Well, we are into full on training mode with Fysti now. I might have messed up her potential with my wavering back and forth between two-on, two-off and running contacts, but that doesn't preclude her from running agility, having fun, and pulling out some good runs.
So last night we worked weaves, weaves, and more weaves. She has a bit of a psychological block about straight weaves. We have been trying to work through it for months now ... she is fast and consistent at about 3 inches, but closer than that she just loses her mind. So we went back to the beginning and added guides, with wide channels. We worked that down to a couple of inches wide pretty quickly... she was striding well, going quickly through the whole set, independant of me. But again when I moved them closer that 3 inches wide Fysti would lose her head and try to go under or over the guides. So out wider they would go again.
Finally I had had enough. Realizing that we were going to have to work out the issue I bit the bullet and actually put them straight, put the guides low to prevent an under performance, and just kept giving her really clear right and wrong verbal markers.
Of course, being a sheltie, as soon as I gave her a wrong marker ("uh uh") she started looking for other things that she could do and not be wrong ... but I kept with it and encouraged her to face the weaves and work it through. She got slower and slower, which I knew she would, but I could see that she really was trying to work it out. Finally the lightbulb came on, and although slow, she clearly started to realize that the guides were for ... you know ... guiding!
Finally we got three repetitions where she avoided the guides, and weaved, rather than going over or under the last guide, and so we considered it a huge success and called it a night.
Because Fysti gives me great striding and speed and independence when the weaves are a bit apart, I have no doubt that that performance will come back once she gets over this hurdle and realizes that straight weaves are no different .. just straighter!
So finally a big breakthrough, and I can see the weaves perhaps actually happening this year! 🙂