What Java Learned In Agility Foundations

Silvia’s Agility Foundations class was a lot of fun and as expected we have learned a lot. Java learned to love agility and I learned a lot about Java along the way. I hope my review two days ago didn’t come across as negative because I love Agility Foundations and would take it again in a heartbeat. It just seemed some people had wrong expectations about it.

As I knew this was going to be a fast paced class I planned to start basic training a couple of months earlier. I knew Java needed time to get really comfortable with curved tunnels and I didn’t want to push that. Oh she loved straight tunnels, she just wasn’t sure about curved ones. Also restrains were not her favorite thing and wraps take a while to build properly so we had our work cut out for us.

Alas, it was not meant to be. This winter was unusually long with icy snow persisting right up to the beginning of the class. We were able to do some wraps and restrains at home, but had no way to practice tunnels. I didn’t want to risk her falling in a slippery tunnel so we had to wait for better conditions.

Looking at her videos from class no one would suspect that Java ever disliked curved tunnels. That is because we patiently and systematically built up her confidence and drive, never asking for more than she was happy to do.

While her wraps started out as nice and tight, things went south when we added more distance. Java decided it would be faster to make a big circle around the jump wing than if she has to slow down to make a small circle. With her speed this might be true without bars, but once the bars will be on full height it will be much faster to make a small circle!

With time Java came to understand that tightness is not negotiable and then worked really hard to turn tightly even when coming in with lots of speed! In the process of emphasizing tightness we lost some of the speed into turns that she had in the beginning, but we are now getting it back by mixing wraps with lots of extension.

What we worked on:

  • Speed and drive, lots of it!
  • Loving tunnels and driving to them from a distance
  • Wraps in sequences at 15cm, multiwraps at 22cm
  • Extension to collection exercises
  • Short sequences with wraps
  • Independent serpentines
  • Teeter bang (just on the end of teeter)
  • 2 on 2 off position on a box
  • Weaves open to 20cm: entrances up to 90 degrees. Weaving with mild distractions such as me running away.
  • Running contacts: running over a lowered dog walk to a plank propped 30-45cm high. We’re transitioning from a 50cm wide plank to dog walk width.

Lately our serpentine work has opened a whole new world to Java: she started searching for jumps! It was a very special moment, sending her into the serpentine from a difficult angle and see her seek out all three jumps even though I was way too slow to help her. What a smart girl 🙂

Some serpentines which I’m sure are only fascinating to me:

Plans for the near future:

  • Closing jumps in serpentines until they form a straight line
  • Weaves: close them futher, harder entrances, more distractions
  • Increasing height for running contacts
  • Extension to collection exercises
  • Raising jump height to 22cm, starting multiwraps at next height

I think we have more than enough work for now, the rest can wait 😉

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “What Java Learned In Agility Foundations

  1. She’s pretty slow hey? You should really work on speed hehehehe. LOve her to pieces as usual. Beautiful work from both of you

    • Haha Penny you know how to brighten a day 🙂
      She sure loves straight lines! Not so fond of the twisty turny… but we’re getting there!

  2. Your last post actually inspired me to want to signup the Toller for her class! Going back to foundations, ST style, might be just the thing to start merging the Toller I get when we practice alone, to the slow dog I get in trials. I downloaded her DVD promptly 🙂

  3. Pingback: Silvia Trkman’s Agility Foundations Class Review | Ruby The Whippet

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