SUMMARY: First day of boot camp for me. Working on Tika's drive, bars, future contact work.
So much to do, so little time. We've got a USDAA trial this weekend, a week off, another USDAA trial, another weekend off, then that following Monday or Tuesday heading for Scottsdale.
Boost's not competing at Scottsdale, so it's just the usual stuff. She's doing some fabulous weave entries in the yard now. So she WAS learning all that stuff, she just now got around to deciding to apply it!
With Tika, I need to focus on:
* Tika's drive to the end of the contacts, particularly the dogwalk and teeter
* Bar-knocking drills
Tika tends to blast fast through most of the dogwalk and then saunter to the end--or, as she's just started doing, leaping off before the contact. So I just keep rolling around to contact-drive work, revving her up, slapping the contact, driving her with my body, too, and not rewarding crappy slow sauntering ones. We never got our second Steeplechase qualifier--sigh--so it's just Grand Prix and Team.
I've been working on the ground in getting her and Boost to run through my PVC frame that's the size of the dogwalk contact and going to a target further ahead, so they get clicked for getting front feet into the box and the reward goes at the target. Tika's still mostly jogging through it, although I think she's picking up speed; Boost blasts into the box but in her short life we've done so much targeting work and stopping on the contacts that she wants to stop in the box. But, when she does get out again, she drives to the target.
That's in prep for working on Tika's up contact, which I just really don't think I want to deal with before Nationals. And I have a fantasy about retraining contacts to be running contacts, which I REALLY REALLY don't want to even think about before Nationals.
But I'm reserving the rest of November, all of December, and part of January to muck with contacts. Only one CPE trial over Thanksgiving weekend, and I had the guts to NOT sign Tika up for Standard so I could avoid putting her on the dogwalk while I'm (in theory) retraining.
For me--today was the first day of boot camp. As expected, my arms are my real weak link. They are SO tired, I don't even want to be at the computer. But here I am. With lots of Real Work to do, too. Jogged most of the laps we did; walked the rest as soon as I started to feel it in my knee. Knee held up pretty good, actually. Next session--Wednesday morning.