In between lambing...I had a few moments to put up a post for the Blog Action Day!
As I travel around the US giving seminars...I tend to run into people that hate "That International Crap"...
But, by the end of a weekend with me, they are seeing it in a different light, I see them look forward to it, to accept the challenge. It's pretty neat to see!!
"That International Crap" they are referring to are backsides, threadles, pulling past obstacles etc...
My students have to do "That International Crap" every, single lesson :) Why?
Because really..."Internationalization" is just handling...It's still the basics of telling the dog what you want (extension or collection). Maybe in a different way then what you are used to. But it is still the foundation of handling, which people figure out quickly, they already know :) And so do their dogs.
Even if my students only do a certain venue, don't play snooker, etc...they still are required to teach their dogs to pull past obstacles, practice threadles etc. It works timing, it works the handler knowing how their position affects their dog. It teaches handlers to find the best lines...
Basically: IT REFINES SKILLS
We only get better when we are challenged and have to continue to grow. If we stay in our comfort zones...we never grow. We get content...and comfortable. Comfortable is great for a favorite shirt...not for a dog and handler team.
And the more skills a team has, the better they can handle challenges thrown at them during trials!! Which means the dogs won't be plagued with a "nervous Nellie" of a handler! Win Win!
Let's face it..."That International Crap" is here and is becoming a part of our agility courses. You are going to see it, you are going to run it. Why not embrace it, and use it to challenge yourself and your team? You would be amazed how much better your handling will become on your "normal courses". I know since I have pushed myself to do a lot more of "That International Crap" my dogs are more responsive, are not injured as much (as my timing has improved IMMENSELY so they are not getting crappy cues!) and we are a smoother team. I have grown to really enjoy the challenge and I am much more confident when given challenges.
So instead of calling in "That International Crap" think of it as:
Constantly Reaching for Agility Perfection
The more you do it, the closer you are going to get to those "zen runs" where things are perfect...
I am grateful we are having more International challenges...it makes us all better handlers and trainers. Isn't that why we are doing this stuff?