Today Cisco and Riot had a private lesson with Claudia. My plan was to try a full course with Riot (since he’s only seen a JWW course and not a standard course) and then have Claudia tell us what we needed to work on.
I ran Riot first and he rocked the course. He did better than I expected and left me feeling a lot more confident with him. Our first course was 20 obstacles long and started with a tunnel. It was tunnel, jump, dogwalk (which he nailed even with a tunnel underneath). From there was a 90° left turn to 12 poles (which he nailed) to the tire and a front cross to the a-frame (which is nailed). After the a-frame, there was a difficult line of a double, a jump, and the far end of a tunnel to another jump to another tunnel. He took the right end of the tunnel, but I had a hard time finding the right position to get him to take the jump exiting the tunnel. After the second tunnel, I managed to layer the jump, but the rear cross on the flat didn’t work so well.
Overall he did really well. We went back and worked through the sequences that involved rear crosses — I really need to work on my timing of them so that he better understands what I’m asking of him. That course was a lot harder than anything we’re going to see in novice and he did really well.
After running Cisco, I ran another course with Riot. The start of this course was harder with the exiting end of the tunnel closer to jump number two than the end they needed to enter. I started with a two jump lead out, but Riot’s eyes were fixed on the wrong end of the tunnel before he took off for jump number 1. We worked through the leadout and rewarded Riot for the correct position and finally got the leadout. Again, contacts were no problem and his weaves were beautiful — they’re fast enough now I need to jog to keep up with him.
I actually was able to layer the dogwalk to the 180° turn to the double with him. There is no way I would have tried that at a trial with him, but seeing that we could get through it here says that in another 6 months I’ll probably feel comfortable doing that in a trial. (And admittedly this makes me a little giddy for trying out gamblers with him.) The last part we had trouble with on this course was the weave poles to tunnel in a dog walk/tunnel discrimination. The dogwalk/tunnel was about 10 feet beyond the weave poles and at a right angle. He wanted to cut behind me and take the dog walk. But we worked through it.
We ended the lesson with a review of the broad jump which Riot hadn’t seen since his Foundation classes (and apparently completely forgot how to do).
Then tonight he had handling II. The first sequence was really nice. We did it twice once with a front cross and once without. The second sequence was jump, u-tunnel, jump, … I was not expecting him to swing wide out of the tunnel, but he did and started to make a bee-line for the other half of the class that was migrating over to his side. I yelled, “Ri come!” and he stopped looked them and then laid down facing them? I’m very pleased he didn’t go and visit and create a ruckus, but puzzled as to why he laid down instead of coming. That got a chuckle from the class. The next attempt I started calling his name and we had no issues.
For the second side we had a very nice first run. I had a nearly 3 jump lead out and a nice send to a tunnel and then managed to run way ahead of him on the line and he took all the jumps. Our second sequence was jump 180° jump to tunnel. I set him up and stood between the jumps and released him. He stood up, stopped, and stared. There was someone carrying their little dog across the other side of the course and he didn’t like that very much. I set him up again and he didn’t read the turn taking the jump 10-15 feet ahead of the first jump instead of wrapping. Set him up one more time and he did the sequence perfectly.
Overall, it was a pretty good day.