Thursday, October 5, 2006

Thursday October 5th 2006 - practice

(Backfilled in October 2009 due to impending closure of Geocities)

More BIG NEWS: At today's practice, Walter weaved 6-pole fixed weaves not just once, but multiple times! Here's how it happened: I set the wams up between the tire and a jump, starting with the poles at an angle then quickly moving on to straight up. After quite a bit of this, mixed in with time spent on other obstacles and sequences, I replaced the wams with a 6-pole fixed set. The transition wasn't totally smooth, so I put the wams on the other side of the tire so that the entire sequence was wams, tire, fixed weaves, jump. I started him on the wams end at first, which really helped "warm him up" for the fixed weaves. Then I alternated which end of the sequence we started on. I won't say he got every try of the fixed weaves perfectly, but he really is getting the idea, getting used to the fact that the fixed poles don't bend very much. I tried him on the other 6-pole fixed set between the table and a jump and he was able to do those ones properly too. Of today's unsuccessful tries on the fixed weaves, his most common problem was entering at the second pole instead of the first. But he did about 7 or 8 successful passes on the fixed weaves, yay! Once he's more confident on the fixed poles and has a higher success rate (I'd estimate he was at 50/50 with the fixed poles today) I'll start thinking about adding more poles to the mix. Hopefully this will happen before the field closes for the season! Regardless, it's so exciting to see such progress, and I must say it's nice with the fixed poles not to have to go and make the poles straight again after every single pass. I hope the next fun match (the last one of the season) will be the last agility event in which we have to run past the weaves instead of weaving them! Note: The temperature was a cool 11 degrees today, which I'm sure helped Walter maintain his focus and concentration.

If I could offer just one piece of advice to someone just starting to learn the weaves, it's to get a set of training weaves (wams, 2x2, whatever) at home so you can practice every day. I have no doubt that this was key for Walter and I, looking at the progress he's made since we got our wams at the end of August.

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