I am happy to report that class 5 of beginning intermediate agility went well last night! I think going to the open practice on Wednesday really helped both me and mom be more confident! We arrived early again last night (only way to beat the traffic) and so we had plenty of time to warm up. Mom tried to get me to play tug - I managed to be slightly interested in my sock toy that I love when I'm at home but am too stressed out to play with at class. We are going to keep trying to get me to tug every week. We also did some pre-class weaves to have more experience with using the wires. It's going better each time - but I still don't see the point of having wires for me!
My first area during class was jumps. We practiced table and jumps and a sequence using the tire and a front cross close to the tire. Mom needed to make me turn tighter after the tire so she learned how to move to accomplish that.
Next we went to the weaves and jumps. My weaves are getting better - I am still way faster at home with my stick-in-the-ground poles and no distractions. We also did some straight line jumping to work on my speed (or lack thereof).
Then we went to the teeter and chute area. The first time I approached the teeter, I refused to go up. Mom didn't let me get away with that and put my slip lead on and then I went across willingly. Next time I wasn't fast but I did it on my own. The teeter at class and the one at the club are a lot bigger and heavier than the one I have at home and I am still getting used to how fast they tip and how LOUD they are when they hit the ground! I am making slow progress on the chute - I go in the barrel and don't come back out, but I wait to see mom peek through the end and then I go through even when she lets the material fall down on me. I know I am being goofy - but I will get it eventually.
Lastly we did the contacts. This week the tunnel was under the aframe. That didn't scare me like the tunnel under the dogwalk did. We practiced jump, double jump and either sending into the tunnel or over the aframe. My aframes were much faster after my practice at the club. Now mom is going to work on keeping her shoulders straight and her arm out and then lowering her arm as I go down into the contact area. In general mom needs to think more about the position of her shoulders and about where she is looking. If she gives me good cues, I can definitely follow her.
Our instructor said that I did better last night and seemed more confident and mom seemed more relaxed. Hopefully we are headed in a good direction now. This morning we did some practice in the backyard - the jump sequence from last night with the front cross, some weaves and teeter. It went very well! We have also started to get serious about practicing a start line ritual. Now that the weather has cooled off, we hope to get in lots of practicing before winter. I like agility a lot more when it's cool outside!
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