It's hard to believe that the 2008 Nationals has been and gone. It was another amazing experience and I'm glad I got the chance to watch some of the other competitors over the course of the weekend. It was very inspirational that's for sure and the competition gets harder every year. The standard in Novice was incredible.
So now that they are behind us I feel like it's really time for me to push forward with Sonic's training. I still want to focus on front crosses with him over this month as I don't feel like we've anywhere near got those under control on a double box grid. His figure eights are fantastic and he is reading my body very well. If I stand stationary he chips in and does these beautiful tight turns but if I move further out and then take off he takes off right after me. So I'm very happy with his acceleration and deceleration at this point. The double box isn't going too badly however he is still running past a lot of jumps so I want to just build on his confidence some more and when we can do the basic front cross exercise then I will consider moving onto something a bit trickier.
I've also been setting up speed circles for him which have about four jumps, a flexi tunnel, tyre and broad jump in them. I don't want to get him thinking that it's all about slowing down and changing direction all the time. A speed circle allows him to just stretch out and have some fun. It's going fairly well, but once again his confidence is still getting there and he runs around the tyre on occasion.
We haven't progressed at all with the A-Frame as it's is extremely difficult to have a lowered one available at training. I'm using my mini one at home but it's not really the same, although better than nothing. I was working on back chainng the Dog Walk but I was finding that he wasn't happy jumping up any higher on the down ramp. In the end I was getting him to trot across the whole thing so he becomes comfortable being on it. I was able to get him trotting along the top and then accelerated down into his 2o2o position. I have no concerns that the trot won't turn into flat out once he feels in control of himself and happy on that piece of equipment.
Now I think that I seriously need to start thinking about organising Weave-a-matics to start teaching him to weave. I'm hoping that he will pick it up fairly quickly however it may take a while so I don't want to put it off too much longer. I'm happy with how I've decided to teach them this time around, now I just need to put it into practice. There is just so much to teach! When they are up and running you forget how long it takes and how much work is required to put into them to get them into the ring! In saying that I'm loving it. Sonic is loving his agility and I'm having an absolute ball training him.