After over a month of Winter Break, Molly and I are finally back to agility school. I have missed it so much! There was a fire in a building across the highway from the training center, so we had to take a big detour in order to even get to class.
We ran three courses tonight. The first course Molly ran clean and I was so proud of her. The weave entry in the course was tricky and she absolutely nailed it. (It was tricky because she approached it as the fourth obstacle and hammering out of a tunnel towards it. To stop momentum and turn into the weaves is hard for a Moo.)
I think part of that is that I am finding our weave rhythm. It has been, and still is, a balancing act to figure out how Molly needs to be supported on the way to and entering the weaves, and how I need to change my body position to continue to support her. A brisk pace but not pulling away is what she needs.
I would like to see Molly be able to do more independent weaves in the future. We are working towards that! Now, if only the weather would cooperate.
Our second run ... I short circuited and started running the first course about four obstacles in, but I realized my error right away. Another way of showing Molly support is to praise her and treat her like crazy when I mess up. She gets confused and often a bit brought down when we have to start a course again and I want to keep her spirits high. After I got my brain together, we ran the course fairly well. (agility class always comes after an often busy day of work, and I don't bring anywhere near 100 percent of brainpower with me.) There were several back to back front crosses to the weaves and we danced through them very nicely. I was also able to get some lateral distance from the teeter - this is another thing that we are working on. I was very proud to get a send to a jump during the course as well. It went so smooth and I was so proud of my girl. My handling was clunky around the last group of obstacles, but when we redid it it went more smoothly.
The third course was shorter. Molly had to run the dog walk, take a way out jump, and then return to a tunnel that was flush with the dog walk but about 3-4 feet lateral from it. We messed it up because I wanted to treat Molly for coming to the contact but it messed up her momentum. We bungled around trying to get a send to the jump and I kept pulling away from Molly's line before she was committed to the tunnel - so she ran up the dog walk. We restarted from the midway through and Molly ran beautifully. And since we had time, we did it again, this time with a jump send.
We had a great time in class tonight, my girl and I. It felt great to be back, it felt great to try out some sends and to play agility without the pressure of a Q looming over us. I can try to be carefree at a trial, but I am still too green to pretend that I don't care if we Q or not. Speaking of trials, we play CPE this weekend! Three titles are within our grasp! Can me and my crazy girl snag at least one of those? Here's hoping.