Due to my A-level exams, I had to give up agility for a couple of months as there wasn’t enough time to fit it in. During that time I popped Rusty over a couple of jumps but we didn’t do much else, so today I began to re-familiarise her with the training we had done before.
To get her listening to me and paying attention (her little head seemed to be into everything except my voice!) we went back to basics and practised sit, lie down, stay and come. Then we did a bit of heeling through changes of speed – her usual reaction to me speeding up is to blast ahead of me so I was pleasantly surprised when she managed to contain her energy.
The next stage in our session was to set up a small jump and warm her up over it a few times.
I then asked her for a slightly more challenging manoeuvre where I wanted her to wrap the jump and then re-jump it (almost creating a figure of eight shape).
I also practised handling her from a greater distance and she still flew over the jump as if we had never had a break!
The final thing with the single jump was to remind her that she must have confidence to move ahead of me, so I stood back from the jump and sent her over it from behind.
After this I added another jump and we worked through some 90º, 180º and 270º turns – to be entirely honest this was more beneficial to my handling skills than to her, as she seemed to remember everything I had previously taught her!
Lastly, we worked through some easy weave poles – this is still our weakest area so it gives us something to focus on through the summer.
The video below shows some short clips from our training session.