Sunday, February 3, 2019
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Both of my girls were pretty darn awesome today, I must say!
After Noodle's rally lesson, I headed to the barn. It was an incredible day - high 50's and sunny. I got Cadence out and put her on the longe line, and I swear she never set a foot wrong. I think I could have shown her in a longe line class at that moment and she could have won. walk, troit, canter, all on cue and beautiful (plus cantering on the correct leads!). The only part she had a little trouble with was reversing from right to left. That needs a little work.
When we were done longeing (and we did very little, because no sense in overdoing it when she does everything correctly!), I walked her over to my trailer. I had opened everything up and had a small bucket of grain. It's that time...time to start training to load in the trailer! I really hate this part of training, because it can be scary and dangerous and frustrating. Today's goal was just to get her front feet on the ramp. I successfully got her front feet (and one back toe) on the ramp with her head inside the trailer, munching on some grain. She was a little leery of getting on the ramp, and I found that if I just stood patiently and waited her out, she eventually put her feet on it on her own. She wasn't overly thrilled with the grain, so I think I will go buy a bag of sweet feed to use to be a little more enticing. We did this lesson three times successfully, then i called it quits.
On a side note, I measured her. Still not much change in the front - around 14'2"-ish, but her hip is up to a solid 15'1". Yes, she is very uneven. I promised myself no more obsessing about her height, and I am not allowed to measure her again until March!
Just when you think you made progress...
I decide to take her out to the trailer and do another lesson in familiarizing her with the trailer. I had bought a bag of sweet feed last night as a special enticement. Yeah, well, I couldn't even get Cadence out the barn door! She stood in the doorway and planted her feet and
We walked halfway down the driveway and she stopped again and planted her feet and refused to move. Someone drive in the gate and had to park off to the side since she would not move from the center of the gravel driveway. I ended up having the driver go grab my bucket of sweet feed from the trailer and I was able to bribe her into moving. Once I got her moving, she walked right up to the back of the trailer and put her front feet on the ramp and happily ate her sweet feed from the bucket. I backed her off and walked her back on the ream three times. The third time she actually got all 4 feet on the ramp. She seemed really comfortable with it, so I figured I would quit while I was ahead (because that sure can change in an instant!). We walked back to the barn and I walked her in and out of the door over and over again with zero issues. Go figure.
My day started like this - Noodle stealing my empty bag of chips, ate the crumbs, and then got the bag stuck on her head. It actually was kind of funny, I have to admit. However, my other girl Cadence was much better. After yesterday, I expected problems.
Noodle and I had a busy day today! We started off with agility class, and a semi-private lesson in the afternoon, and then we loaded up the van and headed for Indianapolis. It was a
Driving to the show reminded me why I hate shows in the wintertime. the weather was horrible, the wind was killer and the temperatures dropped to the teens. Fun time to drive to Indianapolis, the Pothole Capital of the World. I have to admit I am kind of excited to be showing Noodle. She is so much fun, and I am hoping we can work the kinks out of our training the next few days.
Noodle decided to wake up in the hotel around 3am and start bugging me. Needless to say, I didn't get any sleep after that. Gotta love her!
She showed pretty well in breed, and ended up getting Best of Opposite for some grand champion points and a champion defeated. I was really happy with that. She and I also got best of breed owner-handled. I actually think she showed way better in the group later today, but no love from the judge.
Tonight in the hotel things were much better. We hung out together and watched TV all evening, and she slept all night without interruption. I actually had to wake her at 6am, which was good.
It is so refreshing to wake up with a full night's sleep. Thank you,
Today's owner-handled sporting group was huge, around 20 dogs. She showed awesome, and the judge pulled us out for the cut, with 6 other dogs. Unfortunately, Noodle blew it by deciding to race around the ring when the judge had us gait one at a time. Then on our last stack, she just couldn't hold her feet in position because of the slippery mats. The stacking issue I can understand...can't fault her for that. The gaiting problem is another thing. She gets so charged up sometimes, she pulls really hard and leans inward...NOT a pretty picture. I tried working on this at home but she doesn't do it anywhere else other than the show ring. We have some work to do, that's for sure!
Overall, I was
I haven't worked Cadence since Wednesday of last week, but it was good to give her a break after the tough lessons we had. Today she was alone in the arena, and she started off by kicking up her heels, running, and bucking. Rather than fight her, I decided to just let her get her kicks out of her system before asking her to work. It's so easy for me to forget that she is only a baby! I let her blow off some steam on the longe line, and then asked her to work, and she worked wonderfully! Her reverse from right to left is definitely improving.
I have no complaints! Cadence was pretty darn good today. Granted, we were the only ones in the arena. I walked with her on the longe line, using the entire arena to encourage her to trot big and long. It definitely was working. She is getting the hang of whoa and reverse. It's like suddenly the "whoa" command just clicked in her head, and she gets it now!
Today is Thursday, that means it is all about agility today! We started off with our usual 8am class. Noodle was pretty focused, and we got a lot accomplished. My handling is starting to improve a lot, and I can tell because Noodle is reading my cues easier and becoming more accurate. This team thing means I have to be on my game as much as she does
We came back for our shared lesson. Today's goal was distractions. Today's lesson for me is that I need to have
Pretzel came along, and had acupuncture done after Noodle's lesson. He is having some issues with his back/hind end, and I think it might all stem from his accident this past fall when Maizey t-boned him while running outside. I am extremely worried about him, he just isn't the same. We are going to schedule an appointment when we get back from Florida in a few weeks. I need to know definitively what is going on.
For the first time since October, my dogs got to go field training! Let me start off by saying it was
We started off by doing a little backing training with the dummy. Both my dogs need work on thyat. After that, we just planted a couple birds for each dog and let them blow the dust off and remember what they were supposed to do. Noodle, of course, hunted about 10 miles away from me, and busted birds before i could make the hike to her. Pretzel held his points like a rock star, caught 2 birds and retrieved them to hand (which shocked me - that's not his strong suit!). Noodle is going to take priority for a while, I need to get that girl under control!
I worked Cadence today, fresh out of the stall after her farrier appointment yesterday. She came out and was an absolute angel! No bucking, just a willingness to work. I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am. You have no idea. Or...if you have been reading these training diaries the past few years then you probably do know how excited I am. Here is a little video for you...she just floats effortlessly...
What a great field training day. Yep, it was cold - I think it might have reached 24 degrees while I was out there. It spit snow the entire time. But watching Noodle bring it all together was worth all the frostbite!
At first, she hunted really far from me. Eventually she figured out that when i called to her, it usually meant I was near a bird. She had some really beautiful points, and best of all
We worked six birds, and she retrieved all six of them. Her retrieves were rather slow and a bit wandering, but she eventually brought them to hand. I praised her like she just won the world after each retrieve. I think she has some real potential to go farther in the field...just hope i don't screw her up!
Tomorrow we leave for Florida (you are saying "What??? Another trip to Florida?"). I cannot wait to get out of this cold weather.
Ok, so Hattiesburg, Mississippi isn't exactly on the way to Florida, but close! This looked like a fun place to stop for a dog show. I have never been to Mississippi before. Unfortunately. It rained. Rained. All day yesterday on our travels, and all day today. Talk about
Noodle showed really well. There wasn't much competition here, so she ended up best of Breed and Best of Breed Owner-Handled. She showed awesome in the OH group, but the judge didn't even consider us. Oh well, you will have that! I am just happy she is behaving, working hard, and loving the show ring!
Today, it rained. And rained some more.
She showed great in group again, and ended up with an Owner-Handled Group Three! I was pretty happy with that...her first group placement of the year.
Guess what? It rained today! The motorhome was about to float away, but I swam out and tied it down.
Noodle took breed today, no almost-pooping in the ring. Owner-halded group went well again, and we earned another OH Group Three. Staying consistent, which is good right now. Me and the dogs are going a bit stir-crazy with all of this rain. Noodle's attitude has been fantastic, and she is so fun to show!
Another bonus - we found an awesome local Italian restaurant called Marios. I love finding the local places and trying out their pasta. This place had wedding soup to die for.
Guess what? The sun came out today! Just in time for the last day. I am a little bummed that it rained the whole time so I wasn't able to go exploring with the dogs. I love finding trails to take them for walks and get to know the local terrain. I will have to save that for a future trip to Mississippi.
Noodle won breed again today. I am trying something a little different with her and putting the leash a little bit on the side of her neck to help her carry her head a bit higher. It is going to take a bit of practice because she isn't used to it yet. She was very consistent, and once again earned an OH Group three. Talk about
The thing I am most proud of: Noodle's consistent free stacks. Training = CHECK!