Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rally FrEe Video Day

In addition to live events, Rally FrEe offers the option of competing by video.  This is done in a way that is a bit different from other video sports.  In order to do a video event, you have to have at least three dog and handler teams who live within 200 miles of one another.  You register to do a video event, and then you get your courses, and you have 10 days to get your videos made and sent in.

Two friends and I got together today to do our videos.  We had a total of five teams - I competed in Alternate Novice with Speedy and Intermediate with Dean, both of them had a dog in Novice and one of them had a dog in Intermediate.

In spite of the excessive heat today, we had a really good time.  Thankfully, the room was not too hot and we had an air conditioner going!

We set up the Alternate Novice course first.  I wanted to run Speedy first so his brain wouldn't fry!  He was pretty revved up and working on the right has never been a strong skill for him.  Naturally, the course began with the dog on the right!

His first take had some nice elements, but in the end was not a take that I wanted to submit.  I did try the first take off leash, but that blew Speedy's brain just a bit, so I put him on leash for our next two attempts, and his second attempt was better.

Finally, on our third attempt, we got a take that I was happy about submitting.  We should have results within two weeks, and once I have results I will post our video.

In the meantime, here is a video of our second take, which I did not submit.  This was actually his "liveliest" take.  Enjoy!

I am glad that Speedy and I did this.  He didn't enjoy it as much as he enjoys flat out dancing, but he seemed to find the challenge interesting, and he did a really nice job.  Especially considering the fact that he hasn't trained seriously in several years!

In spite of a few bobbles (he did "round up" one sign on a switch back!), I am hopeful that the third run, which I have already submitted, will quality.  And I am hoping to do this two more times with Speedy to get the Alternate Novice Title!!

Not bad for a retired almost-12-year-old Border Collie boy!

A bit later on it was Dean's turn.  He pretty much went out on his first run and nailed it!  He got out of position - significantly - once.  And the back around fell apart completely.  Well, I can blame that entirely on my training!  I knew full well that I have barely begun Dean's back around training off the heel position.  But we gave it a try, and the fact that it wasn't successfully completed doesn't mean we can't qualify.  Finally, he did lay down on the bow.

But . . . he did beautiful leg weaves for his Free Choice!  And, although slightly distracted a few time, it was evident that he enjoyed himself, and his focus was very, very good.  He practically skipped at one point as he was heeling along!  He two beautiful left pivots (one a 360, one a 180) and his circles around me were very nice.

I was very proud of Dean.  He is still not quite "there" with full performances without food, but he is making excellent, excellent progress!

I made a mistake and had him try to re-run it again a couple of times.  He did not have the duration of focus to get through the entire course a second (or third) time.  I should have jackpotted him and stopped after the first take.  I knew it was good enough to submit, and I knew it was unlikely he would get another good take.  It's not a huge deal, but in retrospect, I do wish I would have stopped after the first take.

I will also post Dean's submitted video after it is judged, but for now, here is a snippet of the gorgeous beginning of his second take.  I do cut it off before it went south, so enjoy a brief showcase of some of Dean's best work! 

Now we are all eagerly awaiting results, and looking forward to doing this again!

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