Training TANGO and CORKY ~ Training PRETZEL

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I had a good, pleasant ride on Tango tonight. I have been doing more leg yielding and he is getting better at it. I think this will help lighten his front end, which he needs. I was just crowing to myself as I rode because his canter transitions have been so good, and then he sulls up and throws a bone at me on our last canter. Go figure...he is anything but predictable!

I got Tango's "win" picture from the paint futurity in the mail today! He looks pretty good, but I have such a scowl on my face! I think I was frustrated because Tango would NOT stand still for the photo! Oh's still nice for his first win, even if the win was kind of a fake one.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. - Carl Bard

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Agility class with Pretzel was a total FAIL tonight! I went to a new class since I was unable to go yesterday to to work. Pretzel was wound up being around all new dogs, and for some reason was extremely distracted. He had no intentions of listening to me tonight or giving me any of his focus. Because of this, our sequences were awful - he skipped jumps, took wrong jumps, and basically ignored me for the majority of the runs. I left feeling very frustrated and a little down. It seems like tonight was a huge step backwards in our training. I was mad at myself for getting so frustrated. The more frustrated I got, the less pretzel wanted to focus on me. I definitely saw a connection between the two.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's dog show time! Pretzel and I left Lima last night around midnight. I had a hellish week (Homecoming week...the most stressful week of the football season) and I was exhausted. It sure didn't help to discover a major oil leak in my truck's motor when I stopped for gas. I did get to the show in Urbana without any further mishap, but once I got there (around 2am) Pretzel was crazed and energized and decided it was the perfect time to play with his Weim friends in the motor home...all night long! I got no sleep, it was a rough morning.

As I drove to the show last night, I seriously wondered whether I should keep doing this dog show thing. It doesn't seem like Pretzel is going to be very successful. So far we have been having fun, so I guess we will keep at it as long as it stays fun.

Of course, weimaraners showed at 8:30am. We were first in the ring (lucky number 7) in best of breed. Pretzel showed really well - he had a lively, springy gait and stacked great. Imagine my complete and total shock when the judge pointed to us as Best of Breed!!! Amazing! To think I was wondering if we should even continue showing...this was a huge milestone for us.

Winning Best of Breed means I had to go back later in the afternoon to show in the Sporting Group against the best of breed winners from all the other sporting breeds. I went in the ring second. By this time, Pretzel was exhausted. He gaited decently, but without much spring to his gait and he was really dull in his stack. He wasn't the least bit interested in his bait. We didn't end up placing (which I had figured), but it was an awesome experience to go show with the best of the sporting breeds. Fun!!!

Video from our Sporting Group class:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pretzel is definitely a morning dog, I think. He shows so much better in the early a.m. He showed pretty good for me today. We didn't win best of breed today, but we did win Select (which is kind of like second behind BOB). That means more grand champion points, which is cool. I am not sure how that whole grand champion thing works, but it's irrelevant. I will just keep showing for fun and let the chips fall where they may!

So although the weekend was a bit more stressful than I had hoped - with my truck issues and the dogs keeping me up all night, I still consider it a VERY successful weekend!

Monday, October 14, 2013

I went to Congress to watch the open hunter longe line today. This was a tough class this year - lots of gorgeous, big yearling hunters (that all looked like fully-matured horses!). I think what it takes nowadays is a yearling that doesn't look anything like a yearling. That was Tango's biggest disadvantage when we showed his yearling year - he looked very much like a gawky, growing yearling instead of a mature horse. While I think the horses were gorgeous, I hate that this class has evolved into a maturity race. The winner of the class was the clear-cut winner in my opinion, haven't seen one that nice in a long long time. I will tell you, watching this class killed me - I so desperately want to breed Corky and raise another baby! Where is that darn money tree? I worry that by the time I get myself financially secure enough to breed her, Corky will be too old to breed. She is already 10 years old. I have been mulling this around in my head as to what to do. Still not sure...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pretzel and I had a pretty decent agility class tonight (waaaaay better than last week!). I was excited that he NAILED the 12 weave poles every time we did them. The hardest thing I am working on right now is the entrance to the weave poles. Pretzel gets up a lot of speed and tends to run right past the entrance and I have to call him back, and that puts him at a bad angle to start the weaves. I think this is something we need to work on at home - doing short, simple sequences with different approaches to the weaves.

I feel a lot better about our agility future - Pretzel was pretty wound up and excited but he at least attempted to listen to me, unlike last week. Next Saturday we are going to another CPE agility clinic, and then a dog show on Sunday. Lots to do, lots to learn. I am excited!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tonight after riding Tango, I got to ride a real dressage horse - my friend's 3rd-level Hanoverian gelding that she competed on for many years. It was really cool! Quite a different feel in some ways (having to hold their front end up, constant bit pressure, constant leg pressure) and in some ways quite the same (moves off leg pressure, push and regulate tempo with your seat). I was glad for the opportunity. Every ride is a learning ride for me!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I did some ground pole work with Tango today. I probably should do more of this when I ride. He is pretty good - fairly careful when trotting over them. I cantered over a couple just to see if I could regulate his canter stride to take the pole like a jump, and he did really well. I am hoping our future involves some fences, but we shall see.

After our ride, I decided tp experiment and pony Corky off of Tango. It was a bit tricky to get started, but once we got moving it went really well! It is funny - when I free-longe the two together, Corky is ALWAYS on the outside (near the rail) and slightly behind Tango. Ponying to the left with Corky on my right worked out well, but when I changed direction while keeping Corky on my right, she got VERY angry - did NOT want to be on the inside and started biting at Tango. Weird! She is sure persnickety lately.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I spent the day working on our property (sawing and hauling logs out of the woods). Pretzel had a grand old time. We took a break and went for a walk in the woods to the property behind ours, and I snapped a few pictures. What a gorgeous autumn day.

Pretzel "killing" his ball:
Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today Pretzel and I went to another CPE Agility workshop in Columbus. I was very surprised at how quickly Pretzel got tired. After the 3rd run, he was only trotting the obstacles and not doing them at a dead run...made it a lot easier for me to keep up with him! The workshop was a blast! This place is having a CPE trial in December. I took the paperwork home to enter him...I think it's time to try out our skills and see how we do under pressure. CPE allows you to jump at a lower jump height, so I will enter Pretzel in the 20" class instead of the 24" class. He isn't ready to jump 24" yet.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We did once day at the dog show in Delaware, Ohio today. Showing is still so much fun! Pretzel did really well, we ended up getting Select Dog. It was especially good since my friend won Best of Breed with her dog...nice to have the two of us having success on the same day!

Monday, October 28, 2013

I have nothing much new to report with the horses (and at times, this can be a VERY good thing!). I am giving Tango a bit of a break - just riding him around once a week to keep him in the loop, but letting him have turnout/playtime/free-longeing on the other days. I want to keep his attitude fresh and happy for work, and there is no need to pound right now with winter coming soon. When I do ride, I have been ponying Corky off of him, and it has been working out well. I have to keep an eye on Corky because she likes to take a chunk out of Tango if she gets the chance. She knows he is under my control, and I think she just wants revenge for the years of torture he has put her through when turned out together..

Monday, October 28, 2013

Well, we sent in our very first CPE Agility Trial entries for December 7-8, 2013. Hopefully the first of many many more to come. I am excited...time to start training hard!!!

On to November!!!

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