I had treats in this hand and the clicker in the other. When he turned towards me I clicked and he ran over to get his treat. The point was to get him to wrap the jump tightly. I have no idea if this is the best way to teach wraps but it seemed to be working and I was getting some tight turns though not as tight as I'd eventually like to see. It's going to take some time but I'm sure had can do it. Eventually I'll add in more jumps and see if I can get a tight turn when he's going full bore but we need to work up to that. First he needs to learn to respond to the 'here' cue and the turning of my shoulders. He does respond to this now, just not as quickly and tightly as I'd like and we get lots of off courses.

Some other good things from the session-a perfect 2 on/2 off on the A-frame and beautiful weave pole entries (2 sets of 6 poles split up on the course).

I stopped the session while he was still really excited. I was so pleased that he was paying attention the whole time and didn't shut down or look stressed once.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

15 years

First off, thanks for all the kind words about my dogs.

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary and I'm pretty freaked out by the idea of it. Getting married was never a huge part of my life's master plan, I figured maybe when I'm in my mid-30's and my life is practically over anyway I might think about it. But life doesn't always follow the master plan and I got married at 26. My wedding day was hilarious. We had some house guests from England and we got up on a Thursday morning and said to them, we're off to get married, would you like to come? They were a bit shocked but decided to go with the flow and came along. During the ceremony Jonny started laughing almost immediately and initially I was mad at him for being so childish then after about 7-8 minutes when the judge got to the part about 'not entering into marriage lightly' I got a full on case of the giggles and the two of us were in tears of laughter by the end of the ceremony. We apologized to the judge and she said our reaction was surprisingly common however I've NEVER been to a wedding where the bride and groom burst out laughing so I think she was humoring us. It was a bit of an untraditional start but 15 years later I'm just as happy as I was back then so I guess all worked out o.k.

As a somewhat bizarre coincidence I accidentally clicked on a link for an old interview (here's the link: with an old friend of mine from Chicago, Guy Aitchison. I had looked him up to post a link to his tattoo studio in a Taper Madness thread a couple of days ago and by some weird twist of fate I accidentally clicked on the search again today and found the interview. It had to do with the death of his girlfriend who choked to death on phlegm after taking heroin. She died on Oct. 9, 2000 (the interview says 2002 but that's wrong), two days before my wedding and just a few days after I'd left Chicago and moved to Boulder. Because she was turning into a poet/writer of note and her death occured after a party at Al Jourgenson's (singer for the band 'Ministry') apartment there were articles plastered all over the underground Chicago press and there was even an article about her in the Chicago Tribune. I still have the stack of clippings people sent to me. I met her a couple of times but never really knew her except for what she meant to Guy who spent a good hour one night in a bar going on about her to me right after he'd met her. I felt terrible for Guy at the time and if you read the interview you get a sense of how much she'd meant to him. I always respected him for not pointing fingers and blaming people, esp. since Al Jourgenson's a first class asshole and it would have been easy to string him up (and many people did anyway, even though it really didn't seem to have been his fault). It's probably only of interest to me since I knew them but maybe some would find it interesting. The weird thing was finding the interview right on my wedding anniversary, two days after the anniversary of her death. It was strange but somehow comforting reading that article and remembering my life from back then.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

More Agility Photos

Here are some more photos. Sorry for the crappy layout, I'm having a bit of trouble dealing with the way blogger lays out photos. Sometimes it comes out fine but sometimes, as you can see, things don't work out quite as planned. I'm not sure why they're so dark, either. I spent some time last night making them lighter. Maybe it's just my monitor here at work that makes them look darker.

One interesting point, Lola is really overjumping the bars. I'd move her up to the 26" jump class in USDAA (she's in 22" just now) but I don't want her on the super high A-frame. And in NADAC she's S.O.L. since the highest any dog can go is 20" (don't even get me started). The only thing to do is work on her jumping skills.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Agility Photos

Here's some photos from the trial this weekend. Click on them for a bigger image. I have some more that I have to scan in, hopefully I'll get to it tonight.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trials and Tribulations

The trial this weekend went pretty well, could have gone better but could have gone much worse and was a big improvement over last trial. Cody had a brilliant day on Saturday, only one Q (a beautiful, first place run in his standard class) but he was focused and really excited to be out there working with me. Sunday he was a bit flaky but still managed 2 Q's out of three classes, both good enough for second place. I was extremely pleased with him.

Lola didn't fair quite as well but was better than last trial. She had a very off day on Saturday but improved on Sunday, earning a Q, first place and her advanced title in her Jumpers class, the very last class of the day. So she's on to the masters ring in jumpers next trial, yikes!

Lola did have a good time at the trial in general. There was a lake there so I let her chase her ball in the water a lot and she loved that. She also got some head rubs and snuggling from agility great Olga Chaiko who isn't from around here but was at the trial nonetheless. She's an excellent competitor having won ESPN's Great Outdoor Games for several years and is almost always in contention at the various National agility championships. As it turns out she's a really nice person too and made a big fuss over Lola. She even asked me where she was from and I laughed and told her 'the shelter'.

The following are my detailed notes from the trial and will probably be very boring to the non-agility folks (and maybe even the agility folks). They're meant mainly for me so I can remember what went right/wrong and what we need to work on. However, I typed them out so I figure I'll make them public in case anyone is truly interested. I have some pictures I'll post later.

USDAA Trial, ACAT, Fountain Creek Regional Park, Fountain (Co. Springs), CO

Saturday, October 3, 2005
Sunny, hot, mid to upper 80’s, little to no cloud cover

Cody had an awesome day! He was very focused and excited all day, no stress issues at all except for being in his crate and having to wait his turn while I ran Lola.

Master Gamblers:
The opening went as planned. He missed an up contact on the dog walk because I called him to me coming out of a tunnel to avoid a jump but he came to close to me before I sent him back to the dogwalk. This caused him to approach too much from the side and he missed the contact. Otherwise he had beautiful dogwalk and A-frame contacts. We didn’t attempt the weaves. The gamble was too difficult so we didn’t get it. He had too wide of a turn on a jump that he needed to wrap tightly so that didn’t help.

Advanced Standard:
He had a flawless standard run-fast yet controlled, enthusiastic, focused and CLEAN! He didn’t go straight into a down on the table which was strange since he hasn’t been having table problems recently but that was the only place for improvement. Weaves and contacts were all perfect. He was great at the start line and let me lead out 2 jumps with no signs of stress. He even got first place on top of a Q, doesn’t get much better than that.

Grand Prix:
Another lovely run. I had a handling problem that combined with his big jumping style sent him into a wrong course tunnel but otherwise I think the run was clean. Again, perfect contacts and weaves. He had some big wide turns and run outs in a couple of places so that’s something we need to work on. That’s always been a problem for us and I think I need to start focusing on that.

Lola was another story. She was definitely having an off day and might have not been feeling well. Her poop was runny first thing in the morning so she was either stressed out right from the start or not feeling well or both. I think she wasn’t thrilled about being woken up at 4:30 a.m. either. She steadily improved throughout the day though.

Advanced Gamblers:
She was focused and not stressed at the start line but it all soon went to crazy. There was barking and leaping off contacts and basically running around not paying too much attention to me at all. She even popped out of her weave poles with about 4 poles left which she NEVER does. It was pure stressed out running amok. Funny thing is, she did the gamble no problem. Unfortunately because she was running so wild beforehand we weren’t in a good position to do the gamble when the buzzer went so we missed time by about a second or so and didn’t get credit for it. This is just as well because it would have been her title and we would have had to move up to masters next trial and I don’t feel she’s ready for that.

Advanced Standard:
She settled down a bit for her standard run but still seemed a bit rattled. She set up at the start line no problem and let me lead out 2 jumps but when I cued a turn after the 2 jumps she ignored me and ran right behind me to take the off course A-frame. This is her obstacle of choice when she’s stressed out. Good thing is she got her contact all 3 times she ended up doing the frame. I did manage to get her back on course and things went o.k. She ran past the table instead of going right on it then when I got her on she went right down but popped up too soon. Rather than make an issue of it I decided to keep going. The rest of the run wasn’t bad and she managed to focus back on me a bit .

Grand Prix:
This went even better though I made the same handling mistake with her that I made with Cody and sent her into the same off course tunnel. She also ran past an obstacle that was right in front of her because I was rattled and unclear and she wasn’t paying attention. Otherwise it was a pretty nice run on a tricky course.

Sunday, October 3, 2005
Sunny, hot, mid to upper 80’s, little to no cloud cover

Today felt even hotter than yesterday.

Cody had a better day yesterday but still put in a good showing. He had some big loopy turns and moments of distraction but he managed Q’s in 2/3 classes and had a beautiful jumpers run despite a bumpy start. I did a really bad thing with his crate though, he was crying in there as per usual so I ignored him and walked away which usually causes him to stop his annoying high pitched barking. It turns out that his crate pad was soaked right through with water and he’s a big priss about things like that. He refused to lie down on it and must have been very uncomfortable all day. I didn’t realize it was soaked until I packed up for the day, picked it up and streams of water ran down onto my feet. Poor guy, I felt terrible and this certainly didn’t help his dislike of being in his crate.

Advanced Standard:
He was a bit distracted, had a wide loopy turn and almost left the ring. I got him back on course but his heart wasn’t in it. He popped out of the weaves and I didn’t redo them, earning us an E (elimination). He leapt his A-frame contact which is another sign of stress. He was in the zone, but the leaping is a bad thing. By the end of the course I had him settled a bit and he stuck the dogwalk contact nicely. Not a terrible run but not stellar.

Advanced Snooker:
The snooker course was fun, a series of 3 tunnels in a circle formed the 7 point obstacle with the 3 reds arranged in a line facing the tunnel circle. The start of the closing was one of the tunnels so there was a bit of strategy to how you went ‘round the tunnel circle. In the end I opted for two 7’s then the 6 point obstacle, a 2 jump combo that flowed right into the start of the closing. He had some more big loopy turns around the red jumps but we made it to the 6th of 7 obstacles in the closing, earning a Q and second place. Not a bad run but could have been WAY tighter. We should have easily made it through the whole closing.

Advanced Jumpers:
Cody ran after Lola and I only had one dog in between so I had someone hold one dog while I ran the other so I didn’t have to run back to the tent. He was a bit rattled from being in the wet crate and the tent collapsing on the crates in the wind so he was completely unfocused on the start line. I couldn’t get him to look at me and some snotty lady was pressuring us to go so I left him at the line and hoped for the best. As soon as I released him he turned tail and ran the opposite direction to Lola. I called him to me and he came tearing back and started the course no problem. He had a beautiful, flawless run earning a Q and getting nudged out of first place by Lola by hundredths of a second. A perfect way to end the trial.

Lo seemed a bit better today though still not as focused as I was hoping for. She still seemed a bit ‘off’.

Advanced Standard:
For the first time this trial she resisted going up to the start line. I think this was due to the extreme heat and blazing sun. Before her other 2 runs I let her cool off in the lake first and didn’t have any problems getting her to the line. She had a better run than yesterday but was still a little stressed and distracted. She got her A-frame contact but leapt off the dogwalk for the bazillionth time. She had a beautiful, quick down on the table and held it the whole five seconds, a sign she was doing much better mentally. I was thrilled with this, it’s her toughest obstacle. We had an off course as she sucked to the dogwalk at a trap but otherwise on o.k. run and improvement over yesterday.

Advanced Snooker:
For some reason she dropped the first bar so my whole plan went down the tubes. I managed to get her to another red, through the 7 point tunnel combo, to another red and then I lost her and we were whistled off. It’s hard to think on your feet when things head south during snooker. She seemed a bit settled though, so I was pleased. The screw up was all me, baby.

Advanced Jumpers:
A beautiful, flawless fast run on a tricky course with some tempting traps. She got a Q and first place, what more can you ask for? This was also her Jumpers title so next trial we must move on to Masters-YIKES!!! The Masters course for this trial was ugly and I was glad I didn’t have to do it. Hopefully by our next USDAA trial in January we’ll be up to the challenge.

Things to work on:

Tighter turns! This has always been a problem for us. He loves to jump big and long just for the sheer joy of it. He’s perfectly capable of jumping tighter, I just need to teach him.

Continuing motivation. This will always be an issue and I need to stay on top of it.

Weaves. I don’t like to overdo the weaves because of his shoulder and I think the reason he pops them is stress and not because he doesn’t know what to do but nonetheless we need to work on our entries.

Traps, esp tunnels. The issue here is mainly that he needs to focus on me more and look to me for cues rather than taking whatever obstacle is in front of him.

She needs some more motivation work though I’m really pleased with her improvement over the last trial.

Traps, same issue as Cody.

Timing-this is my issue, not hers. I really need to work on my timing with her since she’s so freakin’ fast.

Contacts, contacts, contacts, esp. the table. This is ongoing. I think once she gets over her ring stress issues her contacts will improve but I always need to be working them.

No trials until first week in December which is a bummer but there’s a fun match coming up in 2 weeks that will be a wonderful training opportunity. Can’t wait!