Yesterday evening we had Rally FrEe class. I took Tessa by herself because Dean's hip hitch got aggravated over the weekend. It was good, also, to focus on her alone at the class before our competition.
We did a Novice course in class, but I was still able to practice the Advanced level exercises that we are working on because I used them as my Free Choice behaviors!
Tessa is really improving in many ways. Her focus during heeling is better. I think all of the eye contact work and the pocket hand from Precision Heeling (although I am using it somewhat loosely) are starting to show up in her heeling skills!! I notice that if I clearly indicate that I want her in heel, she is moving right in with a lot of confidence!!
We worked on the back thru 3X a couple of times. I can see that the idea is starting to make sense to her, and that it is something that she is actually starting to like to do. Fluency by the weekend? Probably not. But we really are well on our way to having it down, and I can see it eventually being one of Tessa's favorite exercises!
We also did some back-aways. She can do it beautifully if I bring her up against the wall. She still isn't sure if there are no barriers. Again, we might not quite get there by the weekend, but we are making really nice progress.
I am looking forward to the event. Even if we aren't really quite ready, I think I am really going to enjoy working her in the ring and seeing where the improvements she has made recently really shine.
And Tessa is fun. At one Free Choice sign, I told her to just do something. She thought for a few seconds and then went to spin, but instead of spinning all the way around to land in right side heel, she turned about 3/4 and ended up in position next to me, but with her nose toward my leg and her rear end straight out!! Instant Alternate Position!!! Voila!! It was a really nice move creation for her!
We are going to practice at the building again this evening. Maybe I'll get some video.