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Sunday March 1, 2020

Fortune-telling?

Pizza and I got to sleep in, run on the property (ground is still frozen...yay!) and then head to Tallmadge for a show. There were 4 class bitches that showed, which means the winner would get 2 points...which means if Pizza wins, she officially singles out. Am I weird to say I am kind of glad she didn't win today? She showed great, took reserve winners bitch, and made lots and lots of friends outside the ring. I don't want to single her out yet, I want to keep showing her! We need to look for some other venues to show in for a while to keep her points down until after the national specialty. I'd really like to show her in the classes there. Small goals...

Free stack...BOOM!



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Monday, March 2, 2020

Pizza's baking up well!

I took Pizza and Noodle over to the training place to split an hour private lesson. Noodle ended up getting cheated because we spent the entire hour on Pizza! This was huge, because never before was I able to do an hour of training with Pizza without her shutting down or getting bored. It was an awesome lesson.


One major thing I need to start doing is using less body language when I give her commands - try getting her to sit, down, circle the cone without using my hands, and especially without constantly reaching in my pocket for treats (so she doesn't associate me touching my pocket with getting a treat every time). We also worked a lot on the "It's Your Choice" game - holding a treat in my hand and only giving it to her (by tossing it and telling her to "get it") and only giving it to her when she doesn't try to help herself. This was a tough one for her, as she licked my hand, pawed at it, and tried everything to get the treat out of my hand. Eventually we did make a little progress but this is something I will need to do a lot of work on.


I was thrilled with her enthusiasm! I think all of that trick dog training has really helped.


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Never let your memories be bigger than your dreams.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Toys exploding everywhere!

Rain rain rain, the property is flooded, and the dogs are going crazy. Luckily, today I had a lot of training to do - Pizza had her Agility Foundations Puppy class and Noodle started her Advanced Rally class.


Pizza started off pretty wild in her puppy class, which is to be expected. Her contacts seemed to have gone by the wayside. I confess I haven't practiced them very much lately since we were focusing on getting ready for our trick dog testing. She raced across the lowered dogwalk, caught sight of a poodle doing something, turned her head and lost her balance and fell off! Luckily it was lowered pretty low...I was really worried that this would scare her enough to not want to get back on. Luckily, she is much braver now and she got right back on and did it several more times, albeit much slower (which I am more than OK with!). This class is good for us because it is the only chance I have to work her around a lot of other dogs. It is great for her focus training.


Noodle's rally class went really well. Wow, are we rusty! We haven't done any rally since October, other than playing around a little bit at home. I spent a lot of time just heeling her around the other dogs, getting her used to focusing and looking at me even when there were distractions close by. She did really well with that. Hopefully soon she will be ready to do some Rally Intermediate and work towards her next title.



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Friday, March 6, 2020

UKC "Ohio Classic"

Today Pizza and I spent the day in Wilmington at a UKC show. It was very good practice for us, and a definite lesson in patience for her as they tend to drag these shows out really long. The length of time showed me that she does lack patience a bit, and we do need to work on holding our stack with less food - she was getting to the point that she would NOT stand still unless she was constantly having bait in her face, and that's unacceptable! It was a long day for her puppy brain, so I am not discouraged. We will go home and practice for a while and see if we can increase her patience level.


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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Happy 8th birthday, Pretzel!

Today is Pretzel's 8th birthday! He officially becomes older than me today (in dog years). Last night I baked some awesome Weimaraner cookies using wheat flour, bran flakes, mozzarella cheese, and carrots. This is pretty much the extent of my baking skills. Thankfully the dogs don't care if the cookies are way overdone!


It finally stopped raining, so I was able to go field train with Pizza and Noodle. Noodle did pretty well considering we have only done one training day since October. She had trouble holding through the shot, but by the last bird we finally got it and she held the whole time. Progress!


Pizza got a chance to run with two young setter pups, as they all learned to hunt instead of play. I think she did really well for her first time running with two strange (hairy) dogs. We planted a few birds for her and worked with her on the check cord, getting her excitement level up for the birds. She had some nice freezes on point, but I could tell she didn't really know what to do once she found the bird. Baby steps! We all had a blast, and that was the best part. It was so nice to be outside in the sunshine!



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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Field Day #2

It was another beautiful day, so I did a second day of field training. We worked Pizza with another pup, getting her to work on task instead of trying to play (she did pretty good!). We worked Noodle with another dog to work on backing, which she did pretty good. I had three really nice retrieves (dead bird, Noodle on a check cord). It's progress...very slow and small steps, but we are moving in the right direction.


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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

It's Another Day

Yesterday I had a great lesson with both Pizza and Noodle. Pizza did really well staying focused with me, and doing her cone circling. We are now working on the tunnel command, and starting the bypass command. These are all advanced concepts, but they are low/no impact training so perfect for a young puppy.


Noodle had a shorter lesson, but she was fantastic. I need to work on some odd weave entries with her, as that slowed her down when she had to think too hard about getting the entrance.


Today, Pretzel and I headed north to spend the day with my mom. It is always fascinating to me how Pretzel senses just how she is feeling, and stays by her side. Of course, the fact that she gives him cheese has something to do with it, but even without food he stays by her side when she isn't feeling well. I think he would have made a great service dog. He is so empathetic. These days I spend with my mom are priceless, I treasure them. And although she is definitely NOT an animal lover, she does love Pretzel (of course, what's not to love?).



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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

After every good day comes a frustrating day, but progress IS happening behind the scenes!

Pizza had her puppy agility foundations class today. She was scatterbrained...so distracted by the other puppies. It was a bit frustrating to see that although I was confident in my training a few days ago, it all goes out the window when there are a bunch of other puppies in the ring training with us. These are all valuable lessons, and I have to keep reminding myself that patience is the key!


Noodle's rally class went well. She started off a little distracted, but the more we worked, the better she got. This is something I need to keep in mind the next time I decide to do a Rally trial - do a lot of practice before going in the ring. We started working on heeling backwards, and by the end of the class she was doing it fairly well. Her focus got better and better the longer we worked.


I have been working a tiny bit on Pizza's 2x2 weaves. Rather than putting them together in a straight line, I am leaving them staggered so they are easier on her, and I am working on sending her into the weaves from different sides and angles. It took a while to teach her to work away from me, but she is getting it!


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Friday, March 13, 2020

Friday the 13th, hello pandemic!

Well life as we know it has certainly taken an unexpected turn. The state, the country, and the world is shutting down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. All dog shows in the near future have been cancelled, including the one I was SO looking forward to in North Carolina where we built a major in bitches. Pretzel's agility post-injury debut is cancelled also, as the agility trial next weekend has been cancelled. I sit here suddenly with a lot of free weekends looming ahead. I am most worried about my trip to Texas to help whelp the litter of Pretzel puppies...so afraid they are going to limit interstate travel or airline travel. Some days I truly feel cursed

However, I also feel blessed. I spent some time training Pizza in the basement, and did a little video compilation so I can see where I am at today, compare it to a month ago, and also be able to look back in a month and see how far I have come. It is sometimes very difficult for me to actually see the progress being made, especially when it is happening in teeny tiny increments. There is progress, it is there! I guess me telling myself to be patient over and over has worked.


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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Beware the Ides of March

Things are getting dire around here. This afternoon, the governor announced that all restaurants and bars will be closed down by the state tonight at 9pm, indefinitely. The number of cases with the Coronavirus is growing, the grocery stores have empty shelves, and people are really starting to panic.


I am officially "grounded" until further notice. All of my training classes are cancelled for the next week. Today I rented the building to do a little training on my own. The rain, snow, and MUD are making it impossible to do anything outside. The dogs are going stir crazy!


I worked Noodle first - I did some sequences with her. She was surprisingly scatterbrained, missed obstacles and made mistakes on the elements she normally has down pat. I am not sure if my stress is getting to her a bit? We stopped the sequences and worked on our verbal jumping skills - where I stood completely still and asked her to either "jump" (go straight forward and jump the bar) or "around" (go around to the back side of the jump and jump towards me). She was awesome at this, I am pretty happy with her verbal skills.


I worked with Pizza on her basic skills - "around" the jump standard, tunnel command, teeter, and 2 on 2 off. I did a little bit with her 2 x 2 weave poles, and also worked on a new concept we started on Monday - her tunnel bypass command ("here"). She did really well on all of these. I am getting more and more pleased with her drive and focus. It's coming along!





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Monday, March 16, 2020

The Blink of an Eye

I took Pizza for a walk on the bike path today. It was interesting to see how many people were out walking and jogging mid-day. I guess they are all like me - jobs are grounded, everything is closed, and take advantage of a rare rain-free day.


I am fighting my dark mood as hard as I can. I can't believe that just 5 days ago I was making entries for Pizza in Concord, NC, planning my flight to Texas to whelp Pretzel's litter, and my biggest worry was whether Concord would make majors and how to try to not finish Pizza's championship before our national specialty in May. Now Concord is cancelled (bye bye entry money), more than likely my flights will be cancelled (once again I will miss the whelping), all restaurants are closed, and odds are our national specialty will be cancelled in May. A week ago, I would have never imagined things would get this bad. Now the rumors are talking about forcing a quarantine on everyone in the state - meaning you cannot leave your house other than to buy food or go to the doctor's. I don't know if I can survive that, honestly. Not in a good place right now...


My walk with Pizza was refreshing. I saw a beautiful blue bird and it made me think about spring. Spring is always my favorite season...so much to look forward to in regards to weather and outside activities. What will spring be like this year? It is hard to imagine what even just next week will be like, as things around here have drastically changed with every passing day. I think my biggest concern is my own mental state. I am used to being extremely active - on the go, working towards goals, getting out there and doing things. Now all I can do is sit here in a frozen state and stress. I need to break out of this mood...and keep it from coming back. We have a long road ahead of us.



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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pandemic Day #5

Day 5 of the pandemic, and more businesses are closing. The state of Ohio postponed the elections today until June 2nd. Te gads, are we going to be trapped in semi-quarantine until JUNE??? I don't think I will survive.


In a tiny shred of normalcy today, I took Pizza and Noodle field training. Don't worry, we kept ourselves safe and proper "social distancing" of 6 feet or more...kind of. Noodle did very well. The first bird got her juices flowing, and she didn't hold through the flush. However, the next 2 birds she held through the flush, and one of them she even held through the shot. Definitely progress here! Pizza, however, was a tad too enthusiastic. She would go on point briefly, but then had a hard time controlling herself and kept launching after the birds. I used a check cord and kept her from successfully grabbing any birds (yay!). We did a lot of work on impulse control, having her stand while we waved the bird near her, and encouraging her to stay frozen in place. Hopefully this lesson will sink in a bit. It's a work in progress, and I have to keep reminding myself that Pizza has her own timeline as to how and when she grasps certain concepts. All I can do is keep plugging away at things.


I did some training with Pizza this morning, mainly to burn off some of her endless energy. Everything is going well, but the "it's your choice" game (impulse control) needs a LOT of work. I think that will be my priority for the next few days. I have nothing but time....unfortunately.



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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pandemic Day #6, or the day before Rainageddon

We have 3 straight days of rain predicted...and by rain I am talking massive rain, up to 4"! I took advantage of the cloudy but dry morning to take Pizza for a walk on the bike path. The normally quiet creek looks like a raging river already, and the major rain hasn't even started. It's bad enough being trapped with this pandemic closing everything and asking people to stay away from each other, but if I cannot even get outside I may seriously go mad.


I am enjoying these walks/jogs with Pizza. I find that when I get home, my mind is really refreshed and some of the darkness of my mood is dissipated. It doesn't take long for it to start edging it's way back into my brain once I get back inside. I think my #1 concern right now is my own mental health. I know how I can be, and I know this isolation can end up really taking a toll on my psyche. Thank goodness I have some outlets with online dog training - watching videos and trying some things out, and submitting my own videos for critique. That definitely helps.


This evening my friend and I rented the training building to work our pups. I have to admit that although it was frustrating, it was pretty funny the way the two of them would take turns breaking away and running over to the other pup to play. This was good practice for us to work on self-control and focus. Definitely a work in progress...not much progress tonight for sure! Pizza was doing great with all of her exercises. I am kind of stuck now as to what to work on next with her. I took some time when she was tired at the end of our training session to work on stacking. She is maturing so quickly! Not sure that stacking her and getting photos was such a good idea because it just makes me even more depressed that I can't show. Figures, when I have this outstanding puppy I am going to miss the rest of her puppy months. Just figures.



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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Pandemic Day #7 - Training Progress Galore!

Today I took Pizza to the training building and worked with another friend of mine and her dog. Pizza, being toe crazy puppy that she is, had to be walled off in a corner so she wouldn't interfere with the other dog (who was a lot less enthusiastic about her than Pizza was about the other dog LOL!). We worked on all of our usual things - circling, 2 on 2 off, tunnels and bypass command, and the 2 x 2 weaves. I feel like I am kind of treading water here without any official guidance as to where to go next. I have all the time in the world, and not enough knowledge to use every moment to it's advantage while training. I know there is no rush, and I have no need to be putting pressure on myself. I am just so bored with this semi-quarantine that I need to feel like I am making progress in some way. Just chill, dangit!


I got some wonderful videos from Darla of Cadence today, and also a fantastic explanation of her training process over the past few weeks.


Last week we did mostly just refresher of what we had already done after having almost a week of from us being at a show. Got to ride 2 days in the round pen where I started switching it up from just going around in circles to cutting across the middle doing some figure eights. I like to start this kind of work in the round pen so they can somewhat bounce off the walls a little and you don’t really have to pull on them a lot while they are gaining their confidence to get out of the routine of just doing circles.

Side note- Circles are important for the first 15-30 rides to just gain the colts confidence. They need to only have to think of just a few things at a time in the beginning. If they know the routine it is easier to start guiding them slowly if the somewhat already know where they are going. Repetition is most important. This week is has been rainy and gross so we were back to the indoor. When I first start colts without a round pen I like to use the end of the arena where there are three walls. Cadence has done really well with the walls for support and in the round pen so it was time for a new challenge of coming away from the three walls (and we got some new trail poles delivered to the corner of the arena all the colts were terrified of at first). So we moved down the arena a little to open up two sides of the circle. Most colts start dragging you out of the circle at first. Again its important for them to learn to follow the circle for control and to keep them in a routine of keeping their backs up and their bodies in-between your hands and legs.

A lot of colts will not want to steer well or think of turning back the other way when they get going towards the walls and Cadence was no exception. She is pretty timid when she doesn’t know which way to go (and also wanted to spook at the trail poles a little). When she was unsure of which way to go she liked to stop and almost turn back or shy to the right or left. She needed some encouragement to get brave and just go forward. When a colt doesn’t really know how to steer and you have to encourage forward motion it can get pretty ugly. The ride on Tuesday looked a lot like a drunk teenager trying to go in a circle with their foot smashed on the gas. Yikes! A lot of pulling around and crazy figure eights, pulling and kicking like crazy when she was confused and releasing when she would relax and just let me guide her. It was a hard workout, harder than I really would have chose but she went from me wondering if she was going to start really resisting pressure to trotting some nice figure eights at the end. I finished with loping 2 laps each way in the normal circle in which she steered better than ever.

Then on Thursday had a great no problem ride from start to finish with no resistance and great steering. That's the video I sent you. She was hardly even fresh, I only longed her for like 10 min, and the ride was only about 15 min. Tomorrow more of the same and then likely the weekend off =)

How awesome is that? This is what I like - a clear explanation of not only what is being done, but why. I find the "why" part is the most important to me, as I tend to mentally question everything, not because I doubt, but because I want to know WHY, so I can come up with things on my own if I am ever in that position and run into the same problem. I am like that with dog training also, and I am sure it drives some people crazy. Just can't help it, that's the way I am wired.


This was a little tidbit in my day to make me happy again. It's hard to stay upbeat when you are isolated from everything you love, but these things definitely help.


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Friday, March 20, 2020

Pandemic Day #8 - somewhat normal

I went out to see Cadence today. She looked every bit as good live as she did in the videos I got yesterday. She is improving with he steering, and is a LOT more relaxed than the last time I saw her being ridden (and even then she was pretty relaxed). I washed and conditioned her tail when the ride was done, and it really felt good to spend time with my horse and do something normal.


When I got home, my friend and I took our puppies for a walk, and wandered over to the tennis courts at the high school (which is eerily quiet, with school being cancelled and everyone gone into semi-quarantine). We have had over 4" of rain in the past 24 hours, and everything is under water. the tennis courts were a perfect place to turn the pups loose and let them run and play. They even found a couple of old tennis balls and ran around with them. It was fun to see something normal - two puppies playing and having a blast. It's weird to think of this as my new normal - brief moments of one on one interaction with another human, and them more long periods of isolation. Without having any training classes, jazz rehearsals, or dog shows, the days are blending in to one another and I find it difficult to even remember what day of the week it is (thank goodness my phone tells me!).


I worry a lot about my mom. My sisters and I are staying away to make sure we don't bring the virus to her inadvertently. She would be especially vulnerable to the virus. I hate not being able to see her, and I miss my weekly trips up there to spend the day with her. I call her every day, but it just isn't quite the same. In my darker moods I wonder if I will ever get to spend time with her again. Will this end? I have to believe so, or else I would truly go mad.


Hey, is that a BALL you've got????
We both found a ball!!!!
I have a ball, chase me!
Pizza carried her prize home and wouldn't let go of it

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pandemic Day #9

My friend and I took our pups for a walk in Blacklick Woods Metro Park. It was cold and cloudy, but good to get the dogs out into the fresh air, and to get ourselves moving. It is a lot of fun to have a friend with a pup close to the same age as mine (Dazzle is 11 months, Pizza is 7 months), and they both get along wonderfully. It certainly is helping keep me sane through all of this.


Numbers infected with the virus seem to be almost doubling every day in this state. So far there have been no cases in my county, but nearby counties aren't so lucky. I spend a lot of time wondering whether I will get it or not? Will I be one of the ones who gets really sick and has to be hospitalized, or will I be one of the lucky ones that feels better after a week or so? It's a bit nerve-wracking if I allow myself to dwell on it much, so right now I am trying not to think too hard.



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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pandemic Day #10 - some much-needed field therapy

This morning I took Noodle and Pizza out for some field training. It was fantastic to do something normal. We worked Noodle with a Bracco Itaniano that is already a master hunter. By the end of the work, Noodle was doing a wonderful job of backing, and holding through the shot. BIG progress today! It is nice to see how she is all about business when she is hunting...she doesn't even notice the other dog (until they go on point).


Pizza got to work with an Iris Red & White Setter with a LOT of energy! We just worked on getting Pizza to establish and hold a point (which she was really getting!), and also encouraging her enthusiasm. She also got to experience her first blank gun shot as she and the other dog were off chasing a bird. She didn't even notice. So far she is more of a 4-feet-on-the-ground pointer, but her very last point she did lift a front leg. I know that doesn't really matter, but I just like seeing the leg up.

When I got home, my friend and I took our pups for a walk again, on the Alum Creek bike trail. We ended up walking almost 4 miles! Plenty of people were out, but everyone kept their distance, which is what they are supposed to do. When I got home, the governor had ordered a complete lockdown of the entire state. All "non-essential" businesses are to be closed, and no one was to go anywhere unless it was to buy food, medical visits, or necessities. Thankfully we are still allowed to walk our dogs outside, but all playgrounds have been closed. This also means that the training building is now closed, so I can't rent it to train by myself. Huge disappointment. I plan on doing a lot of walking outside, but with rain predicted almost every day next week, it could be tough. Every day a little bit more of my freedom and my life are taken away. It's almost surreal.



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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pandemic Day #12

The pandemic continues, the number of those infected continues to grow. Not much more I can say. My friend and I took Pizza and her bestie Dazzle for another walk today, logging in around 3 miles. It was very cold, and cloudy, which kind of matched my mood. By the end of the walk my mental state was much better.


I did some training today, worked on Pizza's verbals (right, left, sit, and down). I did some distance work with cone-circling. I feel like I am the one circling the cone, looking for things to train LOL!



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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pandemic Day #13, and a gorgeous day it was!

Today was gorgous! Almost 60 degrees and (*gasp*) the SUN was out! We took another walk with my friend and Dazzle, logging in another 4 miles. So far, Pizza and I have racked up 19 miles of walking during this pandemic. I guess if I were to search for a silver lining, that would be it. I swear if I didn't have these walks, I would truly go mad. More rain is coming in this week, so I will enjoy this while I can.


Yesterday they reported the first case of the virus in my town of Pickerington. Getting closer and closer. I suppose it is only a matter of time for me. I am staying pretty isolated, the only contact with the human race that I have is with Mark and my friend who I walk with. Oh well, what will be will be. As long as my mom stays safe, I think all will be OK.


On the plus side, Pizza is getting majorly socialized on our walks - experiencing tons of other dogs (some not so nice or well-trained), lots of people, children, scooters, strollers, you name it. I love how she takes it all in stride. She is such a blessing to me right now.


Speaking of blessings, Country was x-rayed on Monday and the vet feels her litter is 3-5 puppies. I am so excited, nervous, happy, and hoping and praying our world can get back to normal so I can do all the things I want to with not only this new Pretzel pup I hope to get, but also Pizza. I even have plans for Noodle! But first, the world has to return to normal and I need to be able to get to Texas. Sadly, I had to cancel my flight for next Wednesday. No traveling for me until this virus is under control. My heart, while not broken, has a few more cracks in it today.



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Friday, March 27, 2020

Pandemic Day #15 ~ Struggling to hang on

Yesterday was another beautiful day and Pizza and Dazzle got to enjoy a 4.5 mile walk. We are now up to 23.5 miles in our Covid-19 walkathon, or as I call it, our "Covidathon". Today we were not so lucky. Rain. Rain rain rain. The day was overcast and gloomy, very much like the inside of my head today. I think I have been holding it together rather well lately, but today was a struggle. The governor came on to his daily news conference at 2pm and said they are estimating the "big surge" of the virus won't even occur until around mid-May. SAY WHAT??? Oh no. I CANNOT live like this for another 2-3 months. I just can't.


My only solution is to not think about it. Living my life ostrich-style with my head in the sand...whatever it takes. Today I got a few stack pictures of Pizza in honor of the fact that today I was supposed to leave for the show in North Carolina where we built majors. I think she is looking beautiful for an almost 8 month old puppy. 8 months...wow. Missing out on our fun puppy show months, but at least everyone so far is healthy. I'll take those little blessings.


Another casualty of this virus and the statewide lockdown is not being able to spend time with my horse. I got some wonderful video from Darla today with her weekly synopsis of what she has been working on. This is also a blessing...I don't know if I could survive having Cadence away from me and not knowing what is going on or how things are progressing. Sending her to training early this winter was the smartest thing I could have done. Below is Darla's weekly summary, along with some video:

This week we got more days outside than inside which was nice. The outside pen means no walls so with that comes the challenge of steering, more of making her stay in a consistent circle and staying quiet to the surroundings. She was definitely nervous outside, our outdoor has a lot distractions including a horse turned out on two sides of it and a toddler playing in puddles and with whips on the other. She has become so chill on the longe line that she really doesn’t have to work that hard there so was a little fresh still when I got on her every ride this week. The first 10 laps each way have mostly just been getting some energy out and going forward. This week I started working on putting my leg on her some and not letting her run off of it. Which was not my original plan for the week but one I decided on pretty quickly during my Monday ride when all she wanted to do was scoot off my leg. It’s a pretty simple process, add leg when she runs off of it hold her face till she relaxes and then release. She is they type of horse that is very light in her face and belly. You could use the word responsive instead of light which is a good thing BUT she can also overreact to light cues as well so she needs to dull up a little and not be so light as glass when I use my legs.

To really get a hunter under saddle horse good you want to get them to the point that you can have light contact with their face and belly and be able to ride with them so to speak. If you can’t touch their face or belly you will never really get them to their full potential and have a willing show horse. They have to be accepting! So right now her job is to learn how to learn. Eventually I will have to put my leg on her harder to do things like lope off from a walk or when I start to ask her to push through the bridle. So right now its so important to start it and have her become accepting. It’s a lot like sacking one out but on their back.

She was not exactly thrilled with this at first but no bucking or kicking out, some mild ear pinning (normal) and lots of speeding up. Because its so easy for to do what she is doing she doesn’t really get that tired until you start to challenge her. So walk trot and loping around is easy breezy and she could do it all day so she has a little energy in reserve to fight me slightly on new things at first. She came around to it more quickly every ride but got distracted somewhat on all the spooky things happening around her. At one point the turned out horse ran back to the barn and I lost her attention for a good 15 min. Even had some whinnying one day. She has seen a lot of things this week haha.

Today was a great ride though, there was another horse out there with us today and Brian walked around my circle while I was riding to get her some traffic going both the same way and opposite way as her. I was very happy with her steering the whole week which is an A+ for a colt at this point in time. I did challenge her with some roll backs today which was my goal for the week. They are pretty good from right to left, she lopes off so easy to the left, still need about 4-5 strides to lope off to the right. I was so happy to see her videos outside I think it shows her talent better =)



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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Pandemic Day #16 - Groundhog Day

Things are beginning to look a lot like groundhog day around here. I woke up this morning and it was sunny...rain predicted to arrive by 1:00 pm. My friend and I decided to head out in the morning for another walk. We logged 6 miles, bringing my Covidathon total to 29.5 miles! Pizza is loving this. I am loving the time outdoors, and am really happy with how well my puppy is handling strange people, dogs, kids on bikes, babies in strollers, all coming and going on the walking path.


Just for fun, I put together a collage of stack photos of Pizza, ranging from her very first stack photo at 8 weeks of age all the way to yesterday, at almost 8 months of age. It's neat to see the progression and the growth.



Today I spent some time with Noodle doing some training. First was our "assignment" to work on weave entries with no motion. Second was just doing some Rally doodling to keep her focused and in sync with me. Videos below:




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Sunday, March 30, 2020

Pandemic Day #17 - Now the wind...

The rain finally stopped today, but we had 20-30 mph winds. My fiend training got cancelled because of the wind, it is amazing how that one small cancellation ruins my whole day. I did pretty much nothing, other than attempted to let the dogs out to run later in the afternoon. It was super muddy, but they had a good time. Today was not a good day mentally for me, but I trudged on through the hours doing some mundane things like cleaning out the pantry (4 trash bags full of old/expired food!) and cleaning up the mess Noodle made when she decided to destroy her crate bed this morning (why? I dunno, maybe she has cabin fever also?). This training diary is sure going to be exiting this spring...sarcastic haha.



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Monday, March 30, 2020

Pandemic Day #18 ~ New goals

It was another cold, windy day, with no sunshine. By mid-afternoon I was totally stir-crazy, so Pizza and I headed to Blacklick Woods for a walk. It was kind of fun watching her go on point when she scented something. Little girl is starting to learn! We logged in 2/75 miles, bringing our total to 34 miles. I am suddenly motivated. I think I have a new goal to focus on during these terrible times. I want to log 100 miles by the time our "Stay at Home Mandate" is lifted. Hey, it's a goal, right? I desperately need goals - they feed my soul and give me purpose. So now I plan out my walks...doing one every day that the weather permits.


In today's press conference, they reported that here in Ohio they feel the peak or surge of COVID-19 cases will occur in mid-April - in a few weeks. That is vastly different from hearing them think it would happen in mid-May, which is a month and a half away. I am hopeful that maybe, just maybe life can start up again this spring. I hope and I pray...pray every night to keep my mom and Mark safe, and to get life back to normal as soon as possible.



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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pandemic Day #19 ~ Feeling more positive

After a couple days of near-inactivity, today was actually kind of busy! This morning Noodle and Pizza got to go to field training. It was fantastic. Noodle made a few mistakes (breaking on her honor, breaking on the shot) that we were able to use as a teaching moment and train through it. Noodle picks up on things super fast, so she was holding beautifully for her honors and shots after that.


Pizza ran with another puppy, and she had to learn that field time means you do NOT leap on the other puppy and try to play. Pizza's idea of play will squash most dogs. She sett;ed down to business, and had a really nice find and point. My little bits of work on "whoa-ing" when she goes on point during our walks is starting to pay off.


The number of cases of Coronavirus in Ohio are growing (2199 as of today), but their projections if we all follow the "social distancing" mandate look better than expected. Maybe light at the end of the tunnel in May???



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