Went to the field today for the third day in a row (although only Mika went on Wednesday and only Wall-e went yesterday -- today both dogs got to go).
With Mika I did the dog walk (with a pool noodle 30" from the edge of the DW) twice, and she had a REALLY nice hit, right at the bottom. Then we ran part of the same sequence that we ran on her birthday, as well as another very flowing sequence that I made up quickly. I should really be working on harder sequences, but I love seeing her soaring with no hesitation. She was nuts today, taking a couple off-course jumps in the new sequence I made up today (that's no surprise!) and having fun.
Wall-e's turn next! I also did the dog walk first. I haven't talked about his running DW contacts in a while...well, the pool noodle stride regulators weren't the best because he didn't hit deep enough in the yellow. Since then we've experimented with a few more methods but none of them seemed to work. Wall-e learned how to nose touch a target as part of his foundation training, and earlier this week I put his nose touch at the stairs in the basement, simulating a contact obstacle. He had this amazing nose touch -- I would start him standing at the last step, say "Touch!" and he would quickly leap forward to go in the 2on2off position and do a hard nose touch to the target. So yesterday I decided to try putting his 2o2o with a nose touch on the DW, thinking that it might help him graduate to running contacts. Even though I backchained it, he was confused and didn't know how to collect himself to get into 2o2o. And although he was having fun, he didn't have the same absolute joy that he has when he runs the contact. I put away that idea for now, although I might have to go back to it next year depending on how his running contact training is going.
Mika and Wall-e will be doing several fun matches this winter, and I'd like Wall-e to get experience on different contacts, so I want to use a PVC hoop at the fun matches. That way he can get used to the unfamiliar contacts and not practice leaping over the yellow. Today I put the hoop in front of the end of the dog walk so he could practice with it. He leaped the yellow, so I put the hoop closer, more at the end. This time he did a perfect hit, and the next rep too! I haven't seen the video yet so I can't say how much he collected his stride to hit the yellow, but it looked pretty comfortable for him. A possibility for training running contacts? Maybe. I have all winter to figure out how I want to train his contacts, and we have all season next year to train them.
Then I finished Wall-e's broad jump training (over the past several sessions I've been gradually spacing the boards apart and fading the 10" jump behind it), and then he ran one of the sequences Mika got to run.
It's been a good training day!