As I am just joined I am a little late for the first of this years topics - but it is an interesting topic so I thought I would add my ramblings to it - Internationalisation
What does Internationalisation mean?
Its a term American agility people are using for the move towards more European type courses with more tricky handling situations like pushing dogs to the backside of the jump, threadles and oddly spelt handling moves (I will cover them in a later post)
So Im Scottish - is that relevant to me?
Actually it has proved very helpful to me - let me explain the UK system
Here in the UK we have 7 grades - levels for handlers and dogs
Progression up the grades is kinda a bit complicated but in simple terms grades 1-3 are where new/inexperienced dogs and handlers start out.
Courses tend to be fairly flowing with a few changes of sides some slaloms and a few little 'traps' like an enticing tunnel. You do get some nice twisty turny courses and some lovely flowing fast courses so the rocket dogs and the more careful dogs all get a chance to shine.
Here is Ben a few years ago showing some grade 1-3 courses
Then once you get to the higher grades things suddenly, backside of jumps, threadles, bypassing jumps, it all gets quite tricky
and ontop of that Ben suddenly got a giant burst of speed when we hit the higher grades.
So in the past I could walk a course saying to myself 'front cross here, post turn here' and have plenty time to do all these moves on the course, now I was walking a course with no idea HOW to handle it and when I got there with my dog I suddenly realised that he was way out infront of me so I didnt have time for the handling I would have used in the past.
I lost my confidence and didnt really go to a show in about a year
Then I found the agility blogs from America, people struggling with the same type of courses that I was having trouble with - I really advise anyone to have a look at all the other bloggers on the group (click the links at the top) the horrible spelling handling moves, different training exercises, ontop of that I found a great club to train with with a handler in the same situation as me, and I hired some great land for training myself.
and suddenly we are having great fun and going clear again.