Thursday, May 26, 2011

Which is Worse... Tornado Sirens or Rear Crosses?

We had both for our last class of the session. The Tornado sirens were courtesy of Mother Nature and the Rear Crosses were thanks to our Guest Teacher, Jeanne!

We started off class with a neat little drill that is apparently similar to a Rally course. Jeanne set up some signs with numbered cones and then we followed the course:

1. 180 degree push
2. Sit for 5 seconds
3. Down for 5 seconds
4. Sit and walk around
5. Down and walk around
6. Front Cross on the Flat
7 Jog then walk at Heel
8. Rear Cross on the Flat

It was a great way to warm up and as Jeanne pointed out, it makes clear the areas that need some brushing up. It was apparent that we all had become somewhat comfortable doing our Rear Crosses with 180 degree turns so Jeanne showed us how to do a Rear Cross with a 90 degree turn. [I remember Jessica attempting to teach us this when I had no idea what we were doing!]

AgilityNerd.com has a similar exercise called the "Zig Zag Exercise" and it's well worth practicing:


Next we did some sequence work with jumps, tunnels and turns and then added in Front and Rear Crosses. Despite the Thunder and Lightning, all 3 dogs did well staying focused and active.

We followed this with some Contact Obstacle work using the Dog Walk and the A-Frame. Much to my surprise, Gilda was willing to perform the Dog Walk that she so recently refused! She can be quite the enigma!

Jeanne announced that our last exercise would be performing the Rear Cross between 2 jumps that were set at a 90 degree angle. Gilda and I had 2 attempts before it dawned on someone that the wailing Siren in the distance was the Tornado alert!

I think I can speak for Melanie and myself when I say that we almost welcomed the threat of a Tornado just to end the frustration of practicing the Rear Cross!

Jeanne did a great job as our Substitute Instructor especially since she only had experience with one of our 3 teams. Thanks Jeanne for leading a great (and exciting!) last class.

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