Christmas Gift from Tim
Finally! My Christmas gift from Tim has arrived. A long jump made out of aluminum. Tim knew it would take awhile for the long jump to be delivered so he also gave me a Clean Run magazine digital subscription. He thought I shouldn't spent Christmas without a present from him.
Some of my friends and family thinks it's absolutely silly to give me agility equipment for Christmas or birthdays. They think presents should be personal. But they don't get that the long jump from Tim for example actually is a very personal gift. It is something I can enjoy every day if I want to and it will hopefully last for many many years. Last year for my birthday everyone chipped in and got me a break-a-way tire. That was one of the best birthday presents ever.
Having my own equipment gives me an incredible freedom: I can train whatever I want whenever I want. It does have one downside though: The risk of overtraining. It so easy to do so compared to only working on equipment once a week in a class. On the other hand having the equipment gives me the advantages of working on details. Details I can't work on in a class environment.
I especially love having my own equipment when starting the initial obstacle training with a new dog. Small training sessions of 3-5 minutes spread out through the day/week is so much better for the overall learning process than one hour once a week in class.
The long jump is one often very overlooked obstacle. Basically it only acquires the dog to perform a long stride so people often underestimate the value of a well-trained long jump. Working on the long jump away from other obstacles can give the dog a great understanding on jumping straight through the jump, how to collect when a turn is coming up etc. This will minimize faults on course such as taking the long jump on a diagonal or knocking over one of the pieces.
Although I would very much like to play with my new toy I have to be patient. The dogs had a chiropractic treatment yesterday and specially Poncho needs to rest a couple of days.