So it didn't take Navarre long at all to adjust to 22 inches, we had practiced at that height for a couple weeks, I didn't really feel any difference after the first couple days. But from 22 to 24, that was a whole other story. Probably because 22 is still about withers height for him, 24 feels infinitely higher than 22, and he has really been thrown for a loop attempting to figure it out. We did a quick introduction to 24 last week and it really was surprising how much more effort he has to put into jumping. In fact, the first day we looked at it he kept running UNDER the jumps. Those two inches make a big difference!
This week we worked on a little Justine homework at 24. I figured by the end of the week he would feel more comfortable, but he feels about the same despite the experience. We also tried 24 at league tonight, and while he's not terrible at 24, it's just not as much fun, for either of us. I know one week is not a lot of time, but I will say I much prefer 20 or 22, 24 is just kind of boring. He doesn't look bad at 24, but he looks better at 20. As most dogs do look better jumping at or below their withers, really.
So USDAA? I don't know, we certainly could do 24 - but agility shouldn't be about jump height, and agility is just more fun at lower heights. And I might table it for a while, let him grow up more, and then look at it again in the future. For now, I like 20, Navarre likes 20, no need to complicate things.
Navarre at 24:
I do believe that the future of agility will involve reasonable jump heights. I also can see them lowering the height of the dogwalk at some point, removing the table and increasing the diameter of tunnels. I'd like to see them add a 10 foot straight tunnel to replace the chute, and I'd personally like to get rid of the double and the triple. I'm happy to exchange them for the wall and the broad jump, which I think are easier for dogs to judge spatially. I'd like to see less weavepoles in competition, I don't know why they have to be in EVERY class. American agility and international agility will continue to split, so it will be interesting to see what it all looks like in the future.
Bright has been doing GREAT in agility, while I have been mostly focusing on working with Navarre with the Justine homework, Bright is my ringer dog, bring her out and she can do everything perfectly the first time. And we've been working on me trusting her more and running more as a team. Then we had league tonight, a course I felt very confident with. And Bright was off course at #2, and pretty much every obstacle after that. Flew off the teeter, popped the poles, had apparently never heard of a backside or threadle in her life, it was just a comedy of errors that in no way resembled the Bright I had been working with lately! So, yeah, hard not to get frustrated with that sort of thing! The second time I ran her I just took nothing for granted and shouted at her the whole way through - and we STILL got an off course. But I'll take responsibility for that one as I was so uncertain about her actually taking a backside I think I pushed in too much. So, yeah, Bright is still nutty, but we will continue to work on it!
Navarre had a better excuse, being a baby - but HE got the weaves the first time, even with them all pushed awkwardly in a weird position. There was lots of good with the baby, league has been a great experience for us. One more week, then no more driving at night in the pouring rain, which I WON'T miss. It's been worth it though, even if it drives me nuts when we STILL can't do it right with two chances!
Our second runs, with the some screwing around edited out with Bright: