What do these flowers have to do with today's class? Nothing, I just think they are pretty! Usually we put a disclaimer in here about how no one needs to read through all this tedious agility description stuff if they don't want to but we also want to add that if someone reads something in here that they know we got wrong and can help us understand it better, please leave a comment! Thanks!
Class was about forward sends and parallel sends today. Not sure if I can explain each send -with a forward send, the dog makes a perpendicular approach to a jump where the handler slows down and uses her inside arm, straight-forward shoulders and a jump command to cue the jump with collection. With a parallel send , the dog approaches the jump parallelly (I know - there's no such word - like he would run directly into the jump standard) and the handler decelerates and supports the jump with an inside arm and straight shoulders and a jump command. The dog has to learn how to go right or left to jump the bar and jump with collection (I think). First we all picked one jump and practiced each send. Boring, but no problem. Then we did several sequences where we had to do either a forward send or a parallel send depending on the set up. So after the send mom wasn't supposed to do a front cross - mostly there were no side changes so she had to post turn (just turn around in place and run the other direction). This was not especially motivating for me so I didn't end up running all that fast.
Thoughts on sends: Send does not mean distance (as in send your dog from a long way away over a jump). A handler can be standing right next to a jump and still send the dog. Sends are cued with deceleration (lack of movement) and the jump is supported with the inside arm and straight shoulders until the dog commits to the jump. Dogs have different commitment points so if your dog has a late commitment point, you need to wait longer (inside arm, shoulders) before turning. Sends are affected by contacts if your dog has a stopped contact (like 2o2o) - say there is the dogwalk and then a jump straight ahead and then a wrap back to a tunnel. If the dog has to stop on the contact, the handler often stops too and then there is little time to increase motion in order to decel to cue the send (make sense?). We don't have that problem since I have what Jenn calls a "hail mary" dogwalk - not a running dogwalk but I run off the end with mom saying hail marys hoping that I touch the yellow! LOL! A handler has to time her running so that she doesn't keep getting to all the obstacles before her dog - that one is for mom (not necessarily about sends but something she needs to remember in general)!