Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Control, Respect and Trust.

Molly's weave poles have not been going well at trials.  She is missing entries and she is crawling through them.  She is not popping out, but she is slow and sneezy.  This has been very discouraging for me.

A funny thing about agility trialing is the illusion of "control".  Our entire Aframe issue was borne from this thought that if I managed Molly heavily on the Aframe, that she would slow down and come over the apex and down the downside and not fault the contact zone.  Letting go of this illusion of control took months for me.  Months.  I discovered that Molly would run the contact zone quite by accident.   On "gambles" or "sends" containing the Aframe, I could not be right next to Molly.  I could not stop and try to control and manage her verbally.  I had to run, I had no control - real or imaginary.  And she did great.   Now Molly's confidence is improving on the Aframe.  It takes everything that I have to just run next to the Aframe.  To not stop and look at her.  To not say a word to her.  And she runs the downside contact every time.  I never even know until we are finished with our run if she has run the contact zone.  But not a single time that I have run with Molly next to the Frame has she jumped off the contact zone.

I do believe the weave poles are no different.  I was chatting with some friends this weekend.  They are noticing Molly's sneezing in the weaves.  I am devastated about it.   I was asked, "Well, what are you doing different at trials?"

Control.  I am trying to control Molly.  I am trying to be certain that she gets into the poles and stays in them.  I am right there with her.  I am too close for her.  In my unintentional grab for a guaranteed solid performance, I am crushing the chances of one.  Molly loves to move, she excels at distance work.  I know that Molly does best further away from me with clear directions.   In training class and at home?  I send Molly to the weaves.  Every time.  I do not decelerate hard and say my weave cue word three times in training.  I do not suspend my own breathing and hover over her in training.  I push my hand out and say "poles" one time and she enters those poles no matter where from and dances through them.

So once again I will try so hard to take a leap of faith.  To stay away from Molly and those poles and let her work independently from me.  It is so hard to be the person that I am in training.  I don't know why it is so hard.  I am not even a die hard Q Zombie.  Yes, I want Molly's C-ATCH.  Yes, I want to be successful.  But I am crazy about that brindle dog and if we don't Q one day, we will another and it is okay.  I know that dog is giving me every single thing that she has every time that we go into the ring together.  No doubt about it.  And so I must return the favor.  I must give her everything that I have, too.  I must push myself further to trust my dog and give her the space that she needs to do her job.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your new resolutions! It can be so hard trying to stay relaxed. The thing that has helped me to be the best handler with Vito is to try hard to be the most aggressive handler possible at trials, no rear crosses and lots of send and runs!