Sunday, 21 November 2010

Knowing what to drink or pick!

Puppy downs - Zev - Summer 2008
There is a saying "you can lead the horse to water but you can't make it drink". Which really has pararells with learning. Yep the mind is wandering and I pondered some possibilities
  1. You can go to a seminar in training and decide not to 'drink' from the trough i.e you are not receptive to the knowledge being offered
  2. You can cherry pick the ideas being floated around - try stuff out and decide whether to keep or not
  3. Or you can enbrace it totally and not be receptive to any further or different ideas
  4. Or can embrace it until you find something that works even better.
With the first - not much point in going or it may be that the seminar was not what you thought. Had that once it was 'toe-curling'. Still learned what I did not want to do. So in a sense I was receptive enough to understand what was being taught, but know myself enough to realise with the best will in the world it was not for me. With others the lesson taught have stayed with me, and I hear them in my mind as clear as if I had been told it today.

With the second 'cherry picking' how do you cherry pick from the knowledge that you are literally 'drinking' up? There is people's training, DVDs and books I have really enjoyed but I may not agree with them totally. That can be true of agility training, I can really admire how someone runs with their partner, but it don't mean I wanna be them or even I could be them. So its trial and error, some things really suit and others don't. I have to work it out and my guys indulge me through the process.

Waits so useful for posing as well as agility ;-)

With the third, should I try and fit a handling system? It might be at the beginning of learning a new sport and in agility there is oh so many elements, the speed, co-ordination, movement, directions both physically and verbally, dealing with training, dealing with competing, that a system provides a structure and a route to gaining a foundation in agility. I did not learn from a specific handling system when I started out, more like point at the obstacle and hope for the best! My poor, poor Storm, how did he put up with me???? 

With the fourth I have yet so stumble across so perfect a training system that it does it all ;-)

So I guess, for me handling is about knowing me, knowing and understanding my partner, and trying to analyse a course so that I can give the possible flow, bearing in mind our strengths.  If I get it right I will be able to direct my partner smoothly and there will be no 'wrong footing' or 'off course lines'. With training I try to use an approach that suits me, so like with waits, I like to 'bang' in the reward for the dog trying to do what I want whether it be a puppy wait or a wait for agility. So I guess I'm a cherry picker, with a systematic approach. It keeps me creative, inquisitive, willing to try new handling moves and techniques striving forward in the quest to keep on running a fast and exhilarating run.

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