Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This is My Brain on Diagrams

Riff and I had a lovely private lesson with LP today.  Gorgeous day.  We wanted to work on angled weave entries, and then learn a couple of distance exercises.  Great lesson. 

Finally perfected the art of picking up a dog toy by using a golfer's stance.  So awkward at first!  Golfers lean on their golf clubs to do this.  Should I put my hand on top of Riff's head for leverage?  Teach him to only drop his toy next to a jump stanchion?  ;-)  I ended out bending my knee a bit further and touching my out-stretched toe to the ground, for balance.   Is that good enough to save the old back?  Maybe I need to carry around a big black frame, like this guy does. 

Still working on how best to throw a toy.  My PT suggested a plastic-ball-thrower-thingy, but I don't use balls while training, since we want that toy to land in a specific spot.  He also suggested I throw over-hand.  Really bad at that, so far.   

You would not believe how well Keeper has trained me to lead with my shoulders.  Turning my shoulders causes a twist that my back cannot handle, so now I've got to lead with my FEET.  Wow, is it ever hard to switch!  For one thing, my feet often act like they belong to someone else.

So today I practiced a new-to-me handling maneuver, learned while working my dog's path from a distance.  Crab-walking!  You keep your shoulders in line with your hips while you move your feet sideways, sort of like this:
And I practiced doing a front cross, leading with my FEET.  (For some reason, I've always just floated through front crosses without thinking much about my feet.  What exactly is it that they do??)  

The Hokey Pokey came into my head.  And stayed there.  "You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out...."  But I persisted.  If the dogs can do goofy tricks even when they're distracted, then so can I!   


Beginning to realize that I'll have to figure out which way I'm going to face, and how I'm going to get from one position to the next, on each course we attempt to run.  Maybe I'll dig up a few courses and start mapping them out, for homework.  I took a peek at my trusty Mecklenberg text, for some help.  

I don't think anyone who publishes agility-course diagrams draws feet on their handlers.  Which makes me imagine the average handler's feet getting dragged along behind her shoulders, scrambling to keep up.  Ah, well.  I'll have to diagram a short sequence featuring a handler-with-big-feet, some day.  First I need to figure out the exact right-foot, left-foot sequence of The Front Cross Waltz.  (To be fair, Laura M-Derrett showed it to us during a workshop, and other folks have showed it to me, and we've all practiced it quite a few times....but....somehow I've forgotten...and I can't find my notes....and...what's wrong with me?!)


Elf said...

At Power Paws Camp several years ago, I was put through the footwork for a front cross repeatedly by Dan Dege, who had concluded that I was completely inept at it. I probably was. Probably still am. Wonder if I can find those notes? Hmmm, It might also be on video somewhere. Hmmm. Will have to remember to look when I have time. Argh.

Celeste said...


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