Steeler and I had a totally rocking agility class tonight! I had an epiphany earlier today or maybe last night ... Last week I was so focused on this vision of Steeler heeling out to the start line gazing at me adoringly the entire time. OK so that is a bit of an exaggeration - but you get the idea. And what I realized was that I wasn't doing anything to help him get to the start line while still paying attention to me. I wasn't making it fun for him - because really - heeling in a horse barn? While dogs are doing agility. Seriously - I think that was asking an awful lot from my little spotty boy! Someone hit me with that rolled up newspaper! :-)
So what did I do different tonight you ask?
Well I got Steeler out of his crate while Trixie was running (steeler and trixie have run pairs together in a seminar setting so I have no worries about the dogs meeting) and we did some warm up attention stuff and playing with a toy in the aisle with the horses - it's about an 8 foot wide cooridor and three (or four?) large horse stalls long. Then when it was our turn I RAN to the start line with Steeler. He is a dal after all and they were born to run! We are having a little bit of trouble with sitting at the start line. Steeler does not like to sit in the cold barn dirt.
We ran two crazy courses tonight! Both were lots of jumping and lots of fun. It was a good thing for me to work on with Steeler since we have in the past had trouble with lots of jumping. Steeler did the first course AWESOME!!! There was a series of 9 jumps to a tunnel - and since Steeler has had trouble with that kind of intense focus in the past I decided to reward right before the tunnel with a big jackpot. I of course interupted his perfect run - but I think it was worth it! And we got to do it again - so that was good.
The second course was a bit more difficult for us - lots of wrapping jumps and reversing direction. But Steeler did pretty well. This course included the teeter and that looked really nice tonight. Last week he wasn't driving up it - so I was happy this week he picked up where we left off last week. I wish I had video - but maybe that is why he did so well tonight! I forgot the battery for the video camera. :-)