Thursday, November 5, 2009

My bad

Wow, what a bad blogger I have become!

Guess I'd better get working on a new post! Look for something soon :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just Another Rainy Day...

Again with the rain...

It's been a while since I posted, spring got very busy all of a sudden. I feel like I went to bed in March and woke up in July!

We are finally settling into life on the new farm. With just a few boxes left to unpack, new chicks and kids in the barn, and the flower/vegetable beds planted summer is well underway.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Soapbox...

Wow is it just me or does everyone else wonder what the H - E - double pixie sticks the car manufacturers are thinking. I was listening to a new report on Hybrid vehicles and they were complaining about how car companies offered these great Hybrid vehicles in SUV forms that just didn't sell. PULLLLLEEEEEZZZEEE! Did this reporter work for the poor sad car companies who got themselves into this mess by not thinking ahead aggressively enough? SUV and other larger Hybrid's are pricey and do not have the great gas mileage than the smaller more compact Hybrid's have, they aren't really so great and my guess is that they are priced outside the affordability of much of middle America.

Hello car manufacturers - get a clue and soon!

Make an affordable electric or Hybrid vehicle that allows consumers to carry more than 2 passengers and their stuff (or in my case carry 4 dogs and 1 passenger and our stuff) and I bet many would gladly purchase your vehicle. I'd even find a way to endure a higher car payment if my mileage was better, I felt I was helping the environment, and I could carry everyone and everything I needed! Don't get me wrong, I don't need a minivan all the time (although I do enjoy the space when I need it), but what about those CRV style electric cars they came out with for a brief time and then swiftly removed? (Don't even get me started on that whole subject!) One of those would be perfect! Yet they still offer only smallish sedans & hatchbacks or overpriced SUVs that don't measure up?

Stepping off my soapbox now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In defense of February...

The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February. - - - Joseph Wood Krutch

As we plod through yet another winter of heavy snow it seems we have reached the point (as I do every winter) where I try and convince myself that spring really will come. This year we didn't even get a January thaw, making winter seem that much more endless. So, I've directed my thoughts and plan toward spring agility training OUTDOORS and thinking of things like gardens and new agility fields.

This year I have 2 young dogs "coming out" (3 if you count my boyfriend's dog), one middle of the road dog and sadly one dog retiring. So, indoor agility training continues to focus on contact performance and weave poles, as well as distance skills. So winter heading into spring will be busy! On top of that we're moving which requires prepping the new living space for occupancy and cleaning up and prepping the old space for showing, then there's two trials to plan (running my own CPE trial & trial secretary for a June USDAA trial for a local club), expanding the family farm, and then of course figure out where in the heck I'm going to teach outdoor agility classes and train my own dogs this summer! I'm not sure how I have time to actually hold down a real job in there but somehow it all works, always does.

To keep me honest about what my plans are with my 2 younger girls (a sheltie and a mini aussie for those keeping track) I'm posting my plans and progress. Both girls already have some foundation work (we can always use more of this) and good jumping skills, as well as a good familiarity with all obstacles and some distance. Since this is the first post, I'll just address overall goals and at the end of the week I'll update with status, progress, etc.

Weave Poles: Mia weaves (but not independently) and Izzy does not at all - both will start from scratch with 2x2 method of weaves (Susan Garrett).

Contacts: Criteria for both girls will be the same. Running a-frame, 2:2 on dog walk, running/down & go on teeter.

Handling System: I'm not sure about this yet. I know I need more consistency (despite what I teach my students, I fall prey to bad habits quickly) but I'm not sure yet exactly whose train of thought I follow on this. I imagine that I won't conform to any one style but will inevitably create my own, taking what I like from each. I hope to learn more about Linda M's handling system to add to my choices when designing mine. So until this is better defined by me I'll work on the things I know I like and want to include like pre-cues, lead changes, rear crosses, start lines, etc.

Goals: Well ideally goals for first year of competition for both girls will include finishing novice level titles in all venues we compete in regularly (CPE & USDAA for both girls and also AKC for Mia). I'd actually like to get Mia finished in AKC Novice and through Open/into Excellent. I think it's doable but depends a lot on how many AKC shows we can make this year.

An important part to this equation is of course me. So a key part of the agility goals is that I need to improve my sprinting ability (and agility!) which of course means lose more weight and keep working out! So far so good but a long way to go.