Monday, 31 January 2011

Sheltie check up

Today the shelties had a visit from Caroline who is a Galen myotherapist. She came to check them over for any tight/sore spots, then give them a massage and laser treatment. Finally she gave me some exercises to work on to improve their ability to stretch, balance and work on their spatial awareness.

Brax went first and Caroline found some tight patches on her back which were quickly worked out. The other place she was particularly tight were her hamstrings. Brax is a funny little dog as she does spend most of the winter hunched up and wishing she could hibernate!

When Caroline worked on Brodie it came as a bit of a shock when she said he was really tight through his neck, abdominals, stiff all along his back and he was tender round his hindquarters. He wasn't keen on her massaging him there but he did eventually relax. Poor boy :( It was also really apparent during the stretching exercises that he struggled to extend his neck forward. Imagine how that impacts on him when he jumps as he loses ability to balance himself. Lots of homework to do!!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Weave practice for Brax

Yesterday we took the shelties to the arena and worked Brax through some of her weave exercises that she has been set for her WAO 'homework'. She was a good little girly and worked well but the exercises did highlight some weaker points that we need to work on. Unlike the majority of dogs nowadays, Brax was trained to weave using the old lure with food method! (Mainly because at the time we didn't know any different and didn't have access to channels or V weaves.) She has built up independence in the weaves but still struggles to find the entry if Matthew doesn't help her. More homework needed!!

I had a operation to remove a cyst from my eye this week and I had most of the week off to recover. I am NOT good at taking it easy!! Apart from walking the dogs and reading out of my good eye I also worked on more proprioception exercises with the dogs. It so much fun to give them a prop and click them for different behaviours!! Brodie struggled with the wobble cushion at first but can now beg on it! Gorgeous boy! :)

Monday, 17 January 2011

Gridwork and Wobble Cushion

Brax and I went to a gridwork training day yesterday with Gemma Hanekom. It was so interesting watching not only Brax but all the other dogs working on the different exercises. Brax was a good girl and had fun doing the exercises. She was very confident on the bendy grid (jumping tight and wrapping wings has never been too hard for her) but she did struggle a bit to work out her striding on a straight line grid. Once she had a stride regulator she found it easier so this is something we can work on. I found it fascinating watching the different dogs working through the grid and Gemma was great at building their confidence. Its funny watching dogs doing grids after so many years of doing them on horses!!

The other thing we have been playing with this week is getting the dogs to practice balancing on a wobble cushion and do tricks on it like sit, beg, spin, twist and paw. Brax is hilarious - sometimes she looks quite sea sick!!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Brax is on the England Team!!

Words cannot describe how proud I am of Matthew and wee Bracken for winning the Pentathalon Competition at the WAO tryouts this weekend!! This means they win an automatic place on the England Team. The World Agility Open Championships have biathalon, pentathalon and games events so it will be real edge of seat stuff!! Unfortunately I wasn't there to support Matthew over the weekend as I had to work but they managed six clear rounds on tricky courses. Actually she did get time faults on one course for tumbling in the cloth tunnel so the first stop before embarking on any training programme is for her to see the physio and check she is in good shape!

I still can't believe that our little crazy ball of fluff is going to represent England, we can't stop grinning :)
Well done to everyone else, especially Marilyn and Tia and Bernadette with Zaz who also qualified - great to have lots of shelties competing and showing everyone what these amazing dogs can do!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Training days

Rommy is now 5 months old and came into work with Jenni for the last three days, as you can see he found it very tiring! He had great fun and enjoyed being with my two in the staff room - it was nice having a sheltie of each colour!

The weather has been dreadful this week and its hard to get motivated to get outside at this time of year! To get my butt in gear, I have booked some training days with some fantastic trainers - I want to learn some new exercises and know how to work on my dogs weak points. The first one is gridwork for Bracken - I can't wait!

On that note, we have some training days coming up at the kennels that are being held on our arena. If anyone is interested either facebook me or phone Little Revel End Kennels . The first training day is Lee Windeatt on 27th Feb. The arena has a crufts all weather grass surface and can be hired as well. Its booking up for Crufts already. Its going to be hard to concentrate on my work while fab people like Dawn Weaver are working their dogs in the arena!! :)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 already!

Happy New Year to all! We have got through the Christmas rush and enjoyed seeing friends and family but I may scream if I see snow in the next month or two!! Working outside is great in summer but you make up for it by having a hard time in winter. At least it inspires you to do everything faster to keep warm! I do get chilly when I'm training outside so have resorted to as many layers as I can get on and running around like a nutter :)

Obviously I couldn't do much training when the snow was on the ground so I'm trying to catch up now by doing the odd five mins here and there with our two. The dogs are loving being able to work again and they are running so well after their time off, unfortunately the same couldn't be said for me! I'm a bit unfit after Christmas so New Years resolution is to keep a bit fitter so I don't let my canine partners down!

I must say a well done to Ellie who is Brodie's wee half sister who recently got a 3rd place at a show and looked so proud of her rosette, awwww!!