Saturday, March 4, 2017
RallyFrEe practice (37)
My plan was to come up with a sequence to music for the current MDSA online workshop on Transitions. It's really been a good workshop. I learn from all of them, but this one was stellar.
Session 1 video - I took my shoes off because I've recently learned how much they influence what I can do in freestyle. Gimme used to have really great stays - now, not so much - clearly need some work. I just had a thought and am wondering if it hasn't become weaker due to all the times I gave her the "wait" cue, but then moved in a way she interpreted as a behavior cue, thus she's confused about it. She seemed distracted this day, but I was able to get her attention after we worked a little bit. I'm wondering if it was because of the dog invading her space the night before. I've been giving her less reward for jumping up on me to ask for reassurance, so she doesn't do it as often. This time I think she did it because I had taken her by the collar to move her back to our start, so she knew she'd misbehaved. Bold as she is, she is really quite sensitive too. She did pretty well on the sequence first time through. As is her current trend, she'll try to turn almost anything into "Otto". I had to do the center-front-pivot with my hands down as a guide to remind her how it goes. Then we broke off for a bit of healing. She's just sure we should be using any prop we get close to, so they serve as good distractions. Once we do go to the prop, she is sure we should be doing "bacon" or "table", so it takes a bit of maneuvering to get her to "pivot". I think my biggest project this year has to be cue discrimination, since it's an issue that comes up time and time and time again. We practiced bits and pieces of the routine some more. I kept expecting the alarm to go off at any moment and it should have by then. I put some effort into tightening up her "around"; and later this would lead to her checking my right hand for a treat repeatedly, but she got past it when it didn't pay anymore. I see I've gotten sloppy about working with treats in my hands too often - need to work on this. She's better at the inside-"spin" than the inside-"turn", yet another thing needing more work. When I finally check my phone to see when the alarm is coming, for some reason it stopped a few seconds in, so I must have hit the button twice. This session ran 14 minutes, which is terrible. Actually Gimme handled it quite well. Partly because I kept her moving and didn't get stuck in hard stuff and partly because she's getting out of Mommy-brain.
Session 2 video - Since the first session was far too long, I wanted to make this one short. We did a run-through to music. Gimme was startled by the guy shaking out a plastic trash bag. To her credit she instantly went back to work. Then the same guy wanted to traipse through the part of the room where we were working, another distraction. He is one of the autistic kids that come to do light cleaning here (the same one that made weird noises at Gimme several weeks ago). He did go a different way when J'Anna told him we were taping.
After our run-through, we did a "bacon" into a chair. This is the first high "bacon" since Gimme's discombobulation started. I wouldn't have required her to finish with her front feet if she didn't want to. I thought she acted like she thought it was going to hurt, but did it with just a little encouragement. We had the follow-up with the chiropractor later and he said everything was holding good. Our next appointment is in four weeks. We usually space them 6 weeks apart, but thought we'd make this a little closer, in case she needs fine tuning.
Session 3 video - We started with a bit of heeling and then did 4 run-throughs. There were things I liked about each and things I didn't like. I ended up using the first for the workshop submission. Overall it was the smoothest, with the least little errors. My version of the walking weave looked the best in the second try, Gimme did a great job on the circle and thru transitions, but then I messed up the figure-8-grapevine. She did a nice job on the center-front-pivot even though my transition into it wasn't effective. The best thing about the third try was how well Gimme did the fancy first corner transition. She added a spin to the third corner thru transition, but it really looked okay. By this time she's getting a bit more insistent about treats and its creating errors. (she's finally out of Mommy-brain, so I'm eager to get back to not having a continual stream of treats) Gimme seemed to enjoy all this dancing. I think it's the movement and predictability. Here is our submission for the Transition workshop wk4 video.
Julie made a suggestion for how to improve the setup for the first corner. Her idea was to have me do a spin before starting the backing-up pivot, since this would have Gimme's rear swinging in the direction it would need to move for the pivot. I also thought our invented move, the Spinotto, would do the same thing. Spinotto is a "thru", ½ inside "spin", then ½ "Otto". I decided to do another training session and video to work on these. I didn't get the timing right for the spin lay-up, which I asked Julie about and she agreed I needed to complete the spin before beginning the turn. The Spinotto worked well enough, but could have been better. The weather was nice so there were a ton of people walking their dogs and Gimme was having a little difficulty concentrating. Training session video - I also played with the walking weave, which just didn't look as good on video as it seemed in my head. This was a little better, but still not what I wanted. Julie suggested I was taking much bigger steps than I needed.
I did another training session in the house (no video) and when I let Gimme finish the spin before starting the turn, she was so much faster on the pivot. Fast enough so I had to quit after a couple of repetitions, because she was making me dizzy! Even the Spinotto was faster. Then I tried training the walking weave without taking such big steps. I had to lure Gimme through a couple of times for her to believe I really meant for her to do it. Even though the smaller steps were a big improvement, Gimme really had backing up on her mind, so I knew I was going to need another session where she wasn't primed for backing up. When I did do a second session, she was practically slithering through the opening. I'm sure I need a couple more sessions to build up the "thru" bank account.