Thursday, 25 March 2010

Flyball AGM

It was good to be back at the AGM, missed it last year as we were desperately trying to get the teams prepared for Easter and were running out of time!

I won't go through all the proposals as i'm sure the minutes will be up soon. But basically most of the things I agreed with went through and most that I didn't didn't! The biggest change to racing is that their is now a divisional breakout which means if you're seeded in a division you cannot go more than 1 second faster than the top seed in the divisions seed time. This is to stop teams running faster dogs on a slower seed time and annihilating a division which unfortunately you do see from time to time. I'm not sure how much difference it will make as to be honest if you're running 0.5secs faster than the top seed in a division you're probably still going to comfortably win it. But hopefully it will atleast make teams think a bit more about the dogs they are running.

The thing I was most disappointed with was the reaction to the idea of making the dogs in the winning team of div 1 at the Champs a flyball champion and having FbCh proceed it's name. I couldn't believe how negative and to be honest rude people were about this proposal. I personally think that winning div 1 at the Champs is the ultimate achievement and that the dogs that do it should be honoured.

People argued that it was pompus and vain to want this title, even though the people arguing are very happy to accept awards for points gained. Which to me tell you nothing about the ability of the dog, only about how many competitions you've been to. The other argument was that why should a 4sec dog be able to achieve something that a 6sec dog can't when they both put the same amount of effort in to racing. My simple answer, because flyball is a race, faster teams win so faster dogs should get a bigger reward. And I know what you're thinking, it's ok for me to say that because I have a fast dog. But I ran a 5sec dog for 10years and I still had the same opinion then which is what motivated me to train Asher to the standard he is at. Also we already have a lot of equality in flyball. All dogs get to run in a competitive division and have a good chance of winning. And dogs running in a 20/21sec team get the opportunity to earn the same (and usually more) points as dogs in a 16/17sec team. So why shouldn't the elite get a little extra reward?

My other problem is that you can look on the BFA website and find all the dogs that have reached a certain points award but you can't find anywhere which dogs were running on the Championship winning team for a given year. I find something very wrong with that!

Now the only argument I see sticking is the fact that the KC might have something to say as people may try and use it in conjunction with KC names which I agree would be wrong. So maybe you don't use it to proceed the name, and to make it individual you could include the dogs BFA number so it could be e.g 0734b Asher FbCH. And it's not like you would use it much, it would only be on future award certificates and on the dogs stat page on the website. I personally don't see the problem and I think it would be a nice touch.

If people are really very against it then I think at the very least a section should be added to the BFA website for the Champs and it should detail the teams that have won it each year and a link to the dogs that ran in that team with maybe a picture. That way winning the Champs gives you more of something to look back on and a way of people seeing what you have achieved.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Asher and Smart

Thought it was about time I updated about the special. He is doing ok. I took him to the Smart clinic in Wales which is a referral clinic. They have been absolutely fantastic. They identified his injury as damage to the hip abductor muscles. They could tell this because the muscle wastage in surrounding areas was so specific. So he had ultrasound to kick start the healing process and also had accupuncture to reduce inflammation. Along with his injury they identified other areas of muscle tightness, some possibly caused by trying to compensate for the injury. He also had analysis on the water treadmill, which he has done really well on!

So we were set tons of physio exercises including stretching out his neck and back as some of the muscles in his back are over developed, he runs and jumps with a high head carriage which causes him to pull from the front legs rather than push from behind and they believe this could be part of the reason for him knocking poles in agility. So he started off on 3 x 15min slow lead walks a day (so that he had to distribute weight properly) and after 3 weeks is now up to 3 x 30min lead walks a day plus 2 x 10min off lead. It would be longer than this but he is such a nutter we didn't want him to do too much too soon.

Smart are really pleased with his progress, the inflammation around the injury has gone, as has the tightness in his diaphragm caused by overcompensating and trying to transfer his weight to his front end. I can tell that the leg still isn't 100%, he's still not weight bearing fully but it is much better than it was and it's only occasionally or very slightly that I see him favouring now. It clicks quite a bit at the moment but I read somewhere that this is a sign of healing.

Because of this progress he had to start a little bit of jumping this week, but I had to encourage him to jump properly with the right take off point and with his head lower. He coped with this well and has showed no adverse effects after so I'm feeling hopeful that he will be better soon.

We're back at Smart on Monday and providing he has continued to progress will be allowed to go back to flyball training. They said he could do full runs but I think I will just let him do runbacks because lets face it, Asher is not your ordinary dog! All being well we will continue to build him up from that and he will be back competing at Acremead at the start of May.

I've been very impressed with Asher through this time, he has been an angel at the Smart clinic with everything they have done to him. Everyone there loves him! They were also amazed by the amount of muscle and muscle tone he has especially considering the amount of time he had off exercise, apparently he must have good genes! So, feeling a bit more optimistic although still haven't entered any competitions for fear of jinxing it! Fingers crossed please, and i'll update on him again soon.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Flyball Training 07/03/10

We ran the dogs as proper teams for the 1st time since October, I think they all looked really good and seemed really up for it.

We ran missiles as Tyne, Sky, Chelsey, Molly, Guiness and Fraggle. They all seemed to be running quicker than last year. Chelsey, Molly and Guiness' boxes looked really good. Fraggle did the best run I have ever seen him do, proves he is capable, just got to get him more consistent now!

Rockets we ran as Lacy, Sonny, Elliot and Jamie (Bonnie and Smartie weren't at training). This team looked amazing, all the box turns were stunning. Jamie's still needs speeding up a bit but is much better than it was. The others were pretty near perfect, I just hope the turns hold up in competition, I've included a short video of these dogs.

Ballistics were ran as Diefer, Luna, Rosie and Bunty. Diefer looks fast, his box is much improved, he still needs me to stand in slightly, it doesn't aid his turn it just makes him curve out the touch that he needs to get the right approach on the box, I think it is gradually sinking in though! Luna is so much better with a left turn, she is more consistent and only fumbled the ball once at training. Rosie and Bunty also looked good. Just a shame Asher can't run with the team at the moment.

Jemma ran in a lane on her own against the ballistics. She got a hell of a shock when on the 1st leg she tried to run across but happened to run straight past me. I grabbed her, picked her up and put her back in her lane to make her complete the run. She didn't mess up again! She's still trying to look at the other lane but hopefully a few more sessions like that and she will realise she can't go across. What was also good is that she was maintaining her box turn which shows an improvement in her focus.

Moss was the most focused I have seen him, he was very well behaved. Still struggling with the box turn but we did get 1 half decent turn with a ball so i guess that is progress! Ruby the terrier also looked more focused and is now doing a nice turn with no ball and getting used to the sound of the trigger. She will now follow a ball and nose touch it but we're still struggling to get her to pick it up although she is now apparently doing so at home so we just need to transfer it. Her confidence is definitely improving and she is starting to single stride on the runbacks.

A very good session, I am a very proud trainer watching the video below :-) Just 2 more sessions before Easter.