Miles and Rue at Sugarbush Farm, NY 12/29/08

So here’s the cool update from today.  I rented a ring out in the boonies today that ended up being a 40×80 space inside a really cool barnish type thing.  It had a dirt floor, but certainly had enough space and equipment for my needs.  I’ll be going to run-throughs there this Sunday too.  I didn’t change much of the course set up since it had a straight run of 4 jumps on one side and then lots of other equipment that I could add in once he was comfortable. 
Anyway, I brought Miles in and he was definitely stressed with all of the smells and sights.  I stayed outside of the actual ring first and waited for him to give me some attention.  We then did some fun tricks for meatballs and he seemed to settle in.  I then took him in the ring and he was again worried and sniffy.  We did some fun tricks and then I brought him over one jump and had a party.  I repeated the one jump=party a few times then did jump-tire-party, then jump-tire-jump-jump-HUGE party.  I could definitely see him start to relax.  Here’s the video:

So then I did a few short sequences with jumps, weaves, and tunnels.  He did great I think!  I also eventually got him on all of the contact equipment and even did teeter games (except for the latest one as I just didn’t want to push it). 

Rue did awesome as well.  When I first brought her in she was totally engrossed in the dirt floor–I think she sniffed every particle.  I actually took her in the ring and did my whole “go sniff and wait for attention” game.  We went around the whole ring this way and by the end she was happily walking with me and didn’t want to sniff anymore.   I was able to engage her very quickly and easily in play and then had a fun time doing some cone work with jump standards.  We had so much fun.  She was very fast and drivey and MAN did she want to tug!!  I couldn’t get it away from her towards the end–not sure what I could have done, but I nearly had to pry it out of her jaws.  I felt good about that though because in times past she would have easily left me to go do her own thing. 

The other thing I did with her (that I didn’t video because the battery was dying) was use a teeter plank that they had permantly mounted on an 8″ PVC pipe and shaped her to run back and forth on it.  By the end I had her really running that thing!  She rocks.

We’ll see how the run-throughs go this weekend…..

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