Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Did You Learn Today?

In addition to working on Silvia Trkman's Handling I class, I also decided to try out Dawn Weaver's monthly online instruction series.  Dawn has two different sets of exercises available, one for novice teams and one for more experienced teams.  I took the plunge and sent my $26 across the seas for the first set of experienced exercises.  The first set of exercises required a set of 12 weaves, two tunnels (actually one tunnel and a chute), and six jumps.  (Each exercise includes four sequences.)  You videotape your efforts and submit up to five minutes of you and your dog working on them by posting them to YouTube and sending Dawn the link.  Dawn will then review your video and email you feedback plus a link to video of her running the sequences with her dog(s).  (A terrific option is that if you are having a problem in training or in the ring, you can submit video of that instead of your efforts on that month's exercises and Dawn will give you feedback.)

The feedback I received was awesome.  Since I train on my own, I can only improve or change what I realize needs improvement or changing.  That can be a rather huge Catch 22.  For instance, I didn't realize how many times I am late in completing my front crosses.  I thought I was supposed to finish my rotation as Belle was in the air.  Oops.  That actually makes it late.  I also never realized that I often backhand Belle into a rear cross while facing the wrong direction.  Additionally, Dawn gave me some advice about my lead outs and my positioning relative to a jump that is to be wrapped.  Very interesting stuff that took my several hours to digest

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

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